Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    651

    Interesting ramblings about bourbon and life

    I wouldn't do this again (probably), but in honor of Gary, instead of a link I'm posting the whole damn thing.

    an exerpt from "Bourbon by Percy Walker"

    Bourbon does for me what the piece of cake did for Proust.

    1926: As a child watching my father in Birmingham, in the exurbs, living
    next to a number-6 fairway of the New Country Club, him disdaining both
    the bathtub gin and white lightening of the time, aging his own Bourbon in
    a charcoal keg, on his hands and knees in the basement sucking on the
    siphon, a matter of gravity requiring cheek pressed against the concrete
    floor, the siphon getting going, the decanter ready, the first hot spurt
    into his mouth not spat out.

    1933: My uncle's sun parlour in the Mississippi Delta and toddies on a
    Sunday afternoon, the prolonged and meditative tinkle of silver spoon
    against crystal to dissolve the sugar; talk, tinkle, talk; the talk mostly
    political: "Roosevelt is doing a good job; no, the son of a bitch is
    betraying his class."

    1934: Drinking at a Delta dance, the boys in bi-swing jackets and tab
    collars, tough-talking and profane and also scared of the girls and
    therefore safe in the men's room. Somebody passes around bootleg Bourbon
    in a Coke bottle. It's awful. Tears start from eyes, faces turn red.
    'Hot damn, that's good!'

    1935: Drinking at a football game in college. UNC versus Duke. One has a
    blind date. One is lucky. She is beautiful. Her clothes are the color of
    the fall leaves and her face turns up like a flower. But what to SAY to
    her, let alone what to do, and whether she is 'nice' or 'hot' -- a
    distinction made in those days. But what to SAY? Take a drink, by now
    from a proper concave hip flask (a long way from the Delta Coke bottle)
    with a hinged top. Will she have a drink? No. But that's all right. The
    taste of the Bourbon (Cream of Kentucky) and the smell of her fuse with
    the brilliant Carolina fall and the sounds of the crowd and the hit of the
    linesmen in a single synesthesia.

    1941: Drinking mint juleps, famed Southern Bourbon drink, though in the
    Deep South not really drunk much. In fact, they are drunk so seldom that
    when, say, on Derby Day somebody gives a julep party, people drink them
    like cocktails, forgetting that a good julep holds at least five ounces of
    Bourbon. Men fall face-down unconscious, women wander in the woods
    disconsolate and amnesiac, full of thoughts of Kahil Gibran and the
    limberlost.

    Would you believe the first mind julep I had I was sitting not on a columned
    porth but in the Boo Snooker bar of the New Yorker Hotel with a Bellevue
    nurse in 1941? The nurse, a nice upstate girl, head floor nurse, brisk,
    swift, good-looking; Bellevue nurses, the best in the world and this one
    the best of Bellevue, at least the best-looking. The julep, an atrocity,
    a heavy syrupy Bourbon and water in a small glass clotted with ice. But
    good!

    How could two women be more different than the beautiful languid Carolina
    girl and this swift handsome girl from Utica, best Dutch stock? One thing
    was sure. Each has to be courted, loved, drunk with, with Bourbon. I
    should have stuck with the Bourbon. We changed to gin fizzes because the
    bartender said he came from New Orleans and could make good ones. He could
    and did.

    They were delicious. What I didn't know was that they were made with raw
    egg albumen and I was allergic to it. What a lovely fine strapping smart
    girl!

    And thinking of being invited into her apartment where she lived alone and
    of her offering to cook a little supper and of the many kisses and the
    sweet love that already existed between us and was bound to grow apace,
    when on the Brooklyn Bridge itself my upper lip began to swell and little
    sparks of light flew past the corner of my eye like St. Elmo's fire. In
    the space of thirty seconds my lip stuck out a full three-quarter inch,
    like a shelf, like Mortimer Snerd. Not only was kissing out of the question
    but my eyes swelled shut. I made it across the bridge, pulled over to the
    curb, and fainted. Whereupon this noble nurse drove me back to Bellevue,
    game me a shot, and put me to bed.

