MY RECIPE FOR A BOURBON AND WATER ON THE ROCKS:
It was the perfect bar for my needs, dark and cool on a relentlessly sunny and cheerful day. After spending the better part of the day trying to get an Art Director to understand that there is no magical “create illustration” button on the computer I was in serious need of a drink.
The dark wood of the bar and liquor shelves really accented the bottles of bourbon that were calling to me. There was no TV blaring, only some Tom Waits growling out of a hidden speaker, so it was easy to get the bartender’s attention. I asked for a Knob Creek and water on the rocks as I slid a twenty across the bar. It’s always been my contention that, if you drink good liquor, you don’t need to add any damn mixers, which, like condiments on a sandwich, are used to hide crappy ingredients.
Now, I don’t know if my silent barkeep was always this psychic but he knew exactly how to make my drink. He cracked the wax on a fresh bottle of bourbon, which kept me from wondering how long it had been sitting on the shelf, and reached for a heavy crystal rocks glass. The kind of rocks glass that’s hard to find in these days of foofoo theme bars. A rocks glass that was solid enough to dent the floor without shattering if you should drop it and heavy enough to remind you of the gravity of what you were doing and that your mother wouldn’t approve.
Next, he retrieved ice from a small freezer behind the bar and not from the usual tub of melting slop. Even from where I sat I could tell that this was special ice reserved for folks who took their drinking seriously. Clearly, this ice was made from morning dew that collected in the butt-dimples of Beyonce’s ass. Not the kind of thing you use willy-nilly in some kind of umbrella drink.
This bartender knew how to keep his customers happy and so didn’t use a measuring spout on the new bottle of bourbon but just eyeballed what I would call a very generous pour and what some would call a DUI invitation.
The caramel-colored liquor fairly glowed as it embraced and caressed the ice and, as he gently slid my attitude adjuster across the bar to me, my bartender-savior gently uttered the word “water”