Today is Valentine’s Day. It’s a day for flowers, and candy, and cards; romance and quiet dinners, and maybe a nice tot of whisky at the end of the day to put a bit of a glow on things. But when you have a sweetie who doesn’t necessarily love the same whisky that you do, the evening drink can be a time for loving compromise. You might want one thing, they might want another…but you can usually compromise on something that both of you will enjoy.
I asked some of the Whisky Advocate crew how this would play out at their homes, and gave my own likely scenario as an example.
My Dram: Redbreast, because the fruit and the feel is a favorite.
Your Dram: Ardbeg 17, because that’s her bottle (she’s holding out on me, dammit!).
Our Dram: Parker’s Golden Anniversary, because even my peat-freak darling recognizes that this stuff is brilliant.
They got the idea, and here they are, just for fun. What happens at your home?
Davin de Kergommeaux
My Dram: Gibson’s 18; something elegant for Valentine’s Day
Your Dram: Black Velvet Toasted Caramel, a creamy sweet dessert whisky.
Our Dram: Forty Creek Heart of Gold, because we discovered it together at a whisky dinner.
My Dram: the recently reintroduced Wild Turkey Rye 101, as good as ever.
Your Dram: Maker’s Mark, because she loved the distillery tour.
Our Dram: High West Son of Bourye. Compromise: the secret to a good relationship (and a happy Valentine’s Day!).
My Dram: a nicely matured old Glenfarclas from the Family Casks series because I love the depth, the richness, the weight (and the price).
Your Dram: a Highland Park 40 year old because Orkney holds many happy memories (and because I’m buying).
Our Dram: a Glengoyne, any Glengoyne, because that’s the distillery we visited on our modest honeymoon, long before we knew the part whisky would play in both our lives! The whisky matters less than the memories for that particular dram.
My Dram: I’m planning to enjoy some 1970s-era Wild Turkey neat.
Your Dram: I’m fortunate to be married to a woman who loves, and I mean loves, bourbon. When we went to the hospital in December to deliver our first child, Jaclyn was wearing an Old Forester t-shirt. She’s keeping it light, but demands a “proper” whiskey sour, with Buffalo Trace, an egg white, and a dry shake over the rocks.
Our Dram: Booker’s, with a large ice cube. Booker’s doesn’t last long in our house.
Valentine’s Day calls for red stuff; roses in most places, blood on the garage floor here in Chicago. So…
My Dram: the very last drops from my bottle of Macallan Gran Reserva, which I’ve been husbanding for years. It’s the reddest thing ever put in a bottle without adding chemicals. You don’t have any, of course, because you don’t husband as well as I do, so you should just get the new 1824 Ruby Macallan.
Your Dram: The Steadfast Monica will go with her usual cocktail, which is as red as South Carolina on election night. Immortalized as The Steadfast some years ago in GQ, it’s a Sazeracish take on an Old Fashioned without the fruit. Here’s how: in a rocks glass, saturate a teaspoon of bar sugar with—yes, really—12 to 15 dashes of Peychaud Bitters and dissolve with a little water. Add a couple of ice cubes and fill with bourbon (usually Evan Williams black or Wild Turkey, because the Steadfast Monica has a soft spot for both Parker Beam and Jimmy Russell) and maybe another splash of water, depending on whether it’s a school night.
Our Dram: don’t tell anyone, but since this February is so cold dogs are exploding in the streets, I plan to pour us both a couple glasses of Phil Pritchard’s cranberry rum. It’s warming and tasty, and I understand it’s quite high in antioxidants.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all of us!