    Anybody who monkeys around with gin and egg white deserves what he gets.
    I should have stuck with Bourbon and have from that day to this.

    POSTSCRIPT: Reader, just in case you don't want to knock it back straight
    and would rather monkey around with perfectly good Bourbon, here's my
    favorite recipe, "Cud'n Walker's Uncle Will's Favorite Mint Julep Receipt."

    You need excellent Bourbon whiskey; rye or Scotch will not do. Put half
    an inch of sugar in the bottom of the glass and merely dampen it with water.
    Next, very quickly--and here is the trick in the procedure--cruch your
    ice, actually powder it, preferably with a wooden mallet, so quickly that
    it remains dry, and, slipping two sprigs of fresh mint against the inside
    of the glass, cram the ice in right to the brim, packing it with your hand.
    Finally, fill the glass, which apparently has no room left for anything
    else, with Bourbon, the older the better, and grate a bit of nutmeg on the
    top. The glass will frost immediately. Then settle back in your chair
    for half an hour of cumulative bliss."
    Mark/Nebraska


    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take... but by the moments that take your breath away. 11/25/2004

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,051
    Thanks Mark. Of Walker Percy one truly could say, he was a bourbonian ahead of his time. With Bernard De Voto, H.L. Mencken, Gerald Carson, Frederic Martin, Michael Jackson, Jim Butler and a few others he blazed the path towards recognition of bourbon as a world class spirit worthy of connoisseur and socio-historical interest.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 10-20-2006 at 04:37.

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,051
    I take this opportunity to note that Walker was not a partisan of the speed-drinking method of consuming Mint Juleps.

    Gary

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman
    I take this opportunity to note that Walker was not a partisan of the speed-drinking method of consuming Mint Juleps.

    Gary
    Take that, Chuck!
    Tim

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Kentucky!
    Posts
    4,749
    Quote Originally Posted by TNbourbon
    Take that, Chuck!
    LOL.

    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

    I'm no Pappyophile

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,563
    Well, take this, fellows. The gentleman's name is Walker Percy, not Percy Walker.

    He also put nutmeg in it. He is nothing if not idiosyncratic.

    I've always loved that essay, especially the first line.

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,051
    Thanks for the correction and I've amended my post since it is just a technical mistake. In stating that Walker Percy was a slow sipper, I did have in mind the Cowderian view that juleps should be consumed quickly. I might point out though that my comment was intended to show Percy's disagreement, not my own. I incline to Chuck's view. In fact (and I have said this before here) I like to drink whiskey in any form fast. I find I "taste" it better that way. I like to have one or two fast drinks - then I stop (usually ).

    Gary

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    651
    There ya go...fixed

    I found the grit and grist of real life in this appealing. Remembering chronologically events surrounding bourbon and savory parts of his past.

    Mark/Nebraska



    I wouldn't do this again (I did), but in honor of Gary, instead of a link I'm posting the whole damn thing.

    an excerpt from "Bourbon by Walker Percy"

    Bourbon does for me what the piece of cake did for Proust.

    1926: As a child watching my father in Birmingham, in the exurbs, living
    next to a number-6 fairway of the New Country Club, him disdaining both
    the bathtub gin and white lightening of the time, aging his own Bourbon in
    a charcoal keg, on his hands and knees in the basement sucking on the
    siphon, a matter of gravity requiring cheek pressed against the concrete
    floor, the siphon getting going, the decanter ready, the first hot spurt
    into his mouth not spat out.

    1933: My uncle's sun parlour in the Mississippi Delta and toddies on a
    Sunday afternoon, the prolonged and meditative tinkle of silver spoon
    against crystal to dissolve the sugar; talk, tinkle, talk; the talk mostly
    political: "Roosevelt is doing a good job; no, the son of a bitch is
    betraying his class."

    1934: Drinking at a Delta dance, the boys in bi-swing jackets and tab
    collars, tough-talking and profane and also scared of the girls and
    therefore safe in the men's room. Somebody passes around bootleg Bourbon
    in a Coke bottle. It's awful. Tears start from eyes, faces turn red.
    'Hot damn, that's good!'

