Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Whisk e(?)y

Some facts about the brown stuff:

1. The "w" word comes from the Celtic word meaning "water of life".
2. Water of life is uisgebeatha(sounds like whiskeybaugh) in Irish, "whiskey".
3. Water of life is uisgebaugh in Scottish, "whisky".
4. Both countries have peat bogs and use peat for fuel, but the Scottish use it in Scotch.
5. Whisky is smokey.
6. Whiskey is malty.
7. They are both mostly blended.
8. Both countries mostly agree either liquid should be drunk straight, with water, or with soda.
9. If it's made in the USA by an ATF directive it was to be "whisky" as the official U.S. spelling. However, in the USA it is spelled with a "y" if it has Scottish lineage or and "ey" if Irish.
9 & 1/2. Pluralsof the words are "whiskies" and "whiskeys"
10. Canada, Japan, and Wales also like the "y".
11. In many Latin-American countries, "whiskey" is used as a photographer's way to get you to smile, instead of "cheese".
12. Both are combined to make the 69th Regiment Punch, a pre- Spanish-American war cocktail. Presumably drunk in mass, by people with backgrounds from both countries, helping our country win a war.

69th Regiment Punch
from Jerry Thomas' The Bon Vivant's Companion 1862

1/2 wine glass Irish Whiskey
1/2 wine glass of Scotch Whisky
a piece of lemon
2 wine glasses of hot water

made in an earthen mug

Please don't drink anything green next week.

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