Thursday, September 18, 2014

In Which Oatmeal Nourishes Both Body And Soul

I will admit to a relatively diminished interest in whiskey these days. While much of note is undoubtedly happening in the wide world of whiskey, (Mr. Cowdery's tireless efforts to shame liars, the fall releases of unobtainables and unaffordables, the excitement about whether Chip Tate will be the first craft distiller to 'put two into the chest' of Mammon...) I am not sure that I give many or any shits at all about it. From the ever deepening trench of my poverty, my blackened groping hand finds purchase on the necks of few whiskey bottles these days. The explosion of interest and variety in whiskey is certainly a good thing, but the density of options has surpassed what I feel is necessary to enable an enjoyable life, and instead leads whiskey enthusiasts who want to keep up into a hierarchically-driven box 'ticking' mode devoid of much pleasure. "Not philosophers but fret sawyers and stamp collectors compose the backbone of society" 

As a distiller I am still very excited about making whiskey, but as a drinker it's harder to get a thirst up.

So I am moving on.

Wait, first a drink.

The production of this drink is somewhat involved, which is a twist as the recipe is adapted from Kingsley Amis' book of drinking advice "Everyday Drinking" and he sometimes felt a lemon twist to adorn a glass of gin was too much of a fussy struggle. As is likely apparent from this blog, I owe Mr. Amis many debts. As someone who has made relatively little headway into deciphering the world of wine, Amis gave me the greatest piece of advice on wine buying, easily trumping  anything Eric Asimov or Robert Parker ever supplied, to "Keep at hand a good supply of beer, stout, and cider, not to speak of stronger waters, to console you when the whole business gets too much for you".

An Atholl Brose, the alcohol version of oatmeal brose (uncooked porridge, truly the product of a culinary impoverished society), according to Wikipedia and Kingsley Amis has significantly more viscosity, alcohol, and sweetness than I desire. Below is my preferred technique

laphroaig morning drink of oatmeal
I Pity The Scottish Stomach

8 oz Hot Water
1.5 handful rolled oats
3/4 oz Smoky / Islay Scotch
Spoonful of Wildflower Honey

1. Heat up 8 oz water to tea making temperature, and pour over an oversized handful of oats. Stir to mix and allow to sit.
2. Sit outside in the garden in the chilly drizzling rain for 30 minutes while musing on how few possibilities for fulfillment the coming day will offer.
3. Strain the liquid off the oats (which should be cloudy and slightly thickened) and reheat in the microwave.
4. In a separate glass, measure out the scotch.
5. Stir a spoonful of honey into the hot oat water, and then pour into the scotch glass
6. With your steaming mug, return to the drizzly garden, and in general fell much better about the prospects of having to exist for at least one more day.

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