FROM THE ARCHIVE: Just stick your head, it won’t take long, into any roomful of politics; someone will saddle someone else with the adjective Machiavellian. “Characterized by cunning, duplicity or bad faith” says Mr. Webster. Nearly five hundred years later, poor Niccolò is still most often found under a cloud of bad press.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: The Classic Champagne cocktail, the Red Rose martini, the Grand Cosmo, and more.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Some of us like nothing better than the rain and the pounding surf. We’re here, savouring rustic elegance on the edge of the world—at the Wickaninnish Inn.

Ruben Aceves Vidrio is director of international brand development for Casa Herradura—makers of el Jimador tequila as well as their super-premium-label Herradura tequila—and he’s about to make a true believer out of me.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: “Great gin simply soars, above and beyond the strictures of any season.” No less a libational luminary than the last of the Tanquerays, the late, great John T., told me that one mid-morning as we were about to sit down to lunch at his offices in the old Goswell Road distillery in London.

It’s amazing what you can come up with after spending 10 weeks in a foreign culture, unable to speak the language, keeping your eyes wide open and soaking up sights and sounds. If you have a ready imagination, that is. Which David Rotenberg surely has.

Mixed drinks have taken a sharp turn for the sweet. Witness the proliferation of soi-disant martinis in bars and lounges and restaurants: cream liqueurs and off-the-sugar-scale fruit brandies, mixed and muddled with more fruit essences and syrups, and not a drop of gin or vermouth anywhere in evidence.

They claimed it made you crazy, so they banned it. And isn’t that always a sure route to success?

The formula is simple enough: limes, sugar, ice, and the main ingredient, cachaça—as little as you like, as much as you can handle. That’s the way to make Brazil’s national cocktail, the caipirinha, with Brazil’s national spirit.

Water into wine: it’s the oldest trick in the book. But it takes considerable doing. Now meet its newest practitioner, who suits it and does it to a T. That’s T for tenacity, for Tuscany, for trucking, and for Tolaini.