I’m behind the bar, it’s around 4PM, guy comes up, sits down. How ya doin’, what can I get you? He says, I’ll take a gin and tonic. Great. What kind of gin? Tanqueray, Bombay, Well? He says, what does it matter when you put a mixer in it? I’ll take the Well.
This, my friends, is a smart man.
What DOES it matter? It really doesn’t. The moment you put your cranberry, or your Diet Coke, or your tonic in it, the nuance of the liquor will be lost. Ok, I’ve heard some say, cheap booze gives me headaches, and that might absolutely be true. But there is NO WAY someone is going to tell the difference in taste between a Grey Goose Cran, and a Well Cran. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s nearly impossible. Let me break down a drink. Most drinks are 9 ounces. 1 1/2 ounces is the booze. That’s 7 1/2 ounces of mixer. The mixer will inevitably clobber any subtlety you might find in your chosen Call liquor.
I know you’re thinking, hey, Clint. Don’t you want to sell that high priced booze instead of the Hawkeye Vodka? Hell yeah, I do! The bigger the tab, usually, the bigger the tip. But facts are facts, and the guy at the bar with his gin and tonic was right.
Let’s flip things a bit, and talk about drinking booze neat, and on the rocks. Neat, for the amateurs out there, means no ice. NOW. Are you going to tell the difference between a Well whiskey like Ten High, in comparison to Maker’s Mark, when you drink it neat? I’m going to say a strong maybe. It really depends on your pallet, and your history with a specific booze. Trust me, I’ve done taste tests with seasoned drinkers, and 50/50 they choose the Well, over the Call liquor. So I’m not totally convinced EVEN when you drink the liquor neat.
Let’s be honest. We all fall prey to the psychological aspects of what is advertised to us on a daily basis. For YEARS I drank solely Tanqueray Tonic. It was the only thing I’d drink. But I’m not convinced I’d even be able to tell the difference between the “good stuff,” and the Well.
So what should you take away from all this? TRY EXPERIMENTING. That is always fun. Drink the Captain and Coke, then try the Well rum and Coke, see if you can tell the difference. ALL THAT MATTERS is you find something that suits your taste buds. Be open-minded. Mix things up.
In the end, maybe the only thing you find different between Call and Well is the difference on your bar tab.