Wordy Wednesday: National Bourbon Day

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One of the reasons I started this blog was to get myself writing creatively more. I was doing so with my reading and writing group, but life has overtaken us all here recently. The blog is another way to attempt to keep  myself accountable.

That said, I’m going endeavor to write at least one creative prompt a week and post it on Wednesday to start with. I’m not going to force myself to do it, like with the Tuesday and Thursday (non-existent) posts. Baby steps, y’all. Trying to change habits and change a bunch at one time mean you have to take baby steps.

So, for those of you who may not know it, June 14th is National Bourbon Day! In ode to this, I googled “bourbon writing prompts,” “National Bourbon Day writing prompts,” and “writing prompts involving bourbon.” You might be surprised to find out there are not a whole lot of them out there.

While searching “National Bourbon Day writing prompts,” I came across one site that suggested using holidays as a sort of prompt. I was somewhat trying to avoid that, but a sentence floated into my head and I decided to go with it.

Here’s a short story (and I mean short) using “National Bourbon Day” as the keywords/inspiration.

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White Oak

The first time she tried bourbon, she wasn’t too sure about it. It burned and it didn’t have a whole lot of taste as it scorched its way down her throat. She managed to stifle the cough that tried to force its way out. She remembered looking at the bourbon with watery eyes and being appreciative that her friends weren’t laughing too hard.

Despite her first impression, there was something about bourbon that intrigued her. Maybe it was the color of it, all amber and honey and gold. Maybe she just wanted to look like a badass. Maybe it was because the second sip had more flavor.

Was that vanilla? Was that some sort of wood? What was the flavor hinted at on her tongue?

Regardless of how she fell into bourbon, she had it to thank for the situation she found herself in at the moment.

With a smirk over her glass (Barterhouse 20, neat), she raised it up. “Cheers!”

The group around her cheered, toasted with her, and took hearty gulps of their drinks. As they swaggered off, she returned her attention to the bartender. “So, you were saying?”

“Oh, yeah. So, the Jack representative came by today. He wasn’t very happy that we didn’t think we’d need any more of their standard bottles.” He shook his head while he stacked glasses on the countertop, steaming.

She shrugged. “I’ll have to tell Reynolds he needs to get a better representative out here. It’s National Bourbon Day. More people will be drinking well bourbons, of course, but if they’re coming here, it’s because they want to try something–especially the good stuff.”

She glanced around at her bar, filled to the brim with people anxious for any excuse to drink. “maybe after today some of these people will have a better appreciation for the craft and the drink.”

The bartender swept his eyes over the crowd. “Maybe.”

She took another sip of her bourbon and then swirled it in the glencairn. The bourbon washed back into the bulb of the glass, leaving a sheen along its trail. “I’m pretty sure my first bourbon was on a National Bourbon Day.”

He grinned at her. “Well, aren’t you being sentimental tonight, Regina?”

She smiled back. “White Oak has been open for two years now and we’re going strong. I’ve been in this business for ten years, learning everything I can, seeing all kinds of bars take off and crash. Let an old lady reminisce, Scotty.”

Scotty threw back his head, his laughter barely breaking over the din of the customers. “Old lady? I don’t think so.”

Regina pursed her lips and, with a raised eyebrow, retorted, “Shouldn’t you be helping out customers?”

He threw her a mock salute and returned to the foray.

Regina leaned her back against the bar and watched the crowd. There were a lot of professionals in, excited for time away from the office with coworkers and friends. The people with real interest were easy to spot with their eyes roaming over the menu and lighting up when they discovered something they had been wanting to try. The people who had no idea about what they were looking at were the easiest to notice, though.

There was one particular couple she had noted a couple of minutes previously. Both had wrinkled brows and the corners of their mouths turned down. One would point to a bourbon on the menu, gauging the opinion of the other, who would inevitably shrug and return to their menu.

Regina decided to see if she could help them out. With her glencairn in hand, she made her way to the table.

“I noticed you two are having a hard time deciding. May I offer some suggestions?” She gave them a reassuring smile.

The two, relief evident on their faces, admitted they didn’t really know what to get other than the usual Jack, Jim, or Evan Williams.

“If you have had Evan before, I would suggest the single barrel. It’s easy drinking, full of flavor, and higher quality, but still cheaper on the wallet than the Basil Hayden or the Whistlepig.”

The three went back and forth a couple of times before she brought them their final choices and left them to it. Regina returned to the bar and surveyed her domain again.

Yes, it was definitely bourbon’s fault she was in this situation, but she wouldn’t have chosen differently.

Word count: 791, written on paper and edited in the transition to blog post.

 

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