Friday, May 18, 2012

Life's Simple Pleasures: A shave and a scotch

“I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.” Ol’ Blue Eyes’ words remind me that what you do in the evening affects your morning, and what you do in the morning affects your day. Therefore, it is important to start and end your day with two of life’s luxurious, simple pleasures: a perfect shave and a glass of single malt scotch.

There are few things that a man can do in his morning routine that are relaxing and functional at the same time. One is shaving (the other is not discussed here). I find that my morning shave routine is a perfect time for self-reflection and motivation, while, at the same time, being a little self-indulgent. After washing my face with warm water and a gentle cleanser, I prepare my beard with a few drops of pre-shave oil (my personal favorites are The Art of Shaving, Kiehl’s Shaving Formula 31-O, and Dermalogica Pre-Shave Guard). I can’t over emphasize the importance of this step—do not skip! Next, I soften my badger shaving brush with warm water and use it to apply a lather of glycerin-based shaving cream (I recommend either Jack Black Supreme Cream or The Art of Shaving Sandalwood). I use a fresh blade (my beard is tough, so I change my blade every 3 days) and shave with the grain (I have come to realize that different parts of my facial hair grow in different directions, so you should first run your fingers against your dry beard to familiarize yourself with your own pattern). When done, I rinse with cold water and pat (not rub) dry. To end, I revitalize and soothe the newly exposed skin with a post-shave lotion. Not only does my daily routine stimulate healthy skin, but it saves the need to splurge on a commercial straight razor shave (I have a problem relaxing while a stranger holds a sharp blade against my jugular). A great start to my day!

Equally relaxing and indulgent is a glass of single malt scotch to end the day. My choice is a Lagavulin 16 or a Macallan 18 (and I can’t forget Oban, which has a special place in my heart since it was my first). I believe that you should have a special glass to hold this complex spirit—my choice is a Riedel Single Malt Whisky Glass or a Waterford Double Old Fashioned Whiskey Glass. I take my scotch neat with two drops of room temperature water to open the whisky’s bouquet. A pleasure to sip while reflecting on the day’s events.

Whatever your day brings, make sure you start and end it with one of your life’s “simple pleasures.” This helps assure that the next day will start off on the right foot.

~Enjoy your weekend~


  1. This is a great new blog and a fun read. Please keep it up

    1. Thank you very much. Thanks for reading! And please keep commenting (the more the merrier)

  2. Which single malts do you think are best for those of us who generally prefer bourbon? Great blog - very informative.

  3. Good question. I would say that the top scotches for a bourbon drinker are: 1. Glenrothes, 2. Macallan Fine Oak 15, 3. The Dalmore 12-year-old, 4. Ledaig 10-year-old: . 5. .Johnnie Walker Green Labe, and 6.Bunnahabhain 12-year-old

    Let me know what you think.

  4. Well, at least you've learned to drink a proper whisky - and properly.

  5. Perfect post! There are a few sanctuaries a man has to enjoy just being a man, but shaving the perfect shave and drinking a beautiful glass of single malt are definitely two of the finest!

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