A Little Scotch Makes My Day

Scotch puts the zing in my life.

It all started on Thanksgiving Day when I was a senior in high school — on my way to college the following year. Aunt Rose gathered the whole family at her house, and she was serving drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

She asked me if I wanted a drink. What a surprise! I said yes to rye and ginger ale, and she said,” No; you’ll have scotch and water.” Scotch is a much better drink for you at college. You will never have a hangover, and it is very pure.

My father was a scotch drinker from the scotch and soda days, so I knew it would be OK. And, as I have an exotic palette, I tried it and immediately loved the taste. I know people who think scotch tastes like having a hot barbecue in your mouth. I’m not one of them.

Of course, there was no way that Aunt Rose knew of my habit of drinking Boilermakers at college, a combination of scotch and beer that can make you very drunk.

I began to notice the scotch delivered a great taste, a slightly fuzzy head, and also a certain panache that put me ahead of the crowd. It was a man’s drink, but I became unique by drinking it and being a girl. It was a delicious way to elevate my social position.

After I graduated, my cousin and I went on a holiday to a resort in Maine. One of the other guests dared me to drink a glass of scotch. How could I turn him down? My reputation was in question. So, I drank all that scotch, and later that night, spent several hours with my head resting on the toilet seat, so as I threw up, over and over, I was near to a depository for my gut contents, which were rapidly leaving my body. Aunt Rose was correct; the following day, I was free of any hangover, however.

I continued drinking scotch but vowed never to overdo it again. And I haven’t.

Any guy I met went up a notch in my estimation if he was a scotch drinker. When I met my first husband, the doctor, he told me that his medical school was known for its academics and professional scotch drinkers as its students. I was impressed. However, he turned out badly as an alcoholic who became a mean drunk — not a rollicking fun-loving tipsy sort. I continued drinking but in moderation.

I was introduced to single malt scotch as time went on. Drinking and being knowledgeable about single malt scotch launched me to a snobbier social stratum. Plain old Dewer’s gave me a boost; single malts made me into a cognoscente, a person who understands the true meaning of something.

I was lucky enough to go to Scotland to visit distilleries, where I increased my knowledge of the history of scotch making and did lots of tastings. In addition to creating excellent whisky, Scotland has gorgeous areas of lush green valleys and hillsides, as well as fabulous food. The people were warm and friendly, even though I couldn't understand one word they said.

Now, going on ninety, I still drink one portion every day, never more. On certain days I may be tempted to have another, but I resist. My cardiologist thinks it has a nice medicinal effect and wants me to continue the practice. I have every intention of following his advice.

Ninety be damned, scotch is my youth serum.

In May 2021, I celebrated my 89th B’day, and have been writing a blog each week for the past year. I learned more about myself than I expected. What a journey!