Above, an illuminated cutaway of a whiskey barrel at Bow Street.
In honor of St. Patrick's Day I thought I'd dust off this little gold mine of brilliant nickames I came across while visiting Jameson's Bow Street Distillery in Dublin, a facility dating back to 1780. (The modern distillery is across the Isle, in County Cork). As the coopers, distilllers and other laborers were historically positions passed on from father to son, the preponderance of Joyces, Keanes & McCarthys led the crew to make nicknames universal and compulsory. You got one shortly after starting work, after you'd been properly sized up, and aftwewards you were never referred to by any other name. The cheekiness of these nicknames reveal a pretty wicked collective sense of humor; "Gorgeous Gus", "Gamebird", "Philosopher" "Jellybelly" and "Snow White"* are some of my personal favorites. But I think these names could serve another purpose--as great monikers for cocktails--ideally featuring the Irish whiskey, obviously. Naming cocktails is a realm where some find a fun challenge, and others find only dread and creative stalemate. Let the smartasses of history do some naming legwork for you. I've typed a partial list below, and by clicking on this blow-up of the nickname manifest you should be able to see them all. Sláinte!
The Laughing Cavalier