The Whiskey Time Tradition
The Whiskey Time Tradition- During sophomore year of college, I returned to my apartment one night after a VERY long late night class. When I walked through my door, I saw my seven other roommates huddled in the kitchen over a very large bottle of Maker’s Mark. They appeared to be examining it as if it was some sort of ancient relic that they had just unearthed on campus.
It was only a Wednesday so I simply assumed they just wanted to get drunk -and I was totally down to get drunk, but not on whiskey. I didn’t like whiskey. THEY didn’t even like whiskey. But no, there was so much more to this huddle than getting drunk on the bottle of Maker’s Mark.
As it turned out, my buddy had an epiphany that had frightened him during his business class lecture. A thought that had made him want to take action. One that would change our drinking habits for a lifetime. His thought went something like this, “What would I do if I went out with my boss to discuss business and he ordered us a whiskey on the rocks?” A fairly simple and innocent thought, no? But it scared him, scared him deeply because he, just like the rest of us, hated whiskey.
So he devised a simple, yet effective plan that came with only one rule attached: we would all have to get together once a night, every night, for a glass of whisky on the rocks for a toast (3 ice cubes to be exact). No matter what we were doing or where we were, we pledged to have whiskey every night until we enjoyed it and acquired a taste for it. GREAT. Bring on the alcoholism I thought to myself.
I’ll admit, the first few weeks were rough “casually sipping whiskey” and we weren’t even drinking a BIG glass every night. Only 3-4oz. And we didn’t even really know a lot about the different brands and the different types of whiskey either. But as you can imagine, we began flying through bottles day by day, week by week, and month by month. We all rotated buying the bottles, so therefore, we had the chance to rotate through all the different types we wanted to try. Makers Mark, Bulleit Bourbon, Jack Daniels, Tullamore Dew, Jim Bean, Johnny Walker, Dewars etc. Then the types such as bourbon, scotch, sour mash, Tennessee, Irish and more.
I was skeptical and didn’t really expect this tradition to last very long. But it did. For the remaining three years, we all still lived with each other and we still had whiskey time every.single.night. It would even be finals week when one of the housemates would yell “WHISKEY TIME!” and everyone would drop what they were doing to spend those five minutes together over a glass of whiskey on the rocks. If one of us was away, we would face time them for the moment. It got real.
Looking back on those days, it was the greatest tradition I had ever been a part of. Those short 5 minutes we spent together, we would end up bringing closer more than any of us could have predicted. It became more then just acquiring a taste when we graduated, it became OUR tradition and a part of our life that changed the way we drank whiskey forever.
*Side Note: we would always listen to the song Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show as we toasted and talked. The general consensus was that bourbon was the best type of whiskey. We probably tried over 50 different brands, my personal favorite…..Makers Mark!