    1935: Drinking at a football game in college. UNC versus Duke. One has a
    blind date. One is lucky. She is beautiful. Her clothes are the color of
    the fall leaves and her face turns up like a flower. But what to SAY to
    her, let alone what to do, and whether she is 'nice' or 'hot' -- a
    distinction made in those days. But what to SAY? Take a drink, by now
    from a proper concave hip flask (a long way from the Delta Coke bottle)
    with a hinged top. Will she have a drink? No. But that's all right. The
    taste of the Bourbon (Cream of Kentucky) and the smell of her fuse with
    the brilliant Carolina fall and the sounds of the crowd and the hit of the
    linesmen in a single synesthesia.

    1941: Drinking mint juleps, famed Southern Bourbon drink, though in the
    Deep South not really drunk much. In fact, they are drunk so seldom that
    when, say, on Derby Day somebody gives a julep party, people drink them
    like cocktails, forgetting that a good julep holds at least five ounces of
    Bourbon. Men fall face-down unconscious, women wander in the woods
    disconsolate and amnesiac, full of thoughts of Kahil Gibran and the
    limberlost.

    Would you believe the first mind julep I had I was sitting not on a columned
    porth but in the Boo Snooker bar of the New Yorker Hotel with a Bellevue
    nurse in 1941? The nurse, a nice upstate girl, head floor nurse, brisk,
    swift, good-looking; Bellevue nurses, the best in the world and this one
    the best of Bellevue, at least the best-looking. The julep, an atrocity,
    a heavy syrupy Bourbon and water in a small glass clotted with ice. But
    good!

    How could two women be more different than the beautiful languid Carolina
    girl and this swift handsome girl from Utica, best Dutch stock? One thing
    was sure. Each has to be courted, loved, drunk with, with Bourbon. I
    should have stuck with the Bourbon. We changed to gin fizzes because the
    bartender said he came from New Orleans and could make good ones. He could
    and did.

    They were delicious. What I didn't know was that they were made with raw
    egg albumen and I was allergic to it. What a lovely fine strapping smart
    girl!

    And thinking of being invited into her apartment where she lived alone and
    of her offering to cook a little supper and of the many kisses and the
    sweet love that already existed between us and was bound to grow apace,
    when on the Brooklyn Bridge itself my upper lip began to swell and little
    sparks of light flew past the corner of my eye like St. Elmo's fire. In
    the space of thirty seconds my lip stuck out a full three-quarter inch,
    like a shelf, like Mortimer Snerd. Not only was kissing out of the question
    but my eyes swelled shut. I made it across the bridge, pulled over to the
    curb, and fainted. Whereupon this noble nurse drove me back to Bellevue,
    game me a shot, and put me to bed.

    Anybody who monkeys around with gin and egg white deserves what he gets.
    I should have stuck with Bourbon and have from that day to this.

    POSTSCRIPT: Reader, just in case you don't want to knock it back straight
    and would rather monkey around with perfectly good Bourbon, here's my
    favorite recipe, "Cud'n Walker's Uncle Will's Favorite Mint Julep Receipt."

    You need excellent Bourbon whiskey; rye or Scotch will not do. Put half
    an inch of sugar in the bottom of the glass and merely dampen it with water.
    Next, very quickly--and here is the trick in the procedure--cruch your
    ice, actually powder it, preferably with a wooden mallet, so quickly that
    it remains dry, and, slipping two sprigs of fresh mint against the inside
    of the glass, cram the ice in right to the brim, packing it with your hand.
    Finally, fill the glass, which apparently has no room left for anything
    else, with Bourbon, the older the better, and grate a bit of nutmeg on the
    top. The glass will frost immediately. Then settle back in your chair
    for half an hour of cumulative bliss."
    Mark/Nebraska


    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take... but by the moments that take your breath away. 11/25/2004

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Shelf Life?
    By T47 in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 01-02-2006, 19:26
  2. Shelf life??
    By rosiebeep in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 03-20-2005, 06:46

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top