Winter 2022

Esquire is a funny, informative, connected magazine that covers the interests of American men—all the interests of the American man: Politics, style, advice, women, health, eating and drinking, the most interesting people of our time. All that and it’s the most-honored monthly magazine in history.

United States
9 Issues

in this issue

4 min
big acts of storytelling

IN 2013, WHEN I WAS A REPORTER FOR THE magazine Ad Age, I had occasion to interview David Granger, who at the time was three quarters of the way into his nineteen-year tenure as Esquire’s editor in chief. He characterized the feature stories on which Esquire built its reputation—deeply reported, vibrantly written, wholly immersive—as “big acts of storytelling.” The phrase has stuck with me, and today I use it frequently when talking about Esquire articles, past and present, because big acts of storytelling have been part of the magazine since its inception. Our first issue, published in September 1933, opened with a page called “Backstage with Esquire,” our take on the contributors’ page. The column contained a note about big-act storyteller Ernest Hemingway’s contribution: “For those of you who have waistlines,…

5 min
the worst idea wins

IN A RECENT RAGE CLIP dujour, a furious young dad in a parked car bellows into his phone camera about California’s Covid-vaccine mandate. “For the kids to go back to school, they have to be fucking vaccinated,” he shrieks, tommy-gunning his screen with spittle. “Are you fucking kidding me?” Then he turns one drawn-out, modern-dance “FUUUUUUCK” into a quivering warning for all liberals to unfollow him. This is 43 excruciating seconds of tough-guy posturing on TikTok, the app featuring children recording themselves dancing to “Fancy Like.” He’s not scary, but this is: TikTok’s algorithm—the nicotine behind the app’s addictiveness—fed his rage to millions. Some saw it and thought: Now, there’s a patriot. And it confirmed their hunch, even as the bodies piled up, that Covid can be bullied and patrioted…

2 min
the 5 wrongest hunches in american history

1865 “Abe, you’re gonna love Our American Cousin.” It’s unclear who suggested President Lincoln go to the theater on April 14, but whoever recommended the idea wasn’t necessarily wrong. Our American Cousin was a hit comedy that had been running in various cities for seven years, and Lincoln was said to be laughing through much of it. It was the timing of that hunch that proved deeply unfortunate. 1985 “What we should do with the most popular soft drink in the history of the world is change it.” The introduction of New Coke came with assurances from Coca-Cola executives that people would adopt the new formula. America rebelled against it immediately, without even rudimentary social media to foment the unrest. Three months later, the old Coke was reintroduced as Coca-Cola Classic. EARLY 1990s “My next role should…

2 min
down the middle

WE ALL WANT A TOP SHELF that wows. But without a strong middle shelf of $40-and-under bottles that you can pour without a second thought, you just have a trophy case instead of something you actually live with. Those solid, everyday go-tos make the special stuff just that, special, and not the bottle you deplete after a few weeks of after-work drams. This doesn’t mean buying obvious big brands. Recently, in an effort to get price-conscious younger drinkers away from their White Claw, distillers of middle-shelf whiskeys have brought about a renaissance worthy of more adoration. While there have been values punching above their price point for years, like Rittenhouse and Buffalo Trace, these new bottles of revived old styles or innovations offer some genuine delight and just might keep…

1 min
so, what’s a $60,000 whisky like?

Whisky that costs as much as a BMW 5 Series? Sounds intimidating. Will a sip of such an extravagant elixir mean you can never appreciate the cheap stuff again? Perhaps, but that’s a chance you should be willing to take. So when I found myself sampling the $60,000 Yamazaki 55, I did my best to consider it as I would any dram, because old and expensive doesn’t necessarily translate to good. Turns out this extra-mature Japanese single malt was quite special, with notes of mango, caramel, and cotton candy, and a touch of spice. Just 100 bottles were released globally, so most of us will have to experience Yamazaki 55 vicariously. But drinking this rarity was a reminder to slow down and appreciate my favorite bottles. And that’s a skill…

2 min
surrender your home to the internet

1. TOVALA SMART OVEN Most toaster ovens make toast. The Tovala makes meals. It does this with a smartphone app but also through the incorporation of steam-cooking technology, which ensures food emerges with the perfect balance of tender crispiness. $299; 2.SAMSUNG JET BOT AI+ ROBOT VACUUM Does your robotic vacuum choke on your iPhone charger? This one uses lidar and object-recognition sensors to scan the interior of your household, so it won’t suck up any clothes or small pets. $1,299; 3. TIDBYT DISPLAY Addicted to your phone? Maybe try a Tidbyt, a retro display that shows anything from calendar entries to crypto prices to Spotify playlists on a colorful, Lite Brite–like screen. $179; 4.AMAZON SMART SOAP DISPENSER The CDC recommends washing your hands for a full 20 seconds to fully annihilate germs. To help pass the time,…