John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to jemcintyre@gmail.com, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Not a fan of vodka

Liquor should taste of something.

That is why the brown liquors, bourbon, Scotch, and rye, have appeal; they have flavor. For martinis, gin is the obvious choice; it has flavor. It tastes like something.

I've never understood the appeal of vodka. It tastes like rubbing alcohol, the sole advantage being that you don't go blind. I've had an occasional vodka martini. It's nice to notice the flavor of the vermouth, but there's always a sense of something missing.

Today, however, vodka moves from its customary level of indifference to one of irritation. The reason is a Grey Goose commercial I've already heard twice, for its "cherry noir" black-cherry-flavored brand. Never mind my suspicion that all cherry-flavored liquors taste like cough syrup. The git engaged to read the commercial pronounces noir as "noh-are."

I suppose most of the customers do, too.