Corbeaux doh eat sponge cake … Johnnie Walker Black and Trinis

This morning while in the line to head to the US, I met a Trini and we chatted and followed the typical Trini social script, then he invited me to his house for a drink … no problem, right? He mentioned that he had a 1.75L bottle of Johnnie Walker Black, we could polish off with Coconut Water. So this got me to thinking about Trinis and Scotch!

Trinis have an affectation for scotch, you’ll note I don’t use the word affection. This is because the unofficial drink of the Trini masses is Johnnie Walker Black and coconut water. I do love a freshly chopped Coconut from the cooler, I really cannot stand the taste of coconut in anything else … and if the coconut water isn’t fresh, it immediately starts oxidizing. I don’t put much stock in the “moldiness” of it, however I do put stock in the fact that the older the coconut water, the more rancid it tastes.

In Trinidad, the official drink of Trinidadian men as long as I’ve been able to remember, is Johnnie Walker Black and coconut water. I don’t know how people can stomach this shitty drink … for example in Trinidad, you will actually see people going to a fete to drink Johnnie Walker Blue Label with coconut water. Anyone with a taste for decent scotch will pass on a Black and Coconut water … but this goes back to Trinis and their affectation for scotch.

We make great rum back home … Angostura 1919 or 1824 are very good rums that go well with cola or even coconut water, yet the desire to seem “uppity” or “bourge” (short for bourgeouise) has driven the middle class non-intelligensia to scotch because of that class connotation. There are even songs about Johnnie Walker and coconut water, of course by Rikki Jai.

Even worse, is the drinking of Johnnie Walker Red Label … it is akin to drinking paint thinner, but the review is basically that you always mix Red Label and not sip it. I’m ok with Red Label … because no one ever claimed it to be good. On the other hand, the painting of Black Label to be an example of “good” is heresy to a Single Malt drinker.
Then again … I’m not really the greatest fan of Johnnie Walker Blue Label either. Lord knows that going to one of the “high colour” society fetes for Carnival will bring on the Blue Label.

I’ve endured many a marathon drinking session watching people drink Johnnie Walker Black and Coconut water … in fact, I even offered my younger brother samples of two very good peaty Single Malts : Lagavulin 16 and Oban 14, which are quite decent by anyone’s palate, but they pronounced them undrinkable … in fact, words such as “this tastes like shit!!” were spoken … proving yet again a Trini Proverb …

“You can take an ass to water, but you can’t make him drink!

Here is an awesome Trinidadian rationale about why we love Johnnie Walker Black by a Disgruntled Trini (Note the Trini lingo in here)

Reason being is because Trinis are a set of waggonist

most if not everyone break out with rum and coke
but somebody tell yuh that Johhny is the real thing and convince you that Johnnie is the real scene
you didn’t find out for yourself it was not a natural progression it was just waggonist behavior

In the big scheme of things Johnnie Walker is cheap scotch that is not world ranked and in truth and in fact Johnnie Walker Red is more popular but is hardly seen in Trinidad. Secondly Trinis is the only people that does drink Johnnie Walker and Coconut and Johnnie Walker and _______.

My folks recently went to Scotland and they said they did not even see Johnnie Walker . When they went out to drink Scotch the glass was warmed and you drank it neat.

I guess it is the power of advertising that makes people feel that Johnnie Walker is the epitome of Scotch. What does real piss me off is the Corbeaux and sponge cake attitude of Trinis. The people who does go party and rum shop and drink rum and beers and will never buy Johnnie Walker for themselves weather it be for monetary or some other reason. Those same people as they reach in a wedding or buy a padna house the fuss thing they reaching for is the Johnnie Walker and will drink it till they vomit.

I do love the phrase Corbeaux and Sponge Cake … since it means that it does not matter how well intentioned the act, the individual is incapable of appreciating something for what it is.

Anyway … here’s hoping that your next drink will be a good one …. and here is my Shameless plug for Glenfiddich Explorers for 24 hours in Barcelona or Palau

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at

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