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Podcast Summary:

“Anyway, I’ll Drink to That” is a Boozn Sam’s production, exploring the fun, quirky, and fascinating tales of drinks (Crown Royal in this episode) that define culture, history and the world. Every drink has a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it…as true as I can. Hosted by Sam, from Boozn Sam’s. Saddle up with a good cocktail and give me a few minutes of your time for a mystery surrounding a drink that changed the world.

Episode 8 Details:

Master Pieces from a Masterpiece

It started as a gift to the King and Queen of Britain. Royalty had never visited Canada so this was a big deal, and they needed a welcome befitting a King and Queen. They also needed that drink presented in a bay that would scream royalty. Samuel had his work cut out for him, but he did not disappoint.

Transcript of Podcast:

*This is the entire podcast episode in written form. Do not read if you want the audio version to be spoiled.

Jeffrey twisted the ends of his mustache and grinned. He knew all eyes were on him. And they should be. He’d pulled off something that took four years and incalculable hours to create. There he stood, with his masterpiece wrapped around him. He flicked up the hood and listened to the oohs and ahhs fill the room. A crowd pleaser. 

Now, at this year’s Halloween party he knew that the award for best costume was his. How could it not be? None of those cheap, made in china outfits. He didn’t have the…. Ummmm… advantage of other features which could help him gain the favor of the predominantly male voting crowd, which was in attendance. 

So, he thought grander. Go the extra mile. Or, in this case, kilometer. Over the border from Canada, shipped in by box in the dark of night in a bustling, jostling truck. Many boxes, actually. Spread over many years to avert suspicion to his work. He’d raise a glass to that, a glass that also was at his side every step of the journey. 

Through all the late nights and early mornings. The times when he was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to go to bed. And those instances when his fingers hurt and he couldn’t see clearly from all the intense focus. 

Hour after hour. Day after day. Year after year. At the end of it all, when the days, 1460 of them to be precise, had been stacked one on top of the other, he’d built a tower worth all the attention now gathered.

In fact, this drink was with many others too as they undertook similar, but different journeys of creativity. Expressions of their personality. DW, after an incredible ten years, produced a queen size blanket. Every step of the way was this drink. The blanket was hand stitched, made with the bits of meticulously collected, unique fabric that couldn’t be replicated.

The less creative found more economical uses, as their father’s and mother’s sipped down this drink. Some carried around little hot wheels cars or school supplies. Others dolls and outfits. 

But, even before all of this, there was a drink, on a train car, in a case – 10 cases to be precise – that rolled through the Canadian countryside surrounded by some very important people. 

It was these very important people that inspired Samuel to also spend years on his own form of creative expression, like the others. So, Samuel, when he heard news of the arrival of these very important guests, who were making history by being the first ones to set foot here, refused to settle for anything less than perfection.

Of course, in matters of taste, that’s subjective. And one gentleman’s swill is another’s champagne. But, it was this search for perfection, as Samuel defined it, that took him on a journey through 600 variations of the drink until he settled on the taste that’s still around today. 

He had to get it right. 

And, instead of starting from scratch, he sought to not reinvent the wheel. The laws around what he was trying to do was lax enough. While in America, they were confined to rigid rules and regulations. Government laws prohibiting that and standardizing that. 

Here, Samuel had no issue. The laws were clear…mostly because there were no laws. He had a blank canvas with which to paint his masterpiece.

So, Samuel worked his way through tasting after tasting until he settled on that final concoction. Which, found its way into the soft hands of some very famous people. 

Who came over without a creative plan in mind, and, more so, a plan to see part of a kingdom.

And them and their entourage put back this drink by the case load while the landscape zipped by. 

This plan was ultimately different than Dain’s plan, who put his creative muscles to work in fashioning a light bulb contraption. 

Now, the cops would recognize this immediately, well, not at first, actually. 

For this light bulb was hidden next to some other goodies. But, it would be the storage container Dain used, a very distinct container known for this purpose, next to a butane lighter that arose the suspicions of the cops present. And with this container, was the drink, a smooth drink with hints of vanilla.

This drink was far from that town of Gimli, with deep viking roots that gave it its start. Far from that same coast, where a Russian immigrant, not viking, worked tirelessly to produce the drink. And then, in a stroke of marketing genius, added something unforgettable. 

Something that would be sewn together to form a wizard’s robe like Jeffrey’s. 

Or, laid out and stitched together to form a queen size bed cover.

Used as a carrying sack for young kid’s toys, dolls, and school supplies… a very unlikely use considering the packaging.  

And a notorious container for druggies to store their crack and light bulb meth pipes.

That started with much less utilitarian ambitions, and much more prestigious aims.

Mainly, Samuel Bronfman wanted to create a drink worthy of the King and Queen of the UK, who were visiting Canada for the first time.

And what a drink Crown Royal is. 

Blended from an amazing 50 different whiskies…

After an incredible 600 attempts.

When, the ambition looked too big, too impossible, the urgings of a Rabbi, Samuel’s Rabbi, 

Finally resulted in this drink enjoyed by nerds, parents, crackheads and royalty alike. 

Crown Royal.

And the unmistakable Crown Royal purple bag it comes in,

Which has found more uses than one could count

Elevating the bag to a level as high as the drink itself.

Which is something to be said for this Canadian blended whiskey, ehhh?

Anyway… I’ll drink to that.