Ask anyone on the street to define "gentleman" and I guarantee you'll receive a number of different responses. Most dictionaries, such as Merriam-Webster, offer multiple options:
gentleman (n.) a. a man of noble or gentle birth b. a man belonging to the landed gentry c. (1): a man who combines gentle birth or rank with chivalrous qualities (2): a man whose conduct conforms to a high standard of propriety or correct behavior d (1): a man of independent means who does not engage in any occupation or profession for gain (2): a man who does not engage in a menial occupation or in manual labor for gain
In the 19th century, d1 and d2 were the most accepted meanings for a gentleman, whose salient distinction from, er, a non-gentle man was his ability to engage in full-time leisure due to his "independent means" (re: family money).
Today, what marks you as a gentleman is far more nebulous; if I had to offer my own description completely off the top of my head, I'd say: "a considerate non-asshole type who approaches everyone with courtesy whether they deserve it or not."
But my definition, like most, is inadequate. Words are an insufficient means of encapsulating the essence of a "gentleman"; Laphroaig appreciates this fact, and thus offers its own definition in the form of a cocktail.
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The "Perfect Gentleman"
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- 1 1⁄2 ounces Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Scotch Whisky
- 3⁄4 ounces DeKuyper® Crème de Cacao Dark
- 1 1⁄2 ounces whole milk/heavy cream
- 2-3 dashes orange bitters
Shake vigorously with ice and strain into a chilled stemless cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh shaved chocolate.
A few sips will quickly tell you that the "Perfect Gentleman" is smooth, slightly rough around the edges, and sweet yet not effete. He is entertaining, relaxing and just a bit rich. Spending too much time with him will make you dizzy; the perfect gentleman is ideal in moderate doses.
This Valentine's Day, if your significant other and the perfect gentleman are not one and the same person, look to this whiskey cocktail for comfort.