Saturday, September 27, 2008

Speaking of Bourbon

This is supposedly the whiskiest non-whisky-producing country in the Americas. And it's supposedly right up there with Spain and a couple other European hot spots among the top whisky drinking nations on our planet. And when you go to a bar and ask for a Manhattan, the waiter will look at you like you just ordered Paris. If you happen to find a bartender who has heard of a Manhattan you still won't get one. Not for lack of Angostura bitters, which is made in nearby Trinidad and named for the site of today's Puerto Ordaz Ciudad Bolivar. Not for lack of a maraschino cherry nor for shortage of sweet vermouth. It's a lack of bourbon.


How can a country that sends 1.4 million barrels a day of oil to the southeastern U.S. and Virgin Islands not receive in return a single bottle of Old Crow? How is it that Jack Daniels sells for 180 Bs ($70) a bottle? There is something very odd going on.

It wouldn't be a problem if you could just grab a nice bottle of Islay single-malt scotch and forget about it. But that's just as tough. It's Something Special, Johnny Walker, and a host of other not-quite-gourmet scotches that make everybody go pitter patter.

The good news: I've become a connoisseur of juice! The raspberries of the Andes are literally something to write home about. Must drink more jugo de mora. Nispera is cool. 3-in-1, beet carrot orange, is tasty. And passion fruit pulp should always have a home in the fridge. Cocktail recipes involving these new friends will follow someday.


Bina said...

Actually, Angostura is named for what is now Ciudad Bolívar. It's at the narrows of the Orinoco River.

Sorry if this sounds anal, but it's worth noting, I think!

Anonymous said...

I tried that mountain raspberry "juice" the other day (it was thick). It's sour but really great in flavor.

Hedgehog said...

Thanks Bina. I am easily confused.