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Bourbon, revisited


Smart Alec

As you contemplate all the various ways by which you might suspend yourself from a tree this week, consider the Masters, beginning Thursday, as one of the best available ways to do nothing while watching much.

In prep, I had an Early Times old fashioned with the paleoduffers at the Harbor Room yesterday, doing my Masters prep by watching the heroic Freddie Couples in his superbly giallo polo shirt. He deserved that leader's jersey.

The question I know you are asking is: what drove me to call Early Times?

When I was a child, I had a book on spirits in my Time Life series, an encyclopedia of sorts. I took a look at it about a week ago, wanting to revisit an old photograph. And there were two utterly precious photos: one of a whole lot of Early Times being served by gents in white bow ties at an ancient Kentucky Derby, just barely ducking into the color photograph era. The other was of an utterly behemoth mint julep: two mushroom clouds of mint at top and bottom sandwiching a healthy half-pint of bourbon and ice, not merely in a frosted glass, but with actual clouds of ice hanging from it---ah, from an era when people understood that life should actually be celebrated, rather than imitated, with drink.

Fascinated, I now looked for the author of this old friend of a book that I has been with me nearly all my life but which I've sadly neglected considering whose editorial judgment shaped it of until now. Who else, but: Alec Waugh...

Early Times! Compared to what? Did you know it is not bourbon?