What exactly is Drambuie? I know from the label that it’s an 80-proof liqueur made in Scotland from a secret recipe dating back centuries consisting of “herbs, spices and heather honey, crafted with aged Scotch whiskies.” And on the back, it proudly proclaims: “After the heroic Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped from Scotland leaving behind the legacy of his royal recipe, which remained a secret for generations on the Isle of Skye.” Revolution, royals, alcohol. If only Pabst Blue Ribbon could stake such a claim! And the name itself, from the Scottish-Gaelic “an dram buidheach”, meaning “the drink that satisfies.” Apocryphal, most likely, but still, as legends go, this is a good one. And the reason for me focusing on this particular alcoholic concoction over a myriad of others is because of the name: Drambuie. It just sounds so unlike anything else.
And this got me to thinking about human beings in general, and our need to enjoy the celebrated altered states of consciousness. After all, if this weren’t a desired thing, one might say desideratum, then why on Earth are there so many things to help facilitate this altered state of consciousness? Hundreds of different kinds of gin, vodka, whiskey, you name it. And then there’s beer and wine. Thousands. Tens of thousands! And perhaps this isn’t so much a means of escape or an avenue for avoidance as it is a way of celebrating life and all that it offers. After all, cats go insane over catnip, and I’ve known dogs that love nothing more than to roll around in the fermented carcass of a dead woodchuck. And I know from personal experience that life and its vicissitudes (and by vicissitudes I mean shit—see TALES OF INSOMNIA DESPAIR & THE PERFECT COCKTAIL) can be pretty tough at times, and if one can take the edge off, then more power to you. In fact, as I write this, I’m enjoying a Drambuie over ice with a twist of orange. There’s that Scotch Whisky thing going on, as well as the herbs and spices. And yes, it is sweet, I guess, which accounts for the honey, but that’s okay, because sometimes a little sweetness in a harsh cruel world is a good thing. I can imagine The Highlander, Connor MacLeod himself, downing a few Drambuies in front of a roaring fire before he sets off to dispatch the Kurgan...
—Stay tuned for the upcoming episode of KEVIN’S COCKTAIL MINUTE featuring Drambuie in a drink called: “Connor MacLeod’s Shabby Overcoat”.
And speaking of, in the movie The Highlander, wasn't Connor MacLeod rich? I mean, he lived in some cool Manhattan penthouse apartment, right, and dealt in rare books and antiquities? So why was his overcoat all soiled and ratty? (And those sneakers! WTF?!) Hence, the drink.