It all started a couple of weeks ago with a piece about salmon vodka. All Things Considered anchor Michelle Norris, during an interview with vice president of Alaska Distillery Scotti McDonald, brought in some folks to do a taste test.
NORRIS: Now, since I have it here, it seems like it’s a shame to just talk about this vodka. I’ve brought in two taste-testers to sample some of your salmon-flavored vodka. I’m just opening up the bottle while we do this, and I’ll introduce both of them.
Ms. MCDONALD: Sure.
NORRIS: Loren Jenkins is not only our foreign editor – can you get that, Loren?
LOREN JENKINS: Yeah.
NORRIS: He’s not only our foreign editor but he’s also a discerning connoisseur of fine beverages. I believe that, Loren, you provided the glasses for this taste test. And we’re also joined by Katie Daugert. She’s a research librarian, and she knows a thing or two about salmon. She actually worked on a commercial salmon fishing boat. So you’re both going to take a quick test. Loren, can you do the pouring for me?
(Soundbite of glass clinking)
NORRIS: Okay. All right. That’s a full glass there.
(Soundbite of glass clinking)
NORRIS: Okay. And Scotti, now – you note that this is best enjoyed in a Bloody Mary. But we decided that we wanted to keep this pure, simple.
Ms. MCDONALD: You know, it’s kind of like a good gin. You don’t really just drink gin by itself. You have, you know…
JENKINS: Oh, some of us do.
NORRIS: But there are many people who drink…
(Soundbite of laughter)
NORRIS: You’re talking to newshounds here. There are many people who…
Ms. MCDONALD: Okay. All right. All right. Well, go for it.
NORRIS: Okay. Loren, you first. What do you think of that?
JENKINS: Well, surprisingly, I like it. You do taste the smoked salmon. It tastes good.
NORRIS: Um-hum. So, thumbs up from Loren Jenkins. Katie Daugert, what do you think?
KATIE DAUGERT: It’s very unusual. I think it’s actually not bad. I didn’t expect to like it at all. And I think it’s not bad. It’s kind of fishy. I can see how it would be really good in a Bloody Mary.
NORRIS: And Scotti, that’s the way you say it should best be enjoyed, in a Bloody Mary, yes?
Ms. MCDONALD: That’s right. We’ve done lots of road shows, and we have the exact same response from people, you know, when they go to taste it. They hold it in their hands, they kind of mull over what they’re about to do and when they finally, you know, plug their nose and down the hatch, they are pleasantly surprised. Sometimes we garnish it with asparagus or, you know, give a little bit of a shot of pickle juice in there to give it a little extra, tangy flavor.
NORRIS: I’m sorry. You had them until you said pickle juice.
Cut to: Saturday’s Weekend All Things Considered.
After a piece about the ancient Chinese beer Jiahu – which Delaware micro-brewery Dogfish Head has recreated – anchor Guy Raz participated in the taste test.
Apparently, NPR now stands for No Proxy Rumpots.