Speaking of the Regressors, this fantastic quote from The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto by Bernard DeVoto, 1948, is prescient:
I have alluded to rum before, we must not deny that it exists and is drunk, and as a historian I must give it its due. It gave us political freedom and Negro slavery. It got ships built and sailed, forests felled, iron smelted, and commercial freight carried from place to place by men who, if their primordial capitalist bosses had not given them rum, would have done something to get their wages raised... People without taste buds can enjoy it now... but mainly it is drunk as all sweet liquors are, in a regressive fantasy, a sad hope of regaining childhood's joy at the soda fountain. No believer could drink it straight or gentled at the fastidious and hopeful hour. No one should drink it with a corrosive added, which is the formula for a Daiquiri.
DeVoto (winner of a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, a columnist for Harper's beginning in 1935, and "an adamant defender of civil liberties") believes there are only two true cocktails: the slug of whiskey and the martini. Most everything else is morally suspect or outright disgusting. (Bitters, to his mind, are acceptable, "so long as they are Angostura—all others are condiments for a tea-shoppe cookbook.")
He is a defender of adult pleasures and the sworn enemy of all things whimsical, cutesy, and self-infantilizing. He is my new hero.
We can't sit around all afternoon; there is evil to be dealt with. We might as well begin with the soda fountain, for that is where a lot of it begins and I have already shown you the distressing spectacle of people trying to get back there by way of cointreau and white mint or rum and Coca-Cola. Americans are too indulgent with their children; they give them too much money to spend on sweets. I don't suppose the stuff does them any immediate harm but it does give them false values. Chocolate, maple syrup, two dozen other syrups; marshmallow, fudge, butterscotch, two dozen other goos; the whole catalogue of pops, tonics, phosphates, and trademarked soft drinks that would corrode any plumbing except a growing child's—they seem innocent but they aren't. An ice cream soda can set a child's feet in the path that ends in grenadine, and when you see someone drinking drambuie, créme de menthe, Old Tom gin, or all three stirred together and topped with a maraschino cherry, you must remember that he got that way from pineapple milkshakes long ago. Pity him if you like but treat him as you would a carrier of typhoid.
He also tore into Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel (which was rigorously edited by the great Maxwell Perkins) as: "hacked and shaped and compressed into something resembling a novel by Mr. Perkins and the assembly-line at Scribners."