There are stiff drinks, and drinks that make you stiff.  In other words, drink porn:  glossy pictorials of lithe, luscious, come-hither cocktails with perfectly coiffed garnishes, seductively posed in revealing yet elegant drinkware, naked to the world but for a sheer peignoir of Baccarat crystal.

Is it pervy to pine for a fantasy frappé?  Drinkist to ogle an objectified Orange Blossom?  You know that cocktails don’t look that way in real life.  You know you should stop looking at unobtainable, photoshopped ice-princesses and start a meaningful relationship with an actual beverage, one with age spots on its lime wedge and saggy mint, dressed in a frumpy outlet-mall glass.

“But I only buy Food & Wine for the recipes,” you protest.  Sure.  That’s what you’re looking at in the den while your spouse is downstairs paying bills.  The recipes.  Well, in the case of Food & Wine Cocktails 2010, you should be:  the magazine’s annual recipe book features over 160 cutting-edge drinks, hand-picked by the world’s top mixologists (though this year they’ve lowered their standards by handing the rum section to the Beachbum).  There’s also a guide to the world’s best bars, plus a comprehensive “how-to” home-bartending section.

And as usual, the book’s designer drinks are photographed in designer duds, from slender, sensuous Calvin Klein highball glasses to sexy champagne coupes by Kate Spade.  If loving this is wrong, we don’t wanna be right.


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