Serving Whiskey Straight Up

“Whiskey, straight up” is an iconic tradition representing the boldness and machismo of men and the grit and daringof women. There has always been a clearly recognizable point in any circumstance that does not lend itself to dawdling or diluting the pure stuff with ice, water, or mixers. Whiskey glasses were meant for nothing more.Whether you identify more with the cowboy who is about to win the draw or the overwrought tycoon taking courage to face life’s woes, there is something comforting and familiar in taking a drink in its most pure, unadulterated form.

Serving Whiskey Straight Up

Some Just Can’t Take It

Those of persnickety palate or questionable constitution may balk. However, plain whiskey has always pleased the faithful few. In return, they have paid homage by raising their whiskey glasses in no other way. Don’t be cowed by people who disapprove—you’re not the type who is likely to be intimidated in any case. Simply carry on; your simple tastes suit you well.

A Matter of Taste

Straight whiskey is a quintessentially classic drink, and contends only with red wine in sophistication. Although simple, it need never lack class. A substantial, though unpretentious whiskey decanter with a set of whiskey glasses, sufficient in number for the assembled company, are all the adornment it wants, and on these terms, may be served anywhere—from a one room tumble down seaside tavern to a gleaming marble bar in a great house. Anything further amounts to frilliness—frilliness and whiskey, straight up are mutually exclusive.

A Time and a Place

The correct time and place to enjoy straight whiskey is easy to determine. Whether at home or in public among friends, distractions should be limited. There is little enjoyment in finishing a drink while trying to scare up a sober ride home, nor is there any call for imbibing during a toddler’s bedtime story. Since you want to enjoy your glass of whiskey, plan to enjoy it in a way that is neither distracting to you nor disturbing to others. Your patience will pay off in a superior treat for the senses that you can take full advantage of in due time.

A Note on Serving

Serving whiskey plain is as simple and easy as sipping whiskey plain. Where adults are gathered with no reason against, without unwarranted ceremony, offer a glass to others and then to yourself.

With that final word, I raise my glass to you and to whiskey, plain and simple, honest and forthright.

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