Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Island of Whiskey Drinkers

The other day, I proposed a "map of whiskey drinkers" that wasn't a map so much as a two-dimensional plot, with volume as one axis and variety as the other.

While I think there's something to be said for that view of whiskey drinkers, I have to admit it's not a terribly creative view. To the logic of Volume X Variety, then, let me add the myth of The Island of Whiskey Drinkers:

Click image for larger view.

Have time for a quick tour?

On opposite coasts sit the cities of Manhattan, where old fashioned cocktails are the norm, and Mixopolis, where the new -- new cocktails, new ingredients, new twists -- is the norm. (There are frequent air shuttles from Mixopolis to the Islands of Vodka and Gin.)

Overlooking Manhattan are the Subourbon Heights, where ice cubes are regularly drowned at dinnertime.

In the southeastern corner of the Island is the Great Snob Bog, where dwell a tiresome sect of prophets of the One True Way. (Intersectarian squabbles between the Nonicians and the Noblendians prevent these people from having wider influence.)

Residents of the Lone Islands, off the west coast, drink one, and only one, kind of whiskey, and don't much care what anyone else does.

And you can also see, at the bottom, Shelf. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Across from the Great Snob Bog sits the Highball Plains, through which flows the River of Coke to the city of Seltzer.

Just to the north is the Work Desert, where nomads work up quite a thirst. At the far end of the desert is the much loved Irish oasis Whiskey O'Clock.

In the center of the Island you'll find Convivia, the largest region of Whiskey Drinkers. The walled city of Oldboys is here, too, where each meal includes steak and a cigar. Despite its fame, it has to be said the city's economic and cultural importance has faded in recent years.

Folks living in the Shining Hills are easygoing and hospitable, though a little evasive around strangers. Along the Beerback Coast, folks are unfussy and always happy to correct your opinion about what the team needs to do in the offseason. But the less said about what goes on out on the Macho Moor, and what if anything goes on in the heads of those who live there, the better.

Regrettably, all roads lead to Binge, where shots ring out every night. On the upside, all roads lead away from Binge, too.

Running along the northern spine of the Island is the Sherried Finish Mountain Range, where adepts spend years scaling the heights of the Mysteries of Malt. There are plenty of seekers having a grand time in the foothills, too. Curious visitors may swing by to look at the ruins of the Old Malt Wall, built in a less enlightened time to keep grain and malt whiskies separate.

Many are enthralled by Mount Smokey, others can't stand it, but either way it dominates the landscape for miles.

Not everyone appreciates the rugged beauty of the coastline of the Neetoronda Peninsula, but to really understand the Island one should spend some time contemplating Neatoronda Rocks. (Granted, some ill-prepared newcomers who try this can wind up at sea.)

Now, I freely admit that I haven't explored all corners of the Island of Whiskey Drinkers, and some of the above is second- or third-hand and may well be wrong or out of date. (I have, for example, heard stories of new settlers from Asia who are changing the landscape in dramatic ways.) If there are any corrections or additions to be made, please let me know and I'll try to incorporate them into a later version.

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