Arcane Fire

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A Vote for Whiskey

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You know, I’ve always wanted to be one of those cool girls at the bar who orders a glass of whiskey on the rocks, sips it slowly, without wincing, and makes everyone around her holding their paltry gin and tonics and vodka sodas look like a wimp.  But I’m not one of those girls.  Instead, I’m that person who orders laphroaig at a bar, asks for two glasses of water, and then gives my expensive glass of whiskey away because I can’t take the peat.  This needs to change.  And apparently, my coworker, Matt, couldn’t agree more.  He writes:

Switch to straight whiskey.

Drunkenness is a fleeting feeling dictated by a certain set of ongoing metabolic processes, right? So being pleasantly drunk is all about achieving the right balance and timing with respect to your alcohol intake in order to maximize the time that you spend in the “zone” of warm, fuzzy feelings and general good will for all mankind, without slipping back out the bottom into reality, or worse yet, going all the way into “hysterial weeping drunk chick vomiting into her purse” (see figure below). Straight whiskey (specifically, for the purposes of this advice, bourbon and rye) is the best means to achieve this end, for a variety of reasons. 

First, an illustration:

                                      SPECTRUM OF DRUNKENNESS FOR AVERAGE ADULT FEMALE

0 drinks per hour    1 drinks per hour     2-3 drinks per hour      3-5 drinks per hour           5-8 drinks per hour                   8-14 drinks per hour
STONE SOBER            TIPSY   THE ZONE                   JACKASS   MAKING OUT WITH OLD MAN       DEAD/PREGNANT

For starters, let’s consider what whiskey isn’t: it’s not easy to drink fast. Thus, unlike virtually any mixed drink (gin and tonic, mojito, margarita, etc.), you can’t just slurp it down. This is important for the obvious reason that it prevents you from accidentally getting things going too fast (especially early in the evening), resulting in your reaching the “making out with old man” phase before the sun has even set. Instead, whiskey will punish you for drinking it too quickly. This is a hugely important limitation that instantly lessens your likelihood of ending up on the wrong side of the above spectrum.

This leads me to my second point: whiskey, if you nurse it slowly, drawing the liquid into your mouth and rolling it over your tongues before gently swallowing each tiny sip, will reward your careful drinking with a panoply of flavors and sensations that you cannot find in any other alcohol. It’s genuinely wonderful stuff. By switching to straight whiskey, you develop a connoisseurship that will give drinking a greater significance than merely “the process by which I develop the courage to grope strangers.” This, again, plays in to your ability to keep yourself comfortably in The Zone, both because it slows your drinking down and because it keeps you much more aware of every effect the liquor has on your body, both taste-wise and intoxification-wise.

Finally, my third point: in spite of the above, whiskey is powerful shit and will get you pretty damned happy pretty quickly. The beauty of whiskey is that just two or three glasses over the span of 60 minutes, drunk nice and slowly, will have you singing sea chanties, armwrestling, and loudly telling ribald tales of past exploits all night long. So, for all of its inherent “slowing things down” qualities, it’ll still easily put you right in The Zone with minimal consumption.

There are other ancillary benefits as well: drinking a glass of brown liquor with no ice in it makes you look like a cowboy; it’s way more sanitary (no part of your actual drink has been touched by filthy bartender hands); it has way less calories/volume than other drinks, and thus won’t fill you up; because of the way it’s served, it’s unlikely to sweat or spill.

So that’s my advice: start drinking straight whiskey.

Matt

Photo: Gourmet

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Written by doorr

August 4, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Posted in Humor

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