Whisky Magazine Issue 15
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Michael Jackson, on the road, With an ear for a great whisky
A columnist in the San Francisco Chronicle, Stan Delaplane, popularised “Irish Coffee”. He introduced it to the Buena Vista bar, at
Fisherman's Wharf, after encountering it as a warming drink at Shannon Airport. This questionable concoction sold a lot of Irish whiskey but did it also limit the application of the silky spirit? I mean, did people think it was only for putting in coffee?
I was discussing this profound philosophical question with Delaplane and a couple of vice-squad cops, called Sullivan and Keneally, some years ago at another San Francisco bar in Washington Square. Jack Teagarden's younger sister was playing the piano but it wasn't really that long ago. We were approaching a conclusion when in walked Stan Getz. He had bad news and good. The bad news was that he had not a penny piece about his person or in any bank. This was apparently not unusual, to quote the jazz-deficient Welshman Tom Jones. The good news was that Getz had a relatively lucrative gig in Seattle. Could the cash-register lend him the fare? The cash-register, in the shape of saloon-keeper Ed Moose, advanced him the necessary but as a forfeit made him drink a cocktail involving Kahlúa and Canadian whisky.
Would the man from Ipanema have preferred a Caipirinha? We shall never know. He died, possibly from Ed's cocktails, before the Caipirinha became popular. He was a connoisseur of mind-altering substances – as many musicians are. I cannot hear New Orleans jazz without fancying a Sazerac...