Marvelous Whiskeys: The Drinking Habits of Jessica Jones

“Well, it’s five o’clock somewhere, and I need to update my resume. Would you put ‘day drinking’ under ‘experience’ or ‘special skills’?”

-Jessica Jones

If you’re like me, you marathoned Jessica Jones this past weekend and came away with one burning question: what whiskeys does Jessica drink? Sure, Jessica sometimes drinks things other than whiskey, such as in episode 8 when she has several large, healthy glasses of grape juice…


Pictured: Jessica pouring herself a large, healthy glass of grape juice

…but whiskey is her true passion. And I’m here to tell you that I have used my considerable alcohol-identifying skills and Google prowess to catalogue (almost) every whiskey that Jessica Jones consumes on the show. I’m just that good. You’re welcome.



Right off the bat we know that Jessica likes her classic Kentucky bourbons — the cheaper, the better. In episode 1 when she heads out to spy on Luke Cage like the emotionally constipated mess that she is, it’s Jim Beam that she pours into the thermos for her stake-out.


There’s an empty bottle of this chilling on Jessica’s nightstand in one shot. Like J&B, I suspect Cutty Sark comes in a green bottle to disguise its pale piss colour. There is only one way to describe its flavour and that is “blended Scotch under $30.”



Right next to the Cutty Sark you can see a knocked over bottle of Teacher’s Whiskey, another blended Scotch. I like that when Jessica decides to switch up her drinking a little bit, she goes from the suspiciously cheap bourbon to the suspiciously cheap Scotch.


As far as I can tell, Jessica rarely drinks good whiskey. One of these rare good whiskeys is Maker’s Mark, which Luke pours for her on “ladies’ night.” When I was nine years old my family visited the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Kentucky, and I can still smell that fucking place in my dreams. Heaven is a Maker’s Mark distillery and Luke Cage has good taste.


In episode 4, Jessica pops into a corner store to pick up an energy drink, beef jerky, and “bourbon, cheapest one you got.” Wild Turkey is what the store clerk gives her. I’ve never tried this whiskey and, to be honest, I don’t really want to. Even more stomach-turning is the “Wild Fowl” which Luke Cage finds in Jessica’s otherwise liquorless apartment in episode 12. This is just fake Wild Turkey; I even found the graphics company responsible for it, and they do a whole bunch of fake liquors.


One of the few repeats in the show, Old Grand Dad pops up in a couple scenes. As is apparent from this rather long list, Jessica has no brand loyalties when it comes to her liquor, but I guess she must find something distinctively appealing about Old Grand Dad. Maybe it’s the label’s cool orange colour.



After her emotional constipation and secret-keeping cause her thing with Luke Cage to blow up, Jessica turns to the comforts of Four Roses. And one or two other whiskeys, including Maker’s Mark. I wonder if she now associates the taste of Maker’s Mark with Luke. Oh, Jessica.


I’ve never tried Heaven Hill bourbon, but I just discovered that Heaven Hill Distillery produces Elijah Craig, a bourbon that I have tried, sometimes several times in a single sitting.


This is what the non-drinking Trish keeps in her kitchen for Jessica, which is sweet. True love is gently nurturing your gal pal’s alcoholism.



There is one whiskey that, despite the clear shot of the label, I’ve been unable to positively identify, probably because, like the Wild Fowl, it’s not real. “Winston” seems to be a Canadian whiskey, and indeed it looks like Windsor Supreme Canadian Whiskey. Since this is the only Canadian whiskey on the show, my best guess is that there was some international copyright issue and the production team had to alter the label. Or maybe, as with the Wild Fowl, props just wanted to throw some fake whiskeys in among the real. Just know that I spent more than an hour furiously Googling and trying to puzzle out this mystery. This is what I do in my spare time. This is the life I’ve chosen for myself.


Now that you have been briefed on Jessica Jones’s drinking habits, it is your duty as fans to go forth, buy every single bottle listed here, gather your friends, and rewatch the entire season while getting immensely drunk. If you’re feeling especially daring, see who can get through ten consecutive shots (one of each whiskey) without dying.

In conclusion, Marvel, please hire me as a liquor consultant for your alcoholic superheroes. I know my shit.


