IN the bibulous as distinguished from the meteorological sense, December in the U.S. is the wettest month of the year. The weather is usually dismal enough to call for the cup that cheers; but it is Christmas and New Year's Eve, those nationally permissive drinking occasions, that pop the cork and the bung and inspire a steady round of wassails. In a single month, the nation's drinkers buy an eighth part of their annual supply, some of it to give but a good share of it to consume. This year, December's national bill, for spirits alone, will tot up to...

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