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A Vintage Pisco Punch Story

I was stumbling through the internet the other day and came acrross this vintage story on Pisco Punch, written by Lucius Beebe and published in Gourmet Magazine in 1957.

Some choice quotes:

Once in the hands of Duncan Nicol it was translated, as by consecration in the name of a divinity more benevolent than all others, into Pisco punch, the wonder and glory of San Francisco's heady youth, the balm and solace of fevered generations, a drink so endearing and inspired that although its prototype has vanished, its legend lingers on, one with the Grail, the unicorn, and the music of the spheres...

He meant it, too, about the two drinks to a customer. If a favored patron like Fire Chief Scannell or James Flood, the Nevada bonanza king who was himself once a saloonkeeper of note (both of them were known tosspots), wanted more, he could walk around the block, thus qualifying as a new customer. When millionaire John Mackay, perhaps the richest man in America at the time, wanted a third, he like everyone else raked his silk hat off the stag-horn rack, walked demurely around the block, and returned to get if. Nobody took liberties with Nicol...

Pisco came into the fullest flowering of its celebrity, became a generic term, and entered the local language. A writer in the California Alta elegantly referred to a drunken character as “more than piscoed.” Neill C. Wilson, the western historian, coined the simile “as comfortable as a Pisco jag.”


If you're a pisco nerd like me, it's a must read.

Duncannicol

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