Every day a different drink. Not just how to make them, but a detailed review of how they actually taste, photos of the drinks, and stories along the way. Starting from the beginning, The Bartender's Black Book will be our guide, taking us

(and our livers) on a journey from which we may never recover. Cheers!

January 1, 2011

#1 - A Bat and a Ball

A shot of American whiskey.
A draft or bottle of beer.

Whiskey and beer. What could be easier, or more American? The guide calls for an American beer, but since I brew my own, I picked a darkened wittbier I had made for the holidays, nicknamed "Superfly". I picked it from my stash for its relatively low alcohol content (4.6%), trying to mimic a typical American beer. Poured the shot, and then carefully poured the beer into a nice pint glass.

For the whiskey I used Jim Beam, which is labeled as a Bourbon Whiskey. So what is what here? Well, whiskey is a liquor distilled from a cereal grain, such as wheat, rye, or corn. Bourbon is specifically made from corn, and only made in America, originally from Bourbon County, Kentucky. It is usually aged 4 or more years, and most are made in the 120-160 proof range and then diluted with water to achieve a lower proof. So Jim Beam is blended bourbon and whiskey. Probably as neutral a whiskey as it gets.

I downed the shot of whiskey, and chased it with the beer. The whiskey had a mild bite which I liked, and the beer followed easily. I felt like an ironworker from Pittsburg at 5.

The combination is not my favorite. The smoothness of the whiskey was harsher by the bitterness and carbonation of the beer, but I can see why this became the quintessential blue collar drink. Easy to make and serve, and it can make you forget any backbreaking labor you may have done during the day if you have a few. The shots of whiskey could get intense, but drinking a beer between each one spreads them out. Theoretically.

You could get seriously messed up on this after a few. I think you have to build up a tolerance to the mix of straight whiskey and then beer, which I imagine many serious drinkers would be able to do quite easily. For me, by the time I finished my beer, the mix had gone straight to my head. That's some strong stuff.

Drink this if you are at a blue collar bar, in the Midwest, just finished your shift at the plant, want to get seriously smashed in a slow manly way,  or any combination of the above.

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