Avid readers of The Gentleman Blog – of which there are throngs – will be familiar with the fact a gentleman holds his own. It should never be underestimated how the budding gentleman can lose his composure after too many drinks. However, once you are a practiced gentleman, who has years of experience of drinking various gentlemanly beverages, there are certain side-effects that you may choose (carefully) to summon for good reasons.
Here we will examine some classic gentleman who have benefited from finishing the bottle.
Winston Churchill has gone down in history primarily as a quintessential gentleman (other lesser known reasons were his role as British prime-minister during the war and as a cigar aficionado). In fact, one of Churchill’s most famous speeches was given after beating Franklin Roosevelt in a scotch tasting competition that went to twenty-four tie breaks. Who is to say what would have happened has Churchill not given this inspiring/slurred speech?
The gentleman, that’s who! It would have been left up to Indiana Jones to single-handedly defeat the Nazis without the help of the British.
Another figure from the rich history of gentleman that fits today’s category (along with pretty much every other category on The Gentleman Blog) is Frank Sinatra. Some say that Sinatra was somewhat like Eric the Schoolboy. Except instead of eating bananas, he would drink Jack Daniels. And instead of turning into Bananaman, he would become a supreme crooner, actor and gentleman. The perfect analogy.
In fact, there are precisely zero recordings of Sinatra singing live when he has not referenced his drink or his intention to drink during the set. His acting skills – as ample as they were – were magnified twenty-fold after a morning of drinking. Most scenes from Ocean’s 11 were shot only once because Sinatra did not like to be kept from getting to the bar to top up. Do you think he liked doing this? Keeping yourself in a stupor is a sacrifice Sinatra made to enhance the joy for audiences the world over. What a gentleman.
Cary Grant is another who knew when to stop. But he also knew when to continue. For some scenes, no amount of acting talent can substitute the authenticity of six litres of Scotland’s finest single malts.
And let’s not forget Boris Yeltsin. Sure, he didn’t have Sinatra’s style, Cary Grant’s eyes and couldn’t run a country economically or politically, but he was a big factor in bringing down communism in modern day Russia. And if JFK says communism is bad, then you can’t argue with that.
One of Yeltsin’s most emblematic moments came when he stood atop a tank and quelled a potential coup of then-leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. He was also heavily under the influence of various alcohols. Did Yeltsin like being drunk? Of course he didn’t. But have you ever tried to stop a bloody overthrow of a government while sober? It’s not easy.
And so, remember to drink to a gentlemanly moderation. Only use your secret weapon of that extra scotch when you really need it.
Until next time,