Jack Daniel’s, or JD as it is popularly known, and I made acquaintance many moons ago. Staying in a city where Prohibition was a way of life, one was dependent on somebody – friend, friend’s family to get some liquor from abroad, or survive on what could be locally sourced.
Circa 1986…A friend’s uncle who had made a trip to the holy mecca – the USA – came back with his family, carrying JD, because his initials were JD and one fine day decided to introduce us to it.
Opening the bottle, sniffing it reverently and it was poured in normal glasses with cola, surprisingly the first sip and the taste came right through the cola, a tad intense, strong but gave a feeling of Hollywood stars. We were fortunate to partake one of the bottle over a month or so till it was exhausted.
One started working, moved to Calcutta, and at a Tea Estate client’s bagaan was asked if one would like to share a portion of JD… Given the fact that it was chilly in the bungalow, and only old monk was the option, memories came flooding back. But here it was whiskey glasses served by white-gloved bearer, with just ice and maybe a dash of water.
Joining the travel trade, travelling became a part of life – 18-20 days at a trot, one saw JD in different places, tried it for nostalgia and moved on. Then a trip to the USA and it was like love all over again. The long trip and hosts ensured there was always JD with cola and a bottle to be carried back. A lot of experiment drinking of whiskey with different mixers and cocktails happened. It was during this period back in India I attended the first ever class by Shatbhi Basu, where one learnt the art of cocktail mixing.
There have been social outings, friends over, however since none of them preferred JD, the bottle lay in stock, taken out, dusted and put back once in a while. We were now Single Malt and cocktail set.
Fast forward to 2009-10 when young friends – made on social media – came over for some Gujju food, carrying a bottle of JD as a gift. Laughing, I accepted the bottle and showed them the one I already had. They promised to come over and help with a drink or two.
It happened, some other friend from UK, USA came over, and the experimenting started. Whiskey cocktails, mixing it with different things – coconut water and creating new trials always.
Now JD serves two purposes 1) A trial for somebody who has not tasted it and asks what is ‘Whiskey’ and not ‘Whisky’ 2) A quiet evening spent alone reading or watching movies over JD and cola.
Given, the 150 years and a fair amount of noise, I for one would like to start experimenting again with JD as base. And probably meet up with a couple of bartenders to surprise me with something new.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. The images used above are exclusive property of Jack Daniel’s.
Jack Daniel’s promotes Responsible Drinking.