Rusty Nail

Jack Kerouac’s Birthday

Your cocktail calendar entry for: March
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It’s March 12 and for today’s entry in The Drunkard’s Almanac we celebrate the birthday of none other than one of America’s greatest drinkers, the pioneer of the Beat Generation and author of the universally acclaimed novel On The Road.  Yup, Jack Kerouac himself.  So today it’ll be the Rusty Nail for Jack Kerouac’s birthday.

Now if there’s one thing we do know about Mr. Kerouac it’s that he was a prolific drinker with wide ranging tastes.  Trip to Mexico?  You bet, agave-based spirits.  Jug wine?  Sure, no problem.  As he said, “Why on earth aren’t people continually drunk?  I want ecstasy of the mind all the time.”

We can also learn a few things from him.  It turns out Mr. Kerouac was happily sitting in his favorite chair drinking whiskey and malt liquor at 11 in the morning while working on a book, and was suddenly gripped with a bout of nausea.  Retreating to the bathroom he began vomiting blood and was taken to a local hospital where an esophageal hemorrhage was discovered.  He was given transfusions and surgery was attempted, but apparently his liver was no longer up to the task of producing clotting factors and he passed away.  So there’s a lesson here:  don’t combine whiskey and malt liquor before lunch.  Probably best to stick to just one or the other early in the day.

The Rusty Nail

Turning now to naming the Drink of the Day then, we must note that Mr. Kerouac was a lover of Scotch whisky.  Not to repeat our recent foray into the Drunk Uncle cocktail we all just enjoyed it’s time to turn toward an old classic:  the Rusty Nail.

Astonishingly simple to prepare, the Rusty Nail requires only two everyday household ingredients probably already sitting out on your kitchen counter:  Scotch whisky and Drambuie.  And we don’t need any fancy-label age-statement Scotch here.  No, indeed.  Your faithful correspondent recommends Famous Grouse, which you can pick up for about twenty well spent dollars.

Rusty Nail

Rusty Nail

Nothing fancy about the whisky here, no need for single malts or other more exotic fare, the Rusty Nail is at its best using an everyday sort of scotch which in turn is sweetened by the Drambuie.
5 from 1 vote


  • Old Fashioned Glass
  • Stirrer


  • 2 oz Scotch Whisky
  • 1 oz Drambuie


  • Add ice to Old Fashioned glass
  • Pour in 2 oz Scotch whisky
  • Pour in 1 oz Drambuie
  • Stir with finger or tool of choice
  • Drink.
  • Now some folks think a lemon twist garnish is appropriate, but that’s not how our friend Mr. Kerouac would have done it so we’ll recommend leaving it all plain.
  • Drink.
  • Rinse and repeat.
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