Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks for Irish Whiskey

I'll tell you one thing that Margo Channing wouldn't do. She wouldn't have wimped out on the Chatham Artillery Punch. Yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, was the day to haul out the Chatham Punch. The recipe, 175 years young, called for an additional bottle of champagne upon serving. I ended up adding a half-bottle. After all, the concotion was 50% alcohol already!

The consensus was that the punch smelled alcoholly but tasted a lot better than it smelled. Quite a resounding endorsement.

Working on a freelance gift guide, I had writer's block on the Scotch.

I'm not much of a Scotch drinker. I can't think of another beverage for which to be called medicinal is a good thing. I hesitate to go into an arena that encourages such fanaticism. You could drink the scotch with the longest, most unpronounceable name. Or you can drink Oban. It falls right in the middle between dry, peaty, smoky Scotch and the sweeter, milder sort. It comes from a tiny distillery in a tiny town so it's a little pricey, around $55 a bottle, but it's pronounceable.

As for the Irish, Jameson's is not a sipping whiskey no matter what any Irishman might tell you in Woodlawn. Powers is better (and cheaper), and Black Bush is better still. But I know from experience, that ordering a Black Bush at a bar leaves you open to all kinds of unwelcome ribaldry.

Uisce beatha - the water of life. Powers because who's having a Scotch coffee at the end of a big meal?

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