Recent Neat Things: Weirdly, A Lot Of Tentacles

I began this month with the intention of writing a goodly number of blog posts. But this plan was rudely interrupted by numerous medication changes wreaking havoc on my brain, or, as I prefer to call it, The Spongy Betrayer. So here is a short disjointed post on Recent Neat Things in my life. These things are mostly film/TV because what else is there to do except watch TV when you’re trapped in a terrifyingly long stretch of Bad Brain Days?

A Young Doctor’s Notebook

Truly a masterpiece of grimdark comedy, this show is set in the rural wastes of revolutionary Russia and confusingly stars a bunch of very British actors with very British accents (excepting Jon Hamm, who fakes his way through a British accent). The humour involves syphilis epidemics, morphine addiction, and, in one searingly memorable scene, an amputation. Have you always wanted to watch Daniel Radcliffe laboriously saw his way through a young girl’s mangled leg and then later trip and fall over the discarded limb? If so, you’re in luck.

Voices of the Saints

I’ve finally branched out from my Rider-Waite tarot deck and have acquired another deck of spooky, mystical cards: Lo Scarabeo’s Voices of the Saints. Though the deck lacks my two favourite saints (Sebastian and Jude), it more than makes up for it by better acquainting me with a whole plethora of weird saints I had hitherto given little attention to. There’s the youthful St. Aloysius, the flayed St. Bartholomew who casually carries around his skin in some artistic renderings, and the sinister-looking St. Alphonsus who honestly gives me the willies but his presence in my shrine has coincided with some luck in the money department. I’m not superstitious like this normally, but goddamnit, I like money and I’ll put up with a creepy saint if I have to in order to get more money. There’s also St. John of Nepomuk who apparently chose to drown rather than break the seal of confession, which means he’s associated with watery things and there’s a statue of him languidly succumbing to the charms of two octopi.


This is kind of unsettling.


Speaking of unintentional softcore tentacle porn, I saw the new James Bond movie last weekend. I wonder who greenlit that embarrassing opening. In general the film was immensely underwhelming. I put up with so much boredom just for those few precious glimpses of Ben Whishaw. Bond seemed to be even more of a caricature of himself than usual, which makes sense given Daniel Craig’s hilariously disparaging interview regarding the new film. Daniel Craig is just so done with Bond, as am I. Though I will definitely continue to watch these godforsaken movies, even if the next one will surely not meet my ridiculously high expectations (Idris Elba as Bond and Sebastian Stan as a Bond Boy, please God).

London Spy

If you need a Ben Whishaw fix, this is a much better choice than Spectre. I have no idea what’s going on in this show, but I highly recommend it. The basic premise is that Ben Whishaw cries a lot while trying to figure out what happened to his dead boyfriend. I particularly enjoy the relationship between Ben Whishaw’s character and Jim Broadbent’s character, seeing how these gay men from disparate generations interact with and understand one another. Since my post on vintage gay erotica, I’ve been absently thinking how disconnected we can be from the generations of queers who came before us. London Spy hints at that disconnect quite well. Also there is some A+ shagging in the first episode, so go watch it for that if nothing else.


How to be a Heretic

My first Mass was on the first day of Advent when I was freshly twenty-two. I went with a friend who was a Real Catholic, unlike my impostor self. When she knelt and prayed in the pew before the service began she looked like a medieval lady in an Arthurian legend as painted by a pre-Raphaelite. She could also genuflect gracefully, which is a special gift. I knew about genuflecting, but I just crossed myself and slid into the pew, not wanting to fall over on the cold stone floor and embarrass myself. I embarrassed myself enough during the Mass, not knowing how to sing, not knowing when to chant along with the priest. When my friend held out her hand and said “peace be with you” I stared at her dumbly until she laughed and grabbed my hand. “Say ‘and with you’ and shake hands.” I turned around and thrust my hand at the old lady seated behind me who also looked amused by my cluelessness. “Peace be with you.” “And with you.”

St. Patrick’s Basilica in Ottawa, site of my confusing first Mass.

I first read Brideshead Revisited when I was thirteen. Astoundingly, given how very Catholic that novel is, the Catholic themes left little impression on me. I was in love with Sebastian’s self-hatred, but I failed to grasp how that was intricately intertwined with his religion. I just liked the gay angst — I, like Charles Ryder, saw Sebastian’s Catholicism as a foible, like his teddy bear Aloysius.

