Joan Rivers is the latest celebrity spokesperson for vodka, taking up the mantle still worn by a no-doubt confused Diddy and Dan Ackroyd (“I thought we had this gig sewn up?”).
I am thinking it’s an improvement, actually.
Diddy, dude, when you distill grapes you get brandy and when you distill dead, post wine-making grape crap you get marc. It doesn’t matter how much you distill it, it doesn’t become vodka: no matter how long you bake a butter tart, it doesn’t turn into a custard tart. And we know you know your way around tarts.
As for Ackroyd and his Crystal Head Vodka, I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret. Well, first I’ll avow that it’s actually not half bad. And it does come in one of the world’s great decanters. But it actually tastes pretty much or entirely indistinguishable from the much less expensive Iceberg Vodka (also produced in Newfoundland, and how many can there be, really?). Iceberg is a perfectly good mixing vodka, quite underrated probably because of the price, but it’s not exactly sippin’ likker. So, if you want to save money and pull an old trick from Prohibition, buy the Crystal Head and treasure the skull, but refill it with Iceberg.
Hey, I never said I was classy, but I never said I was rich, either, knowmasayin’?
A little tacky makes the cocktail go down better, as Tallulah Bankhead knew.
Now, speaking of tacky, we come to the above Joan, delightfully protean siren of stage and screen, all the way back to the days of zoetropes. Today, Joan came out with a Better Housekeeping Tip for the Ages, and not-incidentally tipped us off that she buys cheap vodka. Is she a skull-refiller herself? Who knows? But read on and file this away in your I Want To Be Betty Draper index card box.
“I always spray my costumes with vodka and water. It’s an old Broadway trick — two-thirds water and one-third vodka, spray your armpits and you’ll never smell again.”
And here’s Joan, fresh as a Daisy (a double, though) at an Aussie awards show.
My friend, a cocktail fancier and pharmacist, suggested to me that if I can neither swallow the horse pills that my medicine comes in nor dissolve them in water, that I dissolve them in vodka instead. Yay, Science!