Sunday, June 15, 2008

Drinking Styles

Happy Fathers' Day to the gentlemen blessed and cursed with offspring. This Fathers' Day has me thinking about the drinking styles of different people. Due to my huge interest in mixology, I wanted to give my father a nice bottle of liquor or a liqueur. While he's somewhat interested in mixed drinks and is always willing to help me test out new and old recipes, I knew that he would be a litte bit more grateful for a bottle of scotch than St. Germain. While I don't have much money to be throwing around right now, I was able to pick up a 10-year-old Speyburn scotch to honor him this year for having fathered me. For such a young and reasonably priced single malt, it was quite tasty, and I'll likely add a bottle to my own collection shortly.

Sipping our glasses of scotch after dinner reminded me of how differently people drink their booze. As a mere 22-year-old, I'm used to seeing most of my peers filling a shot glass or holding a can of Red Bull. While this isn't my favorite method of consumption, it is not below me to join in on occassion. Of course, I also try to spread the gospel of quality drinks in the meantime, and the same people I drink fizzy yellow beers with one night, may halfway jokingly refer to me as an alcohol snob the next night. I generally don't get upset about this.

One thing that does occassionally get on my nerves is having to justify making myself a champagne cocktail for brunch to binge drinking friends, who may even have a hangover from the night before. So, in honor of different drinking styles, and to calm the minds of my loved ones: No, I am not an alcoholic. The fifty bottles of booze I own do not make me a problem drinker, nor does the fact that I semi-regularly have a drink or two in the afternoon or (perish the thought) the morning.

I am a much bigger fan of constantly consuming small amounts of quality booze than consuming large amounts of cheap alcohol during short periods of time. This does not, however, make me a booze snob either. I have been known to even play a game or two of beer pong, and I generally don't fill those iconic red plastic cups with Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale or a home-brewed hefe. Red plastic cups should contain the light varieties of Bud or Coors. I know it's a scandalous concept for many, but I hold that it's perfectly fine to enjoy these beers in their proper context, as long as you realize that there are other things to drink out there, which are brewed, fermented, cellared, distilled, and/or mixed with much greater care for quality of ingredients and richness of taste than for dollars to be garnered (although that can be an added bonus).

You don't need to eat filet mignon every evening. Even McDonald's is fine to have on occassion. I know that not everbody agrees with me on this point, and my opinion may change, but until then, this is how I drink, in many different ways, at many different times, and with many different people. While I'm not a fan of either drunkenness or addictions, every other way to drink, I'm more than happy to encourage and join in on, though still some more than others. It also seems that people need little if any encouragement to drink cheap beer and fake martinis. The endangered and extinct styles of drinking are the ones which need a little bit more press and it is with that in mind that I encourage you all to try something new to you (classic or modern), and as always, whatever you drink, to drink it well.


Chris said...

In celebration of Father's