I delight in the questionable taste most dictators seem to demonstrate in their drinking, if they partake at all. It seems to be all or nothing for the legendary despots—recall that Hitler was famously a teetotaler. Of course, as a bartender I try not to psychoanalyze anyone by his or her order, but I do take special pleasure in Saddam Hussein and Benito Mussolini’s drinks of choice. Mateus, a medium-sweet frizzante rosé that once made up 40 percent of Portugal’s total wine export before wine coolers and white zinfandel elbowed their way into the alcoholic sweet-tooth market, was stocked by the pallet in all of Hussein’s palaces. (It was also the tipple of choice for noted Christian taste-maker Roy Moore.) Mussolini was not much of a drinker, so it comes as no surprise that his preferred parfait was made up of strawberry sorbet,...

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