Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Rusty Nail

Joe lowers his bucket into the well of classic cocktails once again for the this week's Greatest Drink: The Rusty Nail.

The Recipe:
Into a glass of ice, add:

- A 4 count of Johnny Walker Black
- A 2 count of Drambuie

- Stir

- Garnish with a slice of lemon, (optional)

Joe the Bartender's Notes: The Rusty Nail is an old-time classic cocktail. It is believed to have been first mixed to make whisky more palatable to the "fairer sex." Although a lot of the "fairer sex" I come in contact with these days could easily swallow a quart of whisky with no problem.

I was initially going to write about the differences between Scotch Whisky, American Whiskey, Irish Whiskey, Rye and Malt, but this proved to be somewhat tedious. Rather, I will point out some whisky facts.

☞ Whisky derives its name from the Gaelic phrase, "uisge beatha ," meaning water of life.

Scotch is the whisky, a Scot is a person from Scotland.

☞ England stopped producing whisky in the late 19th century. (Why bother when your neighbors do such a good job?)

☞ Both whiskey and whisky are correct spellings. Scotland and England spell it whisky and most of the rest of the world spell it with an added 'e,' for some bizarre reason.

☞ In Latin America, when a photographer wants his subject to smile he says "whiskey", much as we might say "cheese."

☞ If you ever happen to be invited on a pheasant or grouse hunt by the palace in the U.K., take note that they advise you fill your Hip Flask with a suitable beverage.The palace recommends a Rusty Nail. Obviously the Royal Family believes in mixing hard liquor and guns. (This could explain a lot of our history).

As a tribute to the general elections in the U.K. this past week, I would like to share one of my favorite story's about a British politician.

George Brown, a labour politician in the sixties was also a noted alcoholic. During an elaborate reception for visiting Peruvian dignitaries it is said that Brown lumbered over to a tall, elegant vision in red, and requested the honour of the next dance. The response was "I will not dance with you for three reasons: The first is that you are drunk. The second is that the band is not playing a waltz, but the Peruvian national anthem. The final reason is that I am not a woman, but the Cardinal Archbishop of Lima."

This story has been denied many times, but it is a good one.

Chris's Notes: Those of you who have scanned the side bars and periphery of this page, (and not just read the recipes and compiled shopping lists!) may have noticed that this blog is enrolled in a couple of recipe sites comprised, almost exclusively, of food recipes. I have entered The Greatest Drink In The World... This Week on these sites because the focus of this blog, the foundation of it, is NOT alcohol, that’s just the medium. It is not “how many ways can I get stupid?” or “How to make bad decisions easier to deal with.”

The foundation of this blog is to create something new, just like with cooking, by mixing elements together to make a new and delicious taste sensation. THAT is why this blog was formed.

That being said, and the comparison to food recipes now firmly in place, the Rusty Nail is probably the closest drink that I have had so far to what I would call the liquid equivalent of “comfort food.”

Something about this cocktail is just so “Ahhhh,” (and/or "Mmmmm.") It tastes very close to the way a La-Z-Boy recliner, fuzzy slippers and a Sunday morning with no obligations feels.

Yeah, those Scots got it right with this one, even if they did misspell "whiskey."

(Token Only-barely-related video here: "Scotch.")

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