Monday, March 27, 2017

Nurse the Hate: National Whiskey Day

It certainly raised my spirits to see today was National Whiskey Day.  As I am still nursing myself back to health, I will likely not participate in the celebration though I have been barraged over the years with the alleged medicinal qualities of whiskey.  There is the often-told story about the basis of the Daredevils song “Just the Thing” where a Swiss fella plied us with horrific shots that were supposed to cure our ills from the common cold.  However, when I pressed him for details on these healing attributes he sheepishly admitted, “Well, after these shots you will become so drunk, the cold will no longer matter.”  All hail whiskey!

I had always had a disdain for whiskey after some bad decisions in my early twenties involving Jack Daniels.  When Mick and Keef are seen slugging it back looking all cool, one can’t help but think “That must be one tasty drink!”.  What they don’t tell you is that there is something in the distillation process that makes you a dangerous sociopath.  As a marketer, I think it is wise not to advertise that by the way.  On top of the personality change that can occur with Jack, I found the taste of brown spirits to be horrific, no doubt a boomerang effect from lengthy barfing sessions in 604 McDowell Hall.  It led me to avoid brown spirits at all costs, which was a policy I could strictly enforce until this damn WSET certification class where I had to imbibe all kinds of spirits.

A downside to naming the band “Whiskey Daredevils” was it encouraged people to buy us whiskey shots.  It is certainly reasonable to assume a band that has “whiskey” in their name will probably enjoy whiskey.  I get that.  However, I will freely admit it was a decision based exclusively on imaging.  I didn’t think the public would respond favorably to “The Session IPA Daredevils”.  It would have been difficult to create a t-shirt for “The Riesling Daredevils”.  Concessions had to be made for the marketplace.  Did this make me a poseur?  Yes.  Yes, it did.

A strange thing happened when I next tried scotch.  I will always remember this as my “a-ha” moment.  I went to the apartment of my Stuttgart host on a Halloween night, and he offered me “what is that drink that Americans have when the night is almost over?  What do you call it?”  A nightcap?  “Yes!  A nightcap!”  Being a good guest, how could I say no?  When I asked him what he had, his answer brought a shiver to my soul.  Scotch or gin.  Gulp.  Faced with that choice at 3:36am, there was only one way to go as to pour gin on the 117 German beers I had been given would have resulted in “a gastrointestinal situation of grave consequence”.  I chose scotch.  It was a Talisker, and dammit, it was good!  I liked it!

So, I discovered that I now like scotch.  The downside of discovering this is like discovering you like cocaine.  It truly is a habit with no real benefit.  I have done everything possible to limit my consumption of it to rare occasions.  There is a woman I know that told me that every time she drinks scotch she cries.  I think there was some sort of small intervention held by her friends.  An agreement was reached.  It wasn’t that she wouldn’t drink scotch, but rather just not drink it as often or as liberally.  Despite knowing she could become a crying mess, scotch had gotten its hooks into her.  She was a scotch drinker.  As far as I know, she might be having a scotch with a tear rolling down her cheek right now.  

As I flood my body with over the counter drugs, perhaps I should have just gone old school and had whiskey.  I had a hot toddy in San Francisco years ago that helped tremendously with a head cold.  Though in retrospect it just made me so drunk I passed out on my hotel bed, which is also known as “the Euro method”.  Yet, traditions need to be observed.  The old masters must have known something, eh?  Maybe I’d best find a tipple of my favorite dram, put on a kilt and listen to some bagpipe music.  Let us praise National Whiskey Day.  


At March 27, 2017 at 6:02:00 PM EDT , Blogger vfh159 said...

I believe in the healing properties of a cuppa Orange Pekoe with 2 tbls honey, 2 fingers of Scotch or some decent American Whiskey and a slice of lemon on top with all my heart.

At March 31, 2017 at 2:15:00 PM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

I followed that recipe last evening to great success.


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