I first read Huysmans’ À rebours when I was seventeen. Suddenly Catholicism was this smoky aesthetic wonder. I began to develop a morbid appreciation for Christ twisted agonizingly upon the cross. Catholics are the masters of body horror: in the Anima Christi we ask Jesus to hide us in his open wounds. Then there are all the martyrs. I reread Brideshead Revisited, and spurred on by my love of Sebastian Flyte I developed a love for St. Sebastian, the unofficial patron saint of the gays. I looked at painting after painting of him tied up and pierced with arrows. “Catholics sure are into BDSM,” I thought to myself.

The Succouring of Saint Sebastian, Nicolas Regnier

When I was very young my mother sang songs from Jesus Christ Superstar like lullabies. My mother had left the Church long ago, but you can’t undo being raised Catholic. At one wild point she had wanted to be a nun. She told me a lot of neat things about being Catholic. I know that it is terrible to be hungover in church, the altar boys swinging the sweet incense in your face so that you think you might throw up from the smell and the heat.

My Irish Catholic and French Catholic forebearers are the source of much of my religious paraphernalia. I have holy medals and crucifixes and a picture of a wan, delicate Jesus who looks like a consumptive Romantic poet. I’ve got a prayer card that gives me 300 days indulgence, and it’s Pope-certified (Pius X, June 5th, 1906). My very favourite piece of paraphernalia, of course, is my rosary, which I talked about in this post.

I’ve inherited most of my religious paraphernalia, but one of my best pieces is one I bought in the church gift shop after my awkward Advent Mass. I don’t know if church gift shops are a normal thing, but I was amused by the greedy capitalist trappings. Somewhere Martin Luther’s ghost was howling. I marveled at the rosaries and the votive candles and the elaborate holy fonts for your home. All I bought, however, was a simple St. Jude bookmark. In some ways I love St. Jude more than I love St. Sebastian, because Jude is the patron saint of lost causes and things despaired of. The thing about being chronically mentally ill, especially about being chronically depressed, is that sometimes everything can feel like the end of the world. Sometimes you’re so stressed that if you just spill a glass of water the thought of having to clean it up makes you want to commit suicide. St. Jude’s my boy, then, because everything’s a lost cause to me.

“St. Jude, glorious Apostle, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor has caused you to be forgotten by many, but the true Church invokes you universally as the Patron of things despaired of; pray for me, who am so miserable; pray for me, that finally I may receive the consolations and the succor of Heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings.”

I like the saints because they’re pigeon holes into which I can sort my thoughts. Religion is a psychological organization system. When your head’s usually a distressing mess of thoughts and emotions, it’s nice to be able to simplify things, to hold onto archetypes. A lot of the time I’ll jokingly ask myself “which saint’s dick do I need to suck now?” When I’m travelling somewhere I take St. Christopher with me. When I’m feeling particularly gay I give a shout out to St. Sebastian. When I need energy and motivation to get a lot of work done, I pray to the prolific polymath St. Hildegard. Then there are my “saints” or minor gods that are not properly Catholic at all. I regularly pray to Satan asking for cleverness and charisma in speech and writing. I pray to St. Steve Rogers for strength and protection (What Would Steve Rogers Do is better guidance than What Would Jesus Do). Then I get kind of pagan, and I put flowers in skulls and read Keats to the moon and drink moon-charged gin. These are all just grounding exercises, ways to shut off superfluous thoughts. St. Christopher and I are getting on a train. Satan and I are writing a poem.

This is definitely not Pope-certified.

I’m not a real Catholic. I know that I’ll never join the Church, that the closest I’ll come to taking communion is eating Lammas bread baked with a dash of holy water. Once in a while I’ll attend Mass. I have considered confession, but I wouldn’t know what to say to the priest. I feel pretty alright with God. Someone recently asked me how I coped with being Catholic and queer and my response was basically “easily.” I’m generally a good person; when I hurt someone I apologize and I do better next time, and those things that some might think are sins, like my being extremely gay or constantly blaspheming for laughs, well, I don’t think God really cares about that. If there is a God, he’s infinite and amoral, like a big network of fungi — like the whole universe is a fairy ring. Mushrooms don’t care about you, but they can be quite good to eat.

