What are you drinking right now?
I hope nothing since it’s Monday morning and you have a job, one where you obsequiously respect the wishes from corporate to stay sober throughout the day. Called being responsible. But when you get home—after a frustratingly difficult day of no one talking to you on Gchat—what will you pour?
Rum? I’m sorry, do you live on a pirate ship? Beer? How disarmingly everyman of you. Vodka? Is the One Direction concert tonight? Tequila or gin? You have a serious alcohol problem.
Here’s the deal. You’re drinking the wrong thing. Because you are a man, and your drink needs to be whiskey.
It’s the most perfect and versatile drink ever invented. Received good news? Have a nice big glass of whiskey. Life got you down? Have a nice big glass of whiskey? Everything still the same? So is this nice big glass of whiskey.
Can’t say that about champagne.
So what’s that? You don’t like it? I’m not mad. But you don’t understand. Whiskey is like a sexual fetish. Once you try it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
You think it’s gross? You said that the first time you tried beer. Look, let’s cut this bullshit. Here’s how to love whiskey in four simple steps.
1. Go to the liquor store and buy a 24-pack of airplane-sized bottles.
2. Chug one tonight.
3. Chug one tomorrow.
4. Repeat 22 more times.
Congratulations! You are now an aficionado. Isn’t it delicious? Are there some rules about drinking it on the regular? Funny you should ask that halfway through a column about the rules of drinking whiskey. Patience.
Stay cheap: You don’t need to spend more than $40 on a bottle of whiskey. Yes. There are delectable top-notch ones. But that ain’t what this is about. Whiskey was made on the frontier to drinking in saloons. If you travelled back in time to 1840, you think men would be impressed with your $125 bottle of WhistlePig? No. They’d shoot you as soon as they saw you to steal your fancy dungarees. Because people back then were poor.
Stay loyal: This isn’t beer. You aren’t here to test out varying hop boils and fermentation systems. No. You are here because life sucks. And the same way people get married to come home every day to something they know and love, you want a reliable brown liquor. I’ve been drinking Bulleit now for five years. So try a few until you find one you like and stick with it until you die.
And it better not be Maker’s Mark: Bottles are supposed to be round, you fuckers. A square bottle? That doesn’t even make sense.
What’s all this I’m hearing about rye?: I don’t know. What are you hearing? That’s it’s a different way to make whiskey, perhaps a slightly more artisanal style using rye instead of corn? And it’s typically a little stronger? Is that what you are hearing? Then that’s probably what you’re hearing.
Don’t put anything in it: Whiskey is taken one of two ways. Neat or over ice. Those are your options. Soda? You belong in Guantanamo more than any terrorists. There is one exception to this rule and that is lemon zest. A massive twist of lemon peel in a glass of whiskey is a wonderful thing. Like a cherry Starburst big enough to have sex with.
If you take it with ice, make sure the cubes are huge: This is not a dissertation on how watered down whiskey is terrible. I love when my ice melts and my whiskey is all watery. That’s good gulping right there. What I’m saying is tiny cubes look lame. You want the kind of ice cubes you think the president would use. Do they look that big? Good. Find bigger ones.
And get some good glasses: You can’t drink whiskey out of a pint glass or a Solo cup. That’s bastardization. A decent set cost $20. You can afford it.
Do it alone: Whiskey ain’t socializin’ liquor. It’s contemplatin’ liquor. Once you start drinking it alone, you’ll never go back. It’s always the best part of my day. God I hate people.
And when you’re making a drink?: Pour more than you think you want. Or need. Because you’ll want and need all of it. And then pour another. Never stop at one when having whiskey. Because you’re a fucking man, drinking his whiskey. Look at you.