Twain, Shake, and Stir; National Scotch Day

rye cocktail

Does the froth on top of this rye cocktail bother some folk? I didn’t stir it — I shook it.

I hope we can agree that people should eat and drink what they like. I actually enjoy learning better ways of doing things from all y’all — that’s why I’m here. Nobody is ever too old or experienced to know everything, least of all me. But I have a particular distaste for people telling me I’m “doing it wrong” when they know less than I do or — even worse — simply assume they know more (which isn’t quite same thing).

Yes, I sometimes shake drinks that “rules” admonish not to. I’ve thought through my reasons and am happy to discuss and disagree and argue about them. I’ve been convinced to change my ways many times. I’ve also done some convincing. But I’m utterly unmoved when told “because you’re not supposed to” or that simply that some authority said not to or — ugh — some *famous* authority said not to. That just makes me spend more time on critical thinking skills with my students.

As a neighbor once said “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform [pause and reflect]” Mark Twain, 1904 (he is quoted both ways)

This is the same man who asked his beloved wife Olivia to ready for his homecoming “a bottle of Scotch whisky, a lemon, some crushed sugar, & a bottle of Angostura bitters. Ever since I have been in London I have taken in a wine glass what is called a cock-tail (made with these ingredients) before breakfast, before dinner and before going to bed… To it I attribute the fact that up to this day my digestion has been wonderful – simply perfect.” (1874)

He then describes how he can’t wait to see her, make out, have a drink, and get busy.

If anyone wants to appeal to authority, I choose Twain & beg off joining the majority. Everyone stirs? That’s nice. But without a reason to change what I’ve determined works well with my ice, technique, & spirits, I’m content.

Now excuse me while I go mix spiced rum with cream soda for #nationalscotchday

Someone just showed that to me and it’s really good.

(Nota Bene: The actual Benedictine & rye drink in the photo – has citrus so IS “supposed to be” shaken.)