August 13 is National Filet Mignon Day. February 11 is National Shut-in Visitation Day.
November 18 is National Vichyssoise Day.
There are over 1,200 National and World days now. (As opposed to the couple dozen or so before you could imbibe legally.) Most of them as inane as these. Most of them created by marketing execs and in-house ad agencies—or only of the slightest importance to these two groups and the companies for whom they hawk. (And TV morning shows—they love this kind of stuff.)
And, even though World Cocktail Day (May 13) and World Whiskey Day (May 21) are right up our alley, we can’t say that we’d ever heard of them before someone else (outside of Santa Fe Spirits) brought them to our attention. The only way they’d be at all interesting is if they were a mash-up, a combination of various days in one: it’s National Take a Slab of Filet Mignon and a Bowl of Vichyssoise for Shut-in Visitation Followed by a Bottle of Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey and a Shaker of Expedition Vodka Day. The perfect all-days-in-one for every Shut-in—and a great day for all those non-Shut-ins as well. But in truth, that’s probably just be the average day for lots of people out there.
(And that is how you shamelessly promote. But we digress.)
Not being big believers in this whole “National Fill-in-the-Blank Day” deal, we thought we’d reach out to some fellow whiskey and cocktail bloggers to see what they think about all this. Maybe we’re just being too cynical. Maybe we’re missing out. Maybe we’re too old-fashioned. Does anyone out there celebrate World Cocktail Day? (One of the original benefactors of World Whisky Day, back when it was getting support from Master of Malt, was the Just a Drop organization, which helps provide clean water and sanitation in poor countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. WWD has since been taken over by Edinburgh’s Hot Rum Cow magazine and its publisher Fraser Allen, who are still, thankfully, committed to helping others in need of clean water—like the village of Kalima South.)
“They’re both silly,” says Bobby Childs of the New Orleans-based AdventuresInWhiskey.com, a blog for the novice whiskey enthusiast. “I say that, but I jump on the bandwagon of posting something whiskey or cocktail-related on social media on those days.”
“Of course, that doesn’t mean that they’re bad,” says Terry Lozoff, the man behind DrinkInsider.com—and who also happens to be vice president of consumer engagement and digital strategy at GYK Antler. (And who, according to his About Me, “started working with alcohol brands on a professional level in 2004, running national marketing programs for major beer companies; and have since worked with a number of other global alcohol brands, small craft brands, and drink startups.”) “There’s nothing bad about giving people a reason to talk about whiskey or cocktails. Why wouldn’t you want to get in on it . . . especially if it gets more people to drink.”
“I’ve never heard of any of these holidays, and didn’t hear about them until we started a blog and started getting nonstop pitches from PR companies,” admits Julia Tunstall, cofounder of ABarAbove.com, a site for bartenders, aspiring bartenders, and cocktail enthusiasts. “It’s not something we pay any attention to.”
“Do we really need an excuse?” asks Childs rhetorically. “Most serious whiskey enthusiasts will imbibe what they want to imbibe, regardless of what day it is. At the end of the day, it’s just an excuse to pour a glass of whiskey or mix up a cocktail.”
“‘Cocktail Day’ is, to my estimation, a ‘Let’s get drunk because . . . drunk!’ day,” says Morgan Greenhalgh of the California-based TheDrinkBlog.com, nominated by Saveur for its 2015 Saveur Blog Awards under the Best Spirits or Cocktail Coverage.
Funny, sure, but as Greenhalgh is quick to add: “Ask a distiller, drinker, or anyone who is really deep in the art and craft of the scene and you’ll probably get a blank stare. Then asked to leave.”
Ouch. But true.
Which puts us in a bit of a bind. If we tell you not to participate in either of these days, it’s like telling you not to drink. Not to enjoy yourself. Not to try one of our spirits. (Atapiño Liqueur, anyone?) And if we encourage either of these days at all, well, then we just come off as tools, as part of the vast soulless machine of crass commercialism (and at risk of losing our cred as that very kind of dedicated distiller of which Greenhalgh alludes to). Instead, we’ll leave you with this quote from Dr. Who: “If I were to tell you that the next thing I say would be true, but the last thing I said was a lie, would you believe me?” That we can hoist a Silver Coyote to. L’Chaim.