On this week’s podcast episode we have Taylor Hughes Praying to the Whiskey. Taylor visited Jeptha Bend Farm and preformed some of her latest music for us while sipping on three bourbon expressions that she chose off my shelves. While she belted out her song Praying to the Whiskey,  we sat there sipping on Elmer T Lee and the words to the song made me think back to memories of Ten High while deployed to Korea and drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels on a New Year’s Eve in Northern Michigan. Not my finest moments in life for sure.

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I would have several experiences like that throughout my 20’s where I didn’t respect the whiskey. Of course this brought on the prayers that I would swear off whiskey. You can see how that ended up. It wasn’t until I joined the Coast Guard and truly learned to appreciate and respect whiskey. At the time the Coast Guard was having problems with their service members over consuming. Imagine that, you stick a young man or woman in a remote location or keep them on a Coast Guard Cutter for months on end and they find trouble.

In someone’s infinite wisdom the Coast Guard created a training course on how to drink properly. This course was almost like a video game, allowing you to build your own character. What these course taught me was that I was doing this whiskey thing all wrong. It taught me the wave theory which is to drink one drink an hour and get to the top of the wave and stay there. We have all coming crashing off that wave at some point in our life. But to ensure I didn’t do that again I make sure to eat a good meal.

First things first — it’s never a good idea to drink any amount of alcohol on an empty stomach. Alcohol is absorbed very quickly and you’re more likely to feel the effects sooner when you’re running on empty. Focus on PFFF: “This stands for protein, fat, fiber and fermented foods, which is the ideal way to eat for your gut and really your overall health. Something I  really love is charcuterie. Charcuterie may be all the rage, but it might also be the perfect meal to pair with your drinking if you make smart choices. Keep an eye out for the usual suspects on the board: cheese, bread, dried fruits, raw vegetables, olives and olive oil.

There is of course some foods to avoid which is funny because most bars serve them. In general, you should steer clear of fried foods. Foods that can trigger heartburn include chocolate, spicy foods and peppermint should be avoided. Jim and I can both attest to those. Something that also might surprise you Jack and Coke drinkers is to avoid caffeine. These can give you that false sense that you can drink more because they can mask the effects of Alcohol.  Now that we have covered the food portion let’s get to something just as important. WATER.

Yes hydration is key. I like to drink a glass of water to every drink I consume. If you see me with a drink in my hand there is usually a glass of water very near. Drinking water while consuming alcohol is an important part of minimizing its effects. Staying hydrated not only improves your mental capacity but also helps your body flush out toxins and protects your skin. To end a night I always try and drink do glasses right before bed. This ensures I wake up refreshed and feeling my best. Hope these few tips help you enjoy your whiskey the way I do without the prayers.

Be sure to check out Taylor Hughes Praying to the Whiskey and her other great singles available on all the music platforms. Be sure to check out her website at taylorhughesmusic.com Cheers.

Mike (Big Chief)