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Esquire Winter 2021

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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.

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United States
9 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
be useful to each other

THE FIRST TIME MY POLITICS ALIGNED WITH MY father’s was during the 1988 presidential election. I was eight. Michael Dukakis had earned my support because we shared a first name, and the world needed a Michael in the White House. Then Dad, who was a George H. W. Bush man, looked me square in the eye and said, “Dukakis will take away your toys”—his way of saying that Dukakis would raise taxes, I suppose. I switched my allegiance to Bush That was also the last time our politics agreed. Dad and I argued through the Clinton, Dubya, and Obama administrations. We rarely found common ground. More often, my mother would point us to our respective corners to cool down. Within minutes, another conversation would pick up, no hard feelings. Dad and I…

3 min.
the forever cocktail

FOR YEARS, I MADE MYSELF A MANHATTAN at the end of the day. Simple, classy. Then the pandemic began. I spent days playing refrigerator Tetris with impossible-to-acquire vegetables and the World’s Last Pork Chops, hopelessly managing my kids’ remote learning and—another Zoom meeting? I was drained. So I switched to vodka on the rocks. It felt appropriate for our draconian spring. Cold and strong? Yes. Celebratory? Not exactly. Vodka on the rocks is what you pour yourself when you feel like you’ve done nothing but work … and have nothing but work tomorrow. Vodka resets the existential dread. There’s a reason it’s the spirit of choice for Tolstoy characters. Then glimmers of hope emerged—warm summer months, outdoor dining, basketball on TV—and vodka didn’t feel right. Yet I didn’t have the energy…

1 min.
how to prebatch almost any stirred cocktail

Cocktail recipes are ratios, so you can turn any drink into a big bottled one for the freezer by bumping up the volume. (A calculator helps.) Spirit-forward sippers work best, and since you’re not stirring them over ice, add water: in general, .75 oz per serving for old-fashioned-style drinks and negronis, 1.25 to 1.5 oz per serving for martini- and manhattan-style cocktails. Below is my favorite bottled manhattan, plus the conference, an old-fashioned riff, from Death & Co. They’ll fit in a 750ml bottle. A serving is around 4.5 ounces, but at home, you make the rules. Manhattan 11.25 oz rye5 oz sweet vermouth.5 oz Angostura bitters7.5 ounces water Conference 5 oz Rittenhouse rye5 oz Buffalo Trace bourbon5 oz Groult calvados5 oz Hine H cognac1.5 oz demerara syrup4 oz water.25 oz Angostura bitters.25 oz…

2 min.
last call

It’s not like Mark and I were close friends. We’d see each other in the dirt parking lot at the town field after the boys’ soccer practice, talking as our sons half-jogged over, laughing like sixth graders do, before we got in our cars. When my younger son got sick—real sick—my wife and I would sometimes drop our older boy at Mark and Mary’s house in the middle of the night before rushing to the hospital. Mark would quietly wish us luck and smile as he put his hand on my son’s shoulder, taking him in. Mark was tall and strong and calm, and he always smiled. Once, after another sleepover, our older son came home and reported that Mark had taken them on a run through the woods. A run? Through the woods? Our son…

2 min.
back in the high-low life again

MAYHEM DESCENDED UPON UNIQLO’S flagship SoHo store in New York in the fall of 2011 as shoppers angled to get one last shirt, one last jacket, one last anything from Jil Sander’s +J collection with the retailer. Though a one-off “greatest hits” revival popped up in 2014, at the time it felt like the end of an era—the final chapter of a two-year collaboration that gave budget-minded shoppers a chance to own a piece of Sander’s signature modern minimalism. Snagging that coveted item was worth throwing (or catching) a few elbows. Or so it seemed. Now Sander and Uniqlo are back at it again. “Our formula when we started with +J ten years ago was: ‘Luxury will be simplicity, purity in design, beauty and comfort for all. Quality for the people,’”…

4 min.
what i’ve learned

Dan Rather 89. Reporter Austin _I’LL DO MY best to make this the best interview you’ve ever done. _SOME DAYS I feel I can be as productive as ever. And other days I’m saying, “Don’t kid yourself.” _GOD REST MY mother’s soul, she insisted that I start taking music lessons when I was five or six years old. We tried the piano. The piano teacher came to her and said, “Mrs. Rather, I can’t take your money.” Same thing happened with the guitar. By the time I was eight, we were down to the bassoon. That ended it. _IF BOB WILLS or Hank Williams didn’t sing it, I didn’t know it. _ONE OF THE things that’s surprised me during the pandemic is that I’m reading more poetry. _LOVE THIS work. I love chasing a story. I don’t…