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Tony Grist

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Whisky [Mar. 1st, 2008|10:25 am]
Tony Grist
They sent me a questionnaire about spirits. Page after page of pictures of bottles. It was relatively easy to complete; you just clicked on the bottles you favoured.

I drink whisky. Sometimes. Not very much.

Why do we drink the stuff we drink? It's got a lot to do with image, hasn't it? When I was a kiddo I settled on whisky because it seemed like a serious drink- the sort of drink a learned professor would choose-  and I wanted to be thought serious.

My friend Stephen- who is a learned professor- drank a lot of Pernod.  He's a francophile. Pernod also connects you to that whole poete maudit thing. Sort of. 

I say "sort of" because Pernod is a sissified version of absinthe. It's had the stuff that makes you mad taken out. And that's rather the point of la sorciere glaque, isn't it- that it's bloody dangeous? Why else would a decadent bohemian drink something that tastes like licorice allsorts?

It's next door to an alcopop.

And spirits aren't supposed to slip down easy. They're a test. 

Your first sip is a rite of passage. After that you have to persevere.

When I was young I mixed my whisky with ginger ale to take the taste away.  Now I drink it neat. That's also about image. People think I'm well hard. 

Once, at a party in Scotland, I got through the best part of a bottle and was still standing at the end of it.  Respect!  Actually, I'm afraid I cheated. A lot of it went down the sink or into plant pots.

Do I like the taste? Er-um. I'm still not really sure. A little goes a long way.

But I like the images it puts in my head-  heather and peat-bogs and bracing winds and brochs. 

I'm afraid all that stuff about blends and single malts leaves me cold.

Can I tell the difference between a good whisky and a cheap whisky?

No.

Same thing with brands. If it comes in a tall bottle and it's honey-coloured, it'll do. 

The survey asked about brands. Which ones are fashionable? Which ones are a bit naff?

How would I know?

My daughter drinks Jack Daniels so that has to be fashionable- right?

My dad used to drink Famous Grouse and my dad could afford the best, so I've always assumed it was a classy brand. 

But yesterday I saw it for sale in Netto and now I'm confused. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: upasaka
2008-03-01 12:56 pm (UTC)
I was thinking recently about my parents and the alcohol they drank and drink. When I was quite young, my father drank Daiquiris and my mother drank Old Fashioneds, both of which I was allowed to sample and consequently developed a taste for at a tender age. But that was when they were younger than I am now. Over time, my father went to drinking Scotch Whisky and my mother to Vodka. Eventually it was only Cutty Sark and Absolut Citron, a bottle of which my mother still keeps in the freezer.

I've run the gamut over my drinking years. The Martini (Tanqueray Gin, a tiny drop of dry vermouth and at least two olives) seems to have won out, but I still enjoy a good Scotch or Irish Whisky, especially in cold weather. I also like good Danish Akvavit when I can find it. The only thing I really can't abide is Tequila.

Edited at 2008-03-01 01:05 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-03-01 01:48 pm (UTC)
Doing the survey showed me just how picky I am. There's a whole list of things I would never drink- including rum and gin. Normally at home I drink wine. My favourite is a Spanish white called Esmeralda- which I cottoned onto in Catalonia and have been drinking ever since for sentimental reasons.
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[User Picture]From: heleninwales
2008-03-01 03:19 pm (UTC)
I love dark rum, though I haven't had it in ages because G doesn't like it. But I've never even tasted gin because it always had bad connotations, ie "Mother's ruin" for me to want to try it. :)

I do like whisky, but mostly drink wine or occasionally a half of bitter or bitter shandy.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-03-01 08:12 pm (UTC)
I don't like that burnt sugar taste that rum has and I find gin sickly.

Mainly I drink wine. Spirits are for special occasions.
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[User Picture]From: momof2girls
2008-03-01 02:20 pm (UTC)

Responding to <lj user="gnomic_noodler">

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, FLOOR!

: - P
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[User Picture]From: oakmouse
2008-03-02 04:17 am (UTC)
My friend Mark refers to that last beverage as "tick-killer". ;)
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