We’re Here, We’re Queer, Our Forefathers Wrote Some Pretty Fucked Up Porn

(I discuss sexual violence in this post, so please steer clear if you’re not in the right mindset for that. Look after yourselves, friends.)


“glittering sex trinket”

I volunteer at an LGBTQ library which is an annex of my alma mater’s primary library. It’s basically a room where they put all the especially gay books. And it’s a great example of what university bureaucracy and volunteer-run programs get you: maddening messes. Half the stacks are cluttered with unorganized boxes and uncatalogued books, there has been a projector abandoned in the corner probably since the 1990s, and the volunteers, who receive very little training, can’t do much to fix up the old joint. The first thing you see when you enter the room is a “kink section” where some ignorant soul has placed a copy of 50 Shades of Grey. I’m having trouble thinking of things less queer than that book.

Despite all this, I’m fond of the place — though that might have something to do with the extremely comfy couch just behind the front desk. I do love a good lie down.

But here’s the most important thing about the queer library: at the back of the room, there is a long line of locked cabinets which are a veritable cornucopia of mid-century gay erotica. This is my special purview, this collection of queer pulp fiction. My primary responsibility at the library is indexing porn. At the beginning of my shift, I drop my bag at the front desk, grab the keys for the cabinets, and go pick out a book with a classy title like Sir Gay, Eager Hot Butt, or Sex Maniac. For the next few hours I take notes on one of these literary masterpieces while sitting at the front desk and greeting any visitors. I’ll read about a young man getting a sawed-off shotgun shoved up his ass, and then I’ll glance up and smile at a timid student shuffling through the door.

Those who follow me on Twitter will already be familiar with the content of these books, as I like to livetweet some of my reads. They’ll know that the shotgun-up-the-ass scene was in the first ten pages of Fruit Punch, which was the first book I picked up. It was a brutal but appropriate introduction to this project. In case you were unaware, your queer forefathers were into some fucked up shit.

For starters, that shotgun up the ass was definitely non-consensual. If you want your partner to shove a shotgun up your ass, and your partner wants to shove a shotgun up your ass, well, you two have fun. I will just be over here quietly kinkshaming you. This poor boy in the story, however, definitely did not want a shotgun in his ass. I don’t want to make light of sexual violence, but at the same time, if I didn’t read these books with a vague, disturbed sense of amusement, I think I’d go mad. Of course, having never been a victim of sexual violence or abuse, I have the privilege of distancing myself from these things. So when I read about incest, or non-consensual sounding with a match stick, or a man getting shot in the face just as he’s climaxing inside another man, I can casually go “what the fuck,” open the library catalogue, and start inputting appropriate tags.


The queer erotica I see being written now (and here I am largely referring to fanfiction) is so big on consent and communication that these pornographic relics seem particularly alien to the modern sensibility. Granted, you can take a trip over to AO3 and find a number of fanfics with non-con elements, but they are usually plastered with warnings and hand-wringing apologies from the authors. There is something categorically different about the queer pulp fiction I’ve been reading. Graphic rape seems to be fairly standard. Even the less explicit books (at least not all of them involve things that should not be placed in human orifices getting placed in human orifices) have an undercurrent of violence. Men hit their partners, boys are coerced into sex, sex workers are treated as subhuman. It’s systemic to the genre. Were the gays of yore actually getting off to this? Why?

I wonder if being stuck in a closet for so long made them weird. Societal repression can do funny things to a human being — just take a look at Victorian porn. (Listen, I’ve studied a lot of erotica, okay.) But I think most of the violence stems from deeply ingrained misogyny. Sexuality and gender are frequently conflated in these works so that male homosexuality is interpreted as feminizing. Particularly swishy gays are assigned female pronouns as an act of disparagement. Violence becomes a way to counteract this, a demonstration of the ‘power’ typically associated with masculinity. In Fruit Punch, the protagonist is impotent, and the angrier he becomes about this the more he orders around and sexually abuses other men. Similarly, the protagonist in Male Bride (as if the title didn’t clue you in to the supposedly scandalous genderbending associated with homosexuality) fears being an “out and out queer” and keeps trying, and failing, to have sex with women because to do so would make him a proper “man.” In these works, violence is an externalization of internalized homophobia which itself almost always stems from a fear and hatred of the feminine.

