“Whiskey… It’ll put hair on your chest.” These were actual words spoken to me as a child by my grandfather. He’s a real man’s man. Sport fanatic, theatre-goer, and a flirt with the ladies. He taught me how to drink whiskey. He saved me from the mistakes a newbie makes when first stepping into the luscious land of the malted liquors.
See, when I first started trying whiskey, I would order a Jim Bean and ginger ale. Thinking about that now kind of makes my stomach turn but that could be the hangover I have. From there, I started just taking the Jim Bean without the ginger ale. On the rocks, as it were. Man, was I silly. Jim Bean is not a good whiskey. It’s a starter whiskey for sure and a cheap one. I moved to Jack Daniels and then Johnny Walker.
It was in my Johnny Walker phase that I decided I should maybe try some scotch. Real Whiskey. My friends and I jumped right into the deep end one night at a nice bar and got some Laphroaig. If you know anything about scotches, that is a heavy, peaty, and smokey scotch. Not for beginners. I eventually discovered Speyside scotches and fell in love with the sweetness of them.
I was visiting my grandfather in Arizona one spring and found an old bottle of whiskey in his liquor cabinet. I poured us a glass and was about to place an ice cube or two in when he quickly shouted across the room “DO NOT PUT ICE IN WHISKEY!” What he meant was that you can’t control how the ice melts so you end up diluting your drink too much. You’ll have to drink it quickly so that doesn’t happen but whiskey is meant to be sipped and savored over a long period of time. It’s a true act of patience. He instructed me to add a bit of water to the glass to open up the flavor.
You can control how much water you add and how it opens up the flavor. Test is out for yourself. See how much water you like to add. Don’t add too much or you might as well have a glass of flavored water. It really does work. If you want to be really fancy add spring water and savor that baby in a big comfy chair with good friends and maybe a cigar. I did that once. We spang for a nice expensive bottle of Macallan 18. I felt like an oil tycoon from the 1890s. What’s your whiskey of choice? Share in the comments below.