Thursday, September 23, 2021

Richard Taylor: A Dram of Drambuie

In 1949, an advertisement that appeared in The New Yorker, and no doubt elsewhere, suggested that readers try a digestif imported from Scotland: "After dinner a dram of Drambuie." A dram is conveniently defined in the ad as "a small drink," which is correct, informally. Technically, it's an eighth of a fluid ounce. Either way, the slogan is a catchy one and it makes the name of the product more memorable.

Later, the ad campaign was expanded to include any number of exotic locales: "No matter where you are—after dinner there's nothing like a dram of Drambuie." So ran the updated copy for Drambuie's print campaign, circa 1952-1956. New Yorker cartoonist Richard Taylor illustrated the ads, taking his readers on an armchair world tour. He created at least eight drawings, each featuring an older and a younger man wearing dinner jackets and being served "the only cordial with a Scotch whisky base" in some of the more far-flung areas of the globe. Here they are—cheers!

These ads appeared in The New Yorker multiple times, and that is where I found them. I have not attempted to find the first appearance of each individual ad; don't be fooled by the apparent chronology of the issues. I have merely copied each major variant once, at random.

Note:  Could I have missed a Drambuie ad by Richard Taylor? Anything's possible. Please let me know if you find another.


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