Cribbage and Whiskey: a gentlemanly way for a lady to spend her evening.

Cribbage and sipping on bourbon just seems like an old fashioned gentlemanly way to spend an evening… maybe because I once thought whisky to be a “mans” beverage, a drink meant for either inexperienced drinkers to try out their tolerance and show their machismo, or a drink for distinguished elderly men to sip in their dens with a fine cigar reading a tome of classic literature. But with all the artesian distilleries popping up, the new interest in classic cocktails and social networking groups specific for women who drink whisky I decided I should check out this classic American beverage – Bourbon Whiskey. See this website for some information. I started out with the Whiskey Sour, making the sour mix less and less sweet, and then moved on to the Old Fashioned, and finally relaxed into the simplicity of bourbon on the rocks. I enjoyed the gentle way the ice cube melted and softened the bourbon with each sip.

Photo Aug 04, 11 02 20 PMThis summer I took it a step further and added the game of Cribbage on the patio to many hot evenings. Cribbage itself is a very gentlemanly game; in that I mean it is a card game of manners. The rules are clear; you cut for low card to start the game or series of games, you take turns in a very ordered way, you play and count the points with a very specific language. After playing for a while you begin to understand your opponents nods, you learn how to time your hands, and you learn to predict when the cards are just stacked against you and you have to get cut throat. I learned to play from my Grampy, my dad, and my uncles, which might be why I think of it as such a gentlemanly mannered game. I also learned how to play well from them because they did not cut me any slack. This background made me quite an astute and competitive card player.

After years of pleading I finally got my husband to try the game and on one of our evenings on the patio, he skunked me the first two games. Not a relaxing way to end the evening at all! My husband is kind yet competitive, good at any thing he puts his mind to especially math so I shouldn’t have been so surprised. That is where I pulled out the bourbon… a little handicap to soften the game for both of us. Now we both enjoy sitting down to relax, share a tumbler of whisky on the rocks and play a mannered game and congratulating each other along the way for a good game. Neither of us has gotten the ultimate hand of 29 points yet, which gives us the opportunity to still play often. To sweeten the deal, I have started rimming the glass with a little Sweet Heat Sugar from Rokz to compliment the smooth taste of bourbon, it adds little sweetness and spice to the macho, and the hot summer evenings go on with the comradery of competition…

Photo Aug 04, 11 03 06 PMThe rules of Cribbage.

If you are in my neck of the woods I am always looking for a comrade to play with as I can not get enough, I am happy to pour you a bourbon fancied up like a lady with the Sweet Heat of ancho pepper and demerara sugar.

~written by Heidi Hughes, rokz alchemist