Archive for October, 2010

October 30, 2010

Curmudgeonosity

Pleast note, the opinions here contained are not those of the management, (off the record, they are not necessarily not those of the management either…)

–DW

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You’re just a Plain Sissy If You Mix Your Drinks

By Robert C. Ruark [Syndicated column for October 2, 1955]

Palomas, Spain.—The drinking habits of a nation are an odd thing to contemplate and must reflect some sort of state of mind. Right now, America seems to be on a heavy vodka kick, possibly due to clever publicity, possibly due to world affairs. Vodka is reasonably mild, tasteless and odorless since it is only a grain alcohol and little else and is possibly less harmful to the system than other beverages. But unless the aim was to get stinking, I see no reason for it since you might as well be drinking needled water. They have kicked off vodka with a couple of lame excuses—the Moscow Mule and the Bloody Mary, both of which I find nauseous. Ginger beer and vodka in a copper mug make up the mule and the Mary is Worcestershire, pepper, salt, lemon and tomato juice with a stick of vodka inside. I will take my health food straight, thank you, without confusing it with tipple.

A permanent fiancée of mine, Ms. Inez Robb, was writing the other week about the horrors of commemorative cocktails, notably of the Atoms-for-Peace cocktail made of brandy, champagne and blue curacao—and I never hope to see one. Mrs. Robb did not take her dissertation on roast pigs far enough.

An Abomination.

The contrived cocktail is an abomination. Anybody who would drink an Alexander and still face his friends will eventually abscond with his mother’s egg money. The Manhattan is for people who sneak candy on the side. Even the Martini is a loathsome drink until it is rendered bone-dry, and then it is straight gin and not a cocktail at all.

The jack Roses and things with crème de menthe and champagne, confusing the healing powers of hones whisky, gin and brandy, are for people who lunch at restaurants that cater to ladies. Booze is not a confection. It should taste straight and honest and harsh to the unaccustomed tongue, thereby discouraging drunkenness among women and children.

Bosh on Mint Julep

It is heretical for a Southerner to say so, but I always scorned the Mint Julep as a perversion of decent bourbon or rye whisky and felt that the sugar or mint involved were injurious to the system, possibly leading to diabetes. As for the Old Fashioned, if I desire a fruit salad, I will order one and not confuse the issue with whisky. Cherries, hunks of pineapple, oranges and assorted grasses have a tendency to promote overacidity.

People that put whisky in coffee should be deprived of access to both and Stanley Delaplane, a San Francisco columnist, should hang his hung-over head in shame for starting the “Irish Coffee” fad that currently afflicts us.

If a man is thirsty, and likes Coke, perhaps the addition of a shot of rum will not harm the Coke and I accept the Cuba Libre but only one to a customer because too much Coke makes you fat. The Daiquiri, I believe, is not so much cocktail as highly seasoned ice, and if you like flavored ice, go ahead. You can buy the same thing on a stick from the man in the little white truck.

Not Ginger Ale

Gin when taken with tonic water is an admirable drink for weaklings and women and when taken with ginger ale—ugh! Gin is admirable when poured over ice, rescued, and sprayed with a thin film of vermouth form an atomizer.

It is a shame to desecrate sour-mash bourbon with much dilution but a little water is permissible. Scotch and brandy are on limits for soda if you care for carbonation but both marry much more happily to honest branch water.

The real drinking man still bites the neck of the bottle, tips her down chugalug and watches the hair grow on his chest as he touches the stratosphere without motors. These people never have liver trouble, a malady that is often fatal to people who drink eggnog because of the cream and eggs. Time, gentlemen, please.

[Transcribed by David Wondrich, 10/27/2010]