Pub owner, gin distiller, modern man

Published August 20, 2023

A tall glass of gin in focus, with mint and blueberries in the glass and a slice of lime on the edge. In the background, out of focus, a black cocktail shaker and glass tonic bottle

I continue to find the post-Top Gear careers of the three hosts fascinating, particularly as they diverge more and more into distinct personalities and making their hobbies their jobs. At the moment, James May is winning the battle for best-of-the-three for me, and not just because he makes very good gin.

There was an interview in The Times with him recently, on the subject of the future of pubs, but within it, there were some real gems of quotes on other subjects, too.

On the transition away from internal combustion engines to electric cars:

We used it because that was the best we could do at the time. And we ascribe to it great character because of its flaws. But we’ll get over it in the same way that people our age aren’t lamenting steam engines or horse-drawn carts or spinning jennies.

On looking back at the past:

Sentimentality is okay. I’m quite sentimental, but I’m not particularly nostalgic. I look at the past and I know it was awful. I know if we could be teleported back to the 1980s it would seem filthy and horrible and backward.

And potentially the best quote of the lot:

I said it on one of my travel shows: ‘Alcohol is God’s apology for making us self-aware’.

← Previous Plane sailing
Next → The full story