Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod

Today I went into a (fairly) western bar and upon looking at their drinks menu, ordered a Duncan MacLeod. I was drawn to this drink partially, but not entirely because it was the only one not written in kana on the menu. The barkeep of the place was Japanese, as were most of the cliental, so I was pretty surprised to see a reference to the popular 90s TV show "Highlander" in such an establishment.

I watched Highlander quite a bit when I was younger, its a pretty great show, with the main character being a 400 year old Scottish clansman named Duncan MacLeod who is a member of a subrace of immortals, roaming around, cutting off other immortal's heads (outside of holy ground only) in order to absorb their "life force" in a "quickening".

Duncan MacLeod looking pretty badass with his katana.

So onto the drink. I asked the barkeep, and I'm pretty sure its equal parts Coca Cola, Scotch Whiskey and Shochu (a Japanese distilled beverage, not to be confused with the Korean homophone, soju) served on the rocks with some sugar to sweeten it up. It wasn't really any good, in fact I don't know if I would order it again (well, other than for the pure awesomeness factor), but I looked it up when I got back home and of course its got a story behind it.

Duncan MacLeod wondered around renaissance Europe mostly as a soldier for hire for a while after his first death in 1622, but in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo he found an immortal Roman general named Darius who had vowed to never fight again, bla bla. Anyway, Mac decided to chill for a while and went to the East to figure himself out. He studied martial arts in China and Japan (remind anyone of another immortal I know of? one with some claws, maybe?), which is where he met some samurai named Hideo, where he got an awesome katana and a Japanese sword-fighting style.

Wow, tangential and fictional. Anyway, in the series, Duncan MacLeod is a Scottish clansman, being played by a British actor (Adrian Paul) who fights with a Japanese sword. So as a drink the Duncan MacLeod is equal parts Scotch (Scottish, duh), Coca Cola (British... maybe? Seems more American, but whatever), and Shochu (Japanese).

The sugar is probably added just to make the drink barely palatable.

P.S. During my research, I found a drink with an unpalatability matched only with its offensiveness to Japanese sensibilities: The Nog-a-sake (equal parts Sake and Egg nog, of course). I think you can figure out the pun yourself.

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