The Economist uses the Big Mac. I’ve done my best to avoid McDonald’s (I’m not the type to get all preachy about dietary issues; I know a large fries from Mickey D’s is not good for me, and I still love them), but I will not forsake my love of bourbon. The first person I met who testified to a love of bourbon was Felix Salmon, who argued that Maker’s Mark was a far better spirit than Jack Daniel’s (which I drank at the time), and given the tendency of New York bars to sell them at nearly the same price point, it was irrational to invest in (relative) swill when finer options could be had for as little as $US0.50 more. At the time, Irish Whisky was more my thing, but I’ve since grown more patriotic. I never developed a taste for Maker’s (it’s as sweet to me as Jack), but given the paucity of options in dive bars, I reach for Maker’s before Jack — but Felix’s point hasn’t held. The idea that all bourbons are premium seems to be depressingly pervasive. Just recently I noted my local liquor store (which is still firmly entrenched in the ‘ghetto/yuppie frontier’ model) was selling a fifth of Maker’s for $40, a price that is past egregious. Consequently, I started to note the same problem in bars. And thus The Maker’s Index was born, a measure tracking the erosion of a way of life (well, a life involving drinking too much) as well as a handy tool for those looking to economize in these trying times . Simply, it is the cost of a ‘Maker’s Rocks’ in any bar I have the occasion to visit. Proxies are unstable by definition, so take it with a grain of salt and maybe a glass of Blanton’s should you get the chance. Updates should regularly appear. And if you would like to contribute, please send relevant details to corresponding AT gmail.com.
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