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Cutty Sark, movie gangsters’ whisky of choice

“Hey Spider! On your way over here, bring me a Cutty and water, huh…”

"The Spider Situation" on Goodfellas

The poker game during "The Spider Situation" in Goodfellas.

Fans of the 1990 Martin Scorsese mafia movie Goodfellas will recognize this line as the start of the scene known as “The Spider Situation,”(YouTube video link :::: CAUTION: VERY strong language and violence, NSFW) in which Tommy DeVito (the violently impulsive gangster played by Joe Pesci) orders a “Cutty and water” during a poker game from the mafia’s young kid bartender, Spider.  An elaborate miscommunication ensues, typical of the classic arguments depicted in mafia movies.  The argument ends with the young bartender first getting shot in the foot, and then getting filled with bullets from Tommy’s automatic handgun.

I’m sure drinking Cutty and water isn’t the reason for Tommy’s excessively violent behavior, but the “Cutty Sark” brand of blended scotch whisky has been depicted as the liquor of choice of more than a few “bad guys”:

  • In a previous Jennifer’s Review post about the AMC series Mad Men, I pointed out a green bottle in the background of the hotel room of Bobbie Barrett, Don Draper’s evil seductress.  I mistakenly thought this bottle was J&B, but I later learned that the distinctive big-sailed schooner depicted on the bottle gives it away as Cutty Sark.
  • Cutty Sark is mentioned in several Stephen King books (The Tommyknockers, Skeleton Crew, et al)
  • Karen, the selfish, hilariously sassy “friend” on the TV series Will & Grace, lists “Cutty Sark” as one of her friends in Season 2, Episode 10: “Tea & a Total Lack of Sympathy” (link to script from this episode).
CuttySark

The whisky of choice for gangsters everywhere.

So, how does a “Cutty and water” taste?  Well, if you like whisky, and aren’t quite ready for the often bold flavors of a single malt scotch, this might be a good fit for you.  It is by no means overpowering, that is to say, it is quite easy to drink.  So, if you’d like to appreciate some of the subtler flavors, I recommend sipping Cutty on the rocks, as opposed to watering it down.  It works great in other mixers: I’ve used it to make Old Fashioneds or simply mixed it with white soda for a party drink.

So, if you’re feeling like a gangster – or are just looking for a smooth blended scotch – Cutty Sark could be your whisky.

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About Clayton Grow

Clayton is an independent writer, mainly for the engineering and construction industries. He vents his creativity through posts on Jennifer's Review about television, popular culture, and, of course, alcohol. He appreciates the intangible joy in beauty, irony, and friendship as much as he is excited to inform others about algae growth fueled by CO2 from combustion exhaust.

3 Comments

  1. Heh. good review. I like it. I noticed as well how he said ‘cutty water’ and just had to look it up to make sure. Nice catch.

  2. Re: Goodfellas – later in the picture, there’s a scene where several of the main characters are in prison, and Ray Liotta’s character brings in a load of contraband food and drink – among the items is a bottle of J&B Scotch.

  3. Nice catch! Thanks Jason!
    Jennifer Stinnett´s last blog post ..My Interview With Jay Sharpe – A Sports Handicapper!My Profile

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