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  1. #1
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    Preventive Bourbon

    Many years ago I started the practice of sippin' some bourbon while eating my raw oysters. The presumption is that some nice strong bourbon in the stomach before, some sips during, and a nice splash after would help kill any of the bad stuff that MIGHT be on/in the oysters (like vibrio).

    Well..... on a past trip to China I where I was being served some raw seafood I was told by the locals to drink Baijiu (Chinese white liquor about 50% ABV) before, during and after. Who am I to argue with ancient Chinese tradition.

    Works for me. Anyone else use this method? I have heard that this is one of the reasons Japanese drink Saki with sushi/sashimi.

    BTW, I also use preventive bourbon for mental health on certain days.... ;-)

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Preventive Bourbon

    I have operated under the same logic myself but I'm not sure how sound it is. On the other hand, it couldn't hurt.

  3. #3
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    Re: Preventive Bourbon

    I'm not sure the alcohol would kill anything that your stomach acids wouldn't. But, I must agree it still sounds like a great strategy!

  4. #4
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    Re: Preventive Bourbon

    I'm pretty sure I have read about the protective nature of consuming alcohol with a meal. I don't think it works like a vacination of sorts, but it will offer a scant bit of protection.

    I remember a meal of fried turtle a few years back that may have went over better with some bourbon.


    NOBourbon, was the seafood you were served in China, saltwater species or freshwater? As a general rule, saltwater varieties are safer to eat raw than freshwater.

    When eating anything raw or questionable, I always avoid drinking to much (non-alcoholic beverages, anyhow). You don't want to raise the PH of your stomach by gulping water or ice tea, or so goes my reasoning....

  5. #5
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    Re: Preventive Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by ILLfarmboy View Post
    NOBourbon, was the seafood you were served in China, saltwater species or freshwater? As a general rule, saltwater varieties are safer to eat raw than freshwater.
    On my last trips to China all of the seafood is farm raised. I've mostly been around the Pearl River Delta, which is so polluted that I'm not sure I'd eat anything out of it. That's not to say the farm raised stuff is better. Some it it is just plain nasty.

    Quote Originally Posted by ILLfarmboy View Post
    When eating anything raw or questionable, I always avoid drinking to much (non-alcoholic beverages, anyhow). You don't want to raise the PH of your stomach by gulping water or ice tea, or so goes my reasoning....
    Excellent logic. And figures right into my post since I drink the bourbon neat (i.e. very little volume).

  6. #6
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    Re: Preventive Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg73 View Post
    I'm not sure the alcohol would kill anything that your stomach acids wouldn't. But, I must agree it still sounds like a great strategy!

    Alcohol is a poison, and has no basic or acidic (pH) value. Your stomach is a strong acid, and although it definitely tears things apart via a chemical reaction, it very well may not be able to kill some bacteria that alcohol could.

    Bacteria can't survive in 3 point beer. If you had a couple of shots of 40% bourbon, I'm not sure what the total percent of alcohol by volume would be in your stomach and how quickly the alcohol would get digested, but it would certainly be killing something.
    Quote Originally Posted by SMOWK View Post
    I like to save up the charred bits in the bottom of the unfiltered stuff. When I have enough, I pour milk on it and eat it.

  7. #7
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    Re: Preventive Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by ErichPryde View Post
    Bacteria can't survive in 3 point beer..
    Bacteria are only one danger. Parasites are often the things that can make you deathly sick.

    Though I probably shouldn't have because of the risk of trichinosis, I've eaten very rare bear. No, I don't mean an endangered species, I mean black and bleu or Pittsburgh rare, but I wouldn't be against eatin' the very last polar bear.
    Last edited by ILLfarmboy; 03-25-2010 at 14:20.

  8. #8
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    Re: Preventive Bourbon

    Sounds like you enjoyed bourbon-flavored oysters. Personally, I would think that bourbon would overpower their delicate flavor.

  9. #9
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    Re: Preventive Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by RamblinWreck007 View Post
    Sounds like you enjoyed bourbon-flavored oysters. Personally, I would think that bourbon would overpower their delicate flavor.
    I'm pretty sure the pound of raw horseradish and half bottle of tabasco I use overpowers their delicate flavor already. More reason to have bourbon next time!

  10. #10
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    Re: Preventive Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by RamblinWreck007 View Post
    Sounds like you enjoyed bourbon-flavored oysters. Personally, I would think that bourbon would overpower their delicate flavor.
    If you've ever pulled a sack of oysters from the frigid Louisiana bayous in high salinity season you'd know that after the first dozen you would have achieved zen with the ocean. The taste of the briny sea and delicate flesh of the plump oyster would be far more pronounced than the last sip of bourbon (oh, the sacrilege on a bourbon site).

    By the time you reached your third dozen you, the oysters and bourbon would be one, in harmony, expressing the ultimate feng shui.

 

 

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