Even when these books are not upsetting in their content, they are hilariously bad in their style. For example, 80% of The Red, White, & Lavender looks like this:

I think the author was just hammering the typewriter one-handed at this point.

Lavender also contains one of my very favourite lines, where one man casually asks his partner if he’d like a “man-sized prick creamed up your butt.” While reading that book I spent a lot of time holding my breath, trying not to guffaw hysterically in the middle of the library. Still, nothing beats the end of Male Bride, where our hero finally and melodramatically comes to terms with his homosexuality:

“I am gay,” he whispered to the ocean. “As gay as they come.”

All this just makes me think “thank God for the internet.” With a few clicks I can settle in to read a novel-length fanfic with an interesting story in addition to a fair amount of decently-written dicking — and no one gets a shotgun shoved up their ass. Never forget that we’ve got things so much better than those queers who queered before us.

Happy Wilde Day

Like all good Precocious Young Gays, I read Wilde during my formative years. As I have matured, like a fine wine (and full of fine wine), I have grown less enamoured of Wilde and now I find him to be a bit of an insufferable git. But he is still my insufferable git, and I will always have a place for him on my bookshelf. So in honour of this day, the day of Oscar Wilde’s birth, here are some of my favourite Wilde facts.

1. Wilde made out with Walt Whitman.

This is a fairly well-known fact, I think, especially as The Toast published an article on it a couple years back. But just in case you were unaware: Oscar Wilde put his mouth on Walt Whitman’s mouth. It is possible he also put his mouth on other parts of Walt Whitman, but we will never know for sure. I would at least bet on there having been some heavy petting involved.

On a related note, I’m truly shocked that there are only two Wilde/Whitman fics on AO3 and neither of them are traumatically explicit. I was really expecting more depravity from the internet.

2. Wilde cosplayed as a cello.

There’s not much more to be said here. Oscar Wilde literally wore a coat shaped like a cello to an art opening; he went about as an anthropomorphic musical instrument for a whole evening.

3. Wilde gave silver cigarette cases to his rent boys.

I think it’s sweet that Wilde gave his boytoys presents, even though handing out silver cigarette cases, often engraved with loving little messages, was basically the equivalent of carving I’M A SODOMITE into a block of marble and dropping it on a magistrate’s lap. When Wilde was arrested and searched, his pockets were found to be full of unpaid bills for silver cigarette cases. He just, like, compulsively bought cigarette cases for everyone he shagged.

This is why I have been meaning to get “from O.W.” engraved on my own silver cigarette case, so that I can complete my “one of Oscar Wilde’s renters” aesthetic.

4. Wilde wrote a book from beyond the grave.

20+ years after Wilde gave up the ghost, said ghost apparently dictated a book to a medium known as Hester Travers Smith. If you are so inclined, you may peruse the volume here. I haven’t read it; I am just happy with the knowledge that even after death Wilde still did not know how to shut the fuck up.

5. Wilde offended Arthur Conan Doyle’s sensibilities.

Wilde started bragging about how great his own play was to Conan Doyle and Conan Doyle thought he was a self-aggrandizing dick. Conan Doyle was right.

6. Wilde had an erotic daydream about Saint Sebastian while lying prostrate on John Keats’s grave.

This is it, this is my very favourite Wilde fact. Every time I think of it I am overcome with emotion. It has everything I love: Catholicism, self-theatricality, John Keats, and inappropriate levels of sexiness in graveyards. I will let Wilde speak for himself:

“As I stood beside the grave of this divine boy, I thought of him as a Priest of Beauty slain before his time; and the vision of Guido’s St. Sebastian came before my eyes as I saw him at Genoa, a lovely brown boy, with crisp clustering hair and red lips, bound by his evil enemies to a tree, and though pierced by arrows, raising his eyes with divine, impassioned gaze towards the Eternal Beauty of the opening heaven.”

Only Wilde could turn getting a boner in a graveyard into something erudite and clever.

Sources and further reading:
  • Ellmann, Richard. Oscar Wilde.
  • Gomel, Elana. “Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the (Un)Death of the Author.”
  • McKenna, Neil. The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde.
  • Najarian, James. Victorian Keats: Manliness, Sexuality, and Desire.