January 2012

Did You Eat The Worm?

There Is No Worm In Tequila!

It never fails. You tell somebody that you drank some tequila, and they ask you if you ate the worm. No, of course you did not- there is no worm in tequila, there never was, and there never will be. There is no such thing as a tequila with a worm in it.


The worm is found in some brands of mezcal. Mezcal is a Mexican type of traditional hard liquor, but it's different from tequila. According to some people, tequila is essentially a type of mezcal, not the other way around. That doesn't change the fact, though, that no one ever puts a worm in the tequila. The worm is only found in some brands of mezcal from the Oaxaca area.

Add Water Or Not?

A Vexing Issue

Other than my inexplicable (even to myself) fondness for Johnny Jump-Ups, I have always been a purist when it comes to whisky- you don't put anything in it if you want to be able to call yourself a serious whisky drinker. I do realize that this rule is much less enforceable when it comes to bourbon- in fact, I've had to start adding ice to my bourbon in recent years because it gives me stomach pains if I don't. But on single malt I have held the line.

Different Whiskies, Different Moods

Some Acceptable, Some Less So

Some people prefer bourbon whiskey, and some prefer Scotch. Some people like Irish whisky, and if you were lost in the Arctic circle you might drink Canadian. Some people will only drink single malt, the crème de la crème of Scotch whiskies. I personally believe that there are different whiskies for different moods, and this is ultimately a subjective affair.

Puritanism and Alcohol

A Senseless Combination

With apologies to the real Puritans- who actually enjoyed a good drink in moderation- the tendency to be what people call “puritanical” about alcohol is a peculiar type of delusional thinking. Why do I say delusional? Because aggressively sober people are absolutely convinced that avoiding alcohol is healthier and cleaner, in the absence of overwhelming and consistent evidence to the contrary.