Wayne Curtis

Wayne Curtis is the author of And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails, a chronicle of America’s most ignoble spirit. He’s also a contributing editor at The Atlantic magazine, where he launched and wrote the “Drinks” column from 2008 to 2014, and he writes regularly for Imbibe and The Daily Beast. He’s also written about spirits for The New York Times, Sunset, Yankee, enRoute, American Scholar, American Archeology and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in New Orleans and Grand Lake Stream, Maine.

Articles by Wayne

Mr. Boston Must Not Die

Once ubiquitous on every bar shelf, the Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide has gone through a dark age and a partial renaissance. But with sleek, new cocktail book competitors published every year, will it live to see its 100th birthday?

The Best Bars That Never Existed

If “third places” are our social venues outside of home and work like bars and cafés, then “fourth places” are, arguably, those third places fictionalized in novels, movies and on TV. Wayne Curtis explores the some of the best bars that never existed.

The Martini Is Dead, Long Live the Martini

Once upon a time, the Martini was an indicator of sophistication. But with the late ’90s and early aughts’ appropriation of all things “‘tini,” its fate became uncertain. Has it finally been replaced, or is it entering a second golden age?

What Walking Can Teach Us About Drinking

While researching his book The Last Great Walk, Wayne Curtis did a lot of walking—and drinking. A nature boy at heart, Curtis explores the connections between hiking through nature and trekking through cities with bars as his trail markers to explain how drinking and walking are two perfectly matched pursuits.

How Zappos and Fernet Saved Downtown Vegas

Zappos founder and CEO Tony Hsieh built his company into the faded landscape of Downtown Vegas, revitalizing its streets, restaurants and bars. Wayne Curtis on how Hsieh saved downtown Vegas with Fernet Branca and his dream of elevator bars.

The End of American Whiskey’s Latest Golden Age

Many have proclaimed a looming whiskey shortage, but the reality is, whiskey is a boom and bust business. Wayne Curtis explains the strange confluence of events that created a “golden age” from 2008 to 2014 and how its end may be more subtle than predicted.

What Exactly Defines a “Craft” Spirit?

“Craft spirits” have gone from obscurity to ubiquity over the past several years. But what exactly defines a craft spirit? With money and reputation riding on the answer, American distillers are struggling to to reach an agreement. Wayne Curtis breaks down the issues.