Brigid just did a post regarding an educated view of distilled spirits, especially Scotch. I was immediately brought back to my history with spirits, sadly much less educated.
I hail from Irish and German stock, both (in)famous for their (mis)adventures with alcohol. My own father having his issues with it didn’t stop me from wanting to ‘be a man’ and ‘learn how to drink’. And what.
A friend’s older brother procured for us a bottle of Scotch (so it read on the label) from a local discount store. We were in high school. We enjoyed it, but didn’t have anything with which to compare it. Ummm – good turpentine!
Years later, I was celebrating at my bachelor party, and feeling no pain. I began drinking from a Haig Pinch bottle I’d received for my birthday a month earlier, then got the bright idea I should drink my Michelob beer and chase it with said Scotch. I was nervous – after all, I was getting married in four days! While the quality of the alcohol had improved, my desire for subtlety had not, and I went from euphoric to ill in short order. It’s a good thing I wasn’t getting married the next day. I was unable to stand up.
I was well into my forties when I developed a taste for finer liquors. And the ability to afford them, occasionally. I also began to develop appreciation for the sublime, the subtle. Not just the buzz. Bourbon and tequila became interesting. Not together.
And now? A good microbrew, maybe a Margarita? An occasional dram of bourbon or blended whiskey. Not always drinking to excess, but sometimes as a supplement to lessen my chronic pain. And, appreciating it for what it is.
Not always while watching Moonshiners on satellite, though…