Dads who Don’t Drink, Father’s Day Libations
My dad, J.R., is a semi-permanent teetotaler, meaning that it’s possible he might have a drink on occasion but highly unlikely that he will. I have seen him tipsy exactly once, when he lipped a couple of flutes of champagne at a wedding reception. Afterward,at a restaurant having dinner with our family he got all outta control and started tapping his butter knife against the water glass to the beat of the smooth jazz that was playing. My disapproving Mom fixed her power-bore stare on him, grabbed his wrist and whispered in pure fire, “John…” As if he had been really doing something larger than making a slight clinking sound within earshot of the nearest 3 diners. “Stop that!”
So it was a big surprise to me, and the revelation of a neurological phenomenon, to find that my Dad could take three rapid slugs of straight scotch on the rocks when under stress and not get the least bit woozy.
Kind of like when you are buzzed and something scary, or in some way alarming brings you to a sudden state of utter shocking sobriety in an instant. What intense stress was he under for this epic miracle of the body to kick in? After I had a successful 10 year career in stand up comedy, he came to see me perform for the first time when I had a gig booked in my home town. The bad part for my Dad was the toxic combination of me performing stand up, and the fact that the engagement was at a Democratic National Committee fund raising event. As several notable Democrats got up to speak, my Dad started asking for the scotches-as if to ward off the words of the Devil himself. He sat in the very back of the room and leaned back in his chair so far that the front legs of the chair were not touching the ground, clearly no amount of scotch would be able to penetrate that degree of ultimate defense of the very self. I told some jokes, got a standing ovation and all he could say afterwards was, “Why the Democrats?”
There is a lot to love about a man who is completely impervious to spirits and capable of belting straight scotch without feeling the effect when in the presence of his enemy. My Dad. Happy Father’s Day. Let’s see if the next generation can get you to drink…
- Georgia Mintzas
PS: I attach my favorite Old Fashioned recipe.
1 orange slice
1 Maraschino cherry
1 sugar cube or 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 1/2 ounces Scotch
1 ounce club soda
Muddle together the orange, cherry and sugar in the bottom of a rocks glass. Add the bitters and the scotch and stir well. Add ice to the glass and top off with the club soda. Serve immediately.