Drink of The Week: The Diver

Sleeping with the dogs.

by Rick Bach

NOTE: Thanks again to Bach, who’s generosity with these drink of the week posts is much appreciated. You can check out more of his work at www.outdoorlife.com

In the likely event that my name doesn’t look familiar to you loyal Tonic readers, I’m the nutjob that slept in his jeep and fished his way around the country this past year, and did my first Drink of the Week blog for Angler’s Tonic a few weeks ago.

Anwyay, in the name of experiencing life off the water as well as on, during this once-in-a-lifetime, all-encompassing trip, I split my time between sand bars and bars, utilizing tippets and taps in Texas, sampling Seagrams and salmon in Seattle, largemouth Bass and Bass Ale in Arizona, Mahi and Mai Tais in North Carolina, Amber Jacks and Jack Daniels in Virginia, Bailey’s and Dan Bailey’s (Fly Shop) in Montana, Rolling Rocks and Rockfish in Jersey, Bud Light and Ultralight…well, you get the picture, and I digress.

With great pleasure, I bring you Tonic fans another drink from the road, this time from Memphis, Tennessee. But, first, some

background: The first bar I chose to visit was B.B. King’s Club on Beale Street. Beale Street is to music what Wall Street is to finance. B.B…after all, stands for Beale Street Blues Boy. Yep, now you know.

Any doubts I had about the rumors concerning Southern Hospitality were deep-sixed in the same town where the King is pushing up daisies. The first drink I bought at B.B.’s was the last one I paid for. I struck up a conversation with a couple guys, one of whom was in charge of one of Memphis’s college bowl games.

The next thing I knew, we were at “Silky O’Sullivans” on Beale, waiting for something called a “Diver.”

I didn’t do any formal testing, but I was told that the “Diver,” was a bucket filled with beer, sangria and ice. The menu claims this drink to be “a secret blend of libations.” Add a couple straws (or don’t), and you’ve got a party. Does it feel like you’re at the family holiday party and you you’ve just parked yourself in front of the punch bowl? Sure, but on Beale Street, it’s acceptable, even encouraged. And hopefully you’re crazy Aunt isn’t there. Just everyone else’s crazy aunts.

I had some help with my Diver, but if you tackle it on your own, a sign at O’Sullivan’s warns you that: “It’s guaranteed to make you go down.”

For the genuine article, plan a trip to Beale Street to test your mettle against the Diver, and swing by the Jungle Room while you’re in town. For a fun Friday night, get a bucket, some beer, sangria, a few straws and friends. Don’t ask me about the ratio, I just drank the thing.

I will warn you that the next day might be less than pleasant. Roaming around Beale Street at sunrise, perhaps still mildly intoxicated, I managed to photograph this dog and he looked liked how I felt. But you only live once right? (Bucket) bottoms up!

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