Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cocktails: Words of Wisdom

With apologies to Ethan Iverson and his recently christened cocktail the Ross Thomas.

Plain water, on the other hand, merely dilutes. It takes away and gives nothing in return. You wouldn’t think of pouring water in your milk or your ginger ale or your Coca-Cola, would you? Then, in heaven’s name, why think of pouring it in your bourbon or your Scotch? A watered drink is always necessarily a flat drink, a lifeless drink, an insipid drink. If you don’t like carbonated beverages (though it is hard to imagine anyone not liking them), don’t drink them; but don’t pour water in your whisky and call it a Highball. Drink the whisky straight and use the water as a chaser. Or take a claret or some other still wine, or a lemonade, or a glass of milk, or a cup of coffee – or even a glass of plain water. And, if you simply must use still water in your whisky or other liquor, use hot water, add a dash of soap flakes, and throw it down the drain, where dishwater belongs. Then dry your glass and pray for forgiveness for the sin of wasting good liquor.

David A. Embury, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (1948)

Elsewhere: The Wrong Marlowe

The Name of the Game is Death is one hell of a book. But author Dan J. Marlowe’s story is even more amazing.