There's an old saying in Brazil, “Quanto pior a cachaça, melhor a caipirinha” or, “the worse the cachaça, the better the caipirinha.” Your friendly Brazilian bartender will recommend you use the least aged spirit available to make this fine concoction.


How utterly American! Haste, you see, need not make waste! The stitch in time? Hogwash! Dear Reader, you will not be surprised to learn that detestable bon mot is British in origin. It has been traced back to 1732, when epigrams were all the rage. Well, in the year of Our Lord, 1870, we don't have time for them! America does not have time for almanacks as we fly hither and thither across telegraph lines and continents on rails, or — in my case — on steamships!


Indeed, Dear Reader, I address you from the aft deck of the steamer Guiding Star, a sea-worthy vessel if ever I have seen one! The Guiding Star departed from Belém, Brazil but eleven days ago. Though evening, one can glimpse from the dying light of the setting sun an azure topaz hue to the waters that is unmistakably Caribbean. We expect to dock in New York harbor in a little less than three weeks' time with a brief stopover in St. Thomas.


[Extending his arm in a toast:] If necessity is the mother of invention, then speed is her midwife!


And, I do declare mint her favorite flower!!


[He drinks.]


After a similar fashion, you won’t catch me throwing my finest bourbon into a silver cup with a sprig of mint and some sugar. Surely, I won't pick the worst, either, but I’ll chalk that up to Southern hospitality before I make any unfair comparisons to Brazil, a country of savages and Catholics, really.


Am I being redundant?


[The fiddler eyes him with suspicion.]


The word “julep” comes from the Persian for “rosewater.” It might apply to any sweet drink, but the American South added the bourbon and the mint, perfecting it; the good Senator Henry Clay brought it to Washington, compromising it.


For what possibly can pass through that godforsaken town without being somewhat compromised — even the Great Compromiser himself! There was a time and presumably a place in which men were lionized for their principles. The American triumvirate has given us the Great Compromiser for this devil's pitchfork's most prominent tine! Imagine that: the great principle of Compromise!