A Straight Dope Classic from Cecil's Storehouse of Human Knowledge

What is "branch water"?

December 7, 1990

Dear Cecil:

I watch Dallas like some people go to church. J.R. is my favorite villain. He drinks "branch water," though, and for the life of me I can't find out what "branch water" is. Bartenders look at me like I'm nuts when I ask for it. Liquor stores don't have any idea what J.R.'s favorite drink is either. What is "branch water" and where can I get some?

Cecil replies:

You're looking in the wrong place, bro. Get your nose out of the saloons and find yourself a babbling brook. Branch water is nothing more than water from a stream (often called a branch in the South) rather than a well. I gather such water is highly prized in some parts. Of course, you also hear people ask for a "bourbon and branch," meaning whiskey and plain water rather than soda water. So what J.R. is really supposed to be sipping is anybody's guess.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope! Your direct line to thou- sands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope? Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC.