Before we threw an early St. Patrick's Day party funded by Jameson for some of our friends last week, Awl publisher John Shankman and I sat down with a Jameson representative for a briefing on the brand's history, but what I really wanted to know was whether Jameson had paid for any or all of its incredible appearances in "True Detective." A sampling:
Jeanette (the representative) said that Jameson's appearances in the show were organic and that they hadn't paid anything for them. I told her that that was amazing and that Jameson probably didn't need these sponsored posts, then, because what could possibly be better than that? Nothing, in my opinion. I also asked if Jameson had paid Rihanna to mention it in "Cheers (Drink to That)," and she also said that they hadn't, and basically my mind was blown.
John and I also learned, among other things, how to pronounce the Irish cheers sláinte ("sloncha," but maybe everyone already knew that), and that Irish people roll their eyes when Americans write St. "Patty's" Day rather than St. "Paddy's" Day. During this pre-party meeting, the three of us were drinking regular Jameson and Jameson Black Barrel (slightly sweeter) on the rocks, and I would agree with Jeanette that both were "approachable." In John's words, “my mid palate really enjoyed the Black Barrel’s incredibly smooth flavor." Lol, John. My go-to whiskey had already been Jameson on the rocks, though, but that's because it's what my friend Logan drinks, which she does because it's what one of the bartenders at our local bar, The Brooklyn Inn, suggested when she showed up for the first time and ordered "a whiskey." And that is true.
For the party, we'd invited a couple dozen friends to the classic East Village dive Vazacs Horseshoe Bar (a.k.a. 7B). Invitees were mostly friends — friends we'd met through work, or friends of those friends — plus everyone was encouraged to bring more friends if they wanted. Friends friends friends. Most were involved with the media in some way (writers, editors, tech), but there were also artists, musicians, teachers, and real estate people, as well as a man who sold private planes (!). Two mystery men dressed all in black seemed briefly to be part of our group but I think were not. Everyone was between the ages of 23 and like … haha, hmm, I have no idea but maybe 50? John made a big deal about wanting to include this picture of a guy he surreptitiously (?) photographed at the beginning of the party, so here it is, and I'll let John handle that.
John: "Notice the eccentrically designed Nike running shoes, Citibike key chain, and flannel shirt. Quintessential indiellectual."
Haha. Noted! Anyway, once more people started showing up, the night became a bit of a blur, but in a good way — my memory is a patchwork of standing with these people, sitting with those people, watching people introduce themselves to one another across the bar, and monitoring everyone's faces to make sure they were having a good time, which they seemed to be, enough so that I eventually stopped and just enjoyed myself, too. Plus the bartender was warm and laid-back (we'd called ahead to make sure it wouldn't be a pain if 30 or so people unexpectedly showed up), and it felt nice to be part of that group, or community.
In the day-after words of attendee Adam C., "The proper weeknight get-together with friends and near-friends at a bar is something that gets harder to do with time, but when it happens and happens well, you're reminded of all the good things in life. Like hearing you're not the only person to slip on the ice in front of some laughing tweens." Down with tweens, but not literally. A few other post-party responses: "It made me happy to walk into that crowd of people — there's something so warm and wonderful in just being around familiar faces"; "Everyone was great"; "We had a lot of fun, and I will work on my Irish snake voice" (St. Patrick's Day reference); "I want to ghostwrite the memoir of that guy who sells private planes!"
And, my personal favorite: "Those two hot guys were so hot. Guys who are that hot aren't ever just sitting at a bar for hours. At one point, I walked around the entire bar just to stand next to the one who was staring at his phone, so I looked at his phone, too, but he was texting someone named Erin, so I didn't bother talking to him. BUT my cool line was going to be 'Why are you here?' Seriously, that was what I was going to say. 'WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? And who is Erin???'"
Also, from one of The Awl's editors: "I've never been hugged by my coworkers so many times. Thanks, Jameson!" Indeed, thank you Jameson.
Oh, and I also learned that there are two types of people when it comes to pre-paid bar tabs: ones who order expensive drinks and ones who order cheap or normal-priced drinks to prolong the communal fun. EYES ON YOU, FRUCCI.
Next up: Jameson sends us to Ireland for St. Patrick's Day.