Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Bourbon Joke

This joke was told to me many years ago as I enjoyed lunch and a bourbon in the bar/billiards room at the Pendennis Club in Louisville. The Pendennis Club is a legendary private club in downtown Louisville. It has been guilty in the past of all the ills associated with elite private clubs in the South, but has also been an integral part of the city's business and government communities. Among other notable achievements, it is usually regarded as the birthplace of the Old Fashioned.

The story is told that the bartender at the Pendennis Club bar had a special arrangement with a certain United States Senator from the Commonwealth, who was a club member and frequent presence in the barroom. When the Senator walked up to the bar he would conspicuously request "the usual." The bartender would surreptitiously scan the room to determine which local whiskey baron was present. He would then pour a few fingers of that maker's main brand into the Senator's glass, making sure the bottle and label were visible to all.

This worked fine for many years until one day the Senator entered, put on his show, and waited for his reward. He took his drink, sipped it, and immediately and involuntarily spit it out. He anxiously leaned in to the barkeep. "Why on earth did you give me a gin and tonic?" he sputtered. "Sorry, Senator," came the reply, "but they're all here."

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