A FEW YEARS ago my friend Susan played a round of golf with a couple of Canadian ladies warming their cockles in sunny Palm Springs. The three women played well, and on the 17th hole, one of the snowbirds sank a birdie putt. She threw up her arms as if she’d just won the Kraft Nabisco and declared, “Birdie juice!”
Then she hurried to the cart to dig out of her golf bag a flask decorated with birdies and the words “BIRDIE JUICE.” She took a sip and then offered the flask to each of her companions.
Susan took one taste, smacked her lips and said, “Why didn’t you tell me about this sooner? I’d have played much better!”
So there you have the power of the birdie juice: Not only does it create an instant party to celebrate a birdie, its very presence can inspire success. If, that is, you have the right liquid inside your flask.
When you do a shot, the alcohol is only in your mouth for less than a second, so quality for taste or smoothness doesn’t really matter (unless of course you would like to avoid a headache). Because alcohol from a flask is intended to be sipped rather than shot, I think quality should play a factor, so I am not a big fan of Fireball except for giggles (and probably a hangover). I also don’t recommend Jaeger Meister unless you can figure out a way to keep it cold.
The ladies from Canada carried butterscotch schnapps, a very feminine choice. I’ve got five other suggestions ranging from sweet to hearty. Choose the one you like best and you will have bigger incentive to birdie.
WHAT’S IN YOUR FLASK? TELL US. HERE ARE MY FIVE PICKS.
- The best peppermint schnapps you can afford. This is the best choice for the sweet tooth who really doesn’t care for the taste of spirits. Shun $3.99 pretenders for a $35 bottle of Rumple Minze and even spirit lovers will be able to pretend to enjoy it with you.
- Wild Turkey Honey Bourbon (or Jim Beam or Jack Daniels). The new honey bourbons are both sweet AND hearty, with such a smooth finish that they’re a good bet for pleasing your whole foursome. Try them all and decide which one is right for your taste buds.
- Hornitos Tequila (gold) or Patron Silver Tequila. If your most recent tequila memories date back to sorority shots garnished with salt on your hand and lime in your fingers, you have missed out on the joy of sipping tequila. Try these two for quality at a reasonable price – or, if your flask has no leaks, spring for a super-high-end tequila and go off to the ladies room to sip by yourself.
- Paul Masson VSOP Brandy, or Hennessy or Remy Martin. Paul Masson delivers a quality low-end sipper for birdie girls who like their kick but don’t want to take one in the wallet; the Cognacs (at $40 and up) represent a significant upgrade.
- Jameson or Bushmills Irish Whiskey. For birdie, double-bogey and everything in between, these are the traditional sippers that your old-time links-loving duffer wouldn’t do without. Purists drink them neat, and if you love whiskey, these are your best flask fillers.