WHISKEY + POP CULTURE

The intersection of showtime & spirits

Whiskey on TV: Treme, S1

Living in New Orleans, we didn’t start watching Treme expecting to see an abundance of whiskey. It exists here, it’s just not one of the top three orders from anecdotal research.

However, Treme is another David Simon joint. And if The Wire taught us anything, it’s that whiskey is a universal social lubricant, used by both cops and robbers. After watching S1 of Treme, the good stuff was surprisingly well represented: 

Ladonna with Southern Comfort…

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Davis with Jameson…

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And Creighton with Woodford Reserve.

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Jim Beam and Pitchfork combine for boozy (and musical) Nightcaps

Not to be outdone by Jack Daniels and its rock campaign, Jim Beam recently stepped it up (granted—not tough to outdo the Airborne Toxic). 

According to AdAge, Jim Beam partnered with Pitchfork Fest for a follow-up series of six after-shows across the country following that recent festival. The series is called Nightcap, and the landing site doesn’t specify what bands are involved with future dates.

At any rate, taking six random acts from the P4K lineup gives Beam pretty good odds of having desirable music (and marketing) content. The first Nightcap recently happened in NYC with Majical Cloudz (below). 

Majical Cloudz Performs “Turns Turns Turns” from Pitchfork TV on Vimeo.

Toast the NBA’s John Wall and Marcin Gortat while you still can

The Wizards aren’t typically a very good playoff team, but this year they’ve gone on a historic run for the franchise. As such, one DC-area bar took it upon themselves to craft drinks in honor of the team’s five starters. While the Bradley Beal sounds delicious, it’s time to toast PR John Wall (Rittenhouse) and C Marcin Gortat (shot and a beer, a rye shot). 

Whiskey on TV: Community, “GI Jeff” (S5, E11)

It’s weird. We knew Glencallan—TV’s most famous fake whiskey—has been on Community before. At the same time, it’s an odd situation given the show’s numerous references to Jeff Winger’s Macallan love. But as shows tend to do, when whiskey is portrayed in less than positive light (here, Jeff drinks down a few anti-aging pills until he falls into a coma-esque animation dream), it’s better that a fake whiskey be the fall man. 

Whiskey on TV: Mad Men, “Field Trip” (S7, E3)

Don Draper is finally out of his extended field trip/malaise and ready to get back working… even if it’ll look fundamentally different. (Only social drinks with clients allowed? That office mini-bar will look mighty different.) However, to prep for his new life (or at least, to cope with the anxiety of its inevitable arrival) his old friend shows up. Never change Don Draper.

Whiskey on TV: Mad Men, “A Day’s Work” (S7, E2)

Much was made of Mad Men’s take on Valentine’s Day, where most ended up as sad as they are in their lives as a whole. But there was a quiet love still burning and properly celebrated—these sad people and their booze. Pete cuts into a previously unseen bottle of Cutty 12, Don wakes up to ol’ reliable Canadian Club (and even uses it to sort of mark time). Happy Valentine’s Day indeed.

Whiskey on TV: Mad Men, “Time Zones” (S7, E1)

Season 7 of Mad Men started off differently. Don didn’t show face until well after the first two scenes; he drank champagne in California before anything else. But when things got back to some level of normalcy—a man who only understand how to sell an experience, selling his wife on a work life and using a fellow drunk to maintain a gig—we got that glimpse at the Draper home bar. It stayed closed for now, but the Seagrams looms. 

Love whiskey/bourbon as much as the next person, but a Jack Daniels coffin strikes me as overkill (unless you’re in the founding family I suppose? Still, poor taste… h/t @CalebWilde)

Love whiskey/bourbon as much as the next person, but a Jack Daniels coffin strikes me as overkill (unless you’re in the founding family I suppose? Still, poor taste… h/t @CalebWilde)

Whiskey on TV: True Detective, S1

For a show based in rural Louisiana, the folks of HBO’s True Detective sure do not care about any regional products. When it comes down to what whiskey these forlorn cops drown their sorrows in, Jameson is clearly the everyday liquor of choice (evidenced here by both Rust and Marty):

Things get slightly classier (but no deeper in local drink ties) when the main duo celebrates. Johnnie Walker Black seems to satisfy all the cops for an occasion. 

Finally, when modern times arrive and bourbon is absolutely prevalent, it’s Macallan that greases the bureaucratic wheels of justice. 

Jack Daniels gets intentional about its rock cred

The unique Tennessee mash was always a rock music beverage—see Richards, Keith (n.). But now the brand is getting explicit in the association by hosting shows across the country. It’s called Live and the Landmark, and the larger events include concerts at SF’s City Hall and NY’s Statue of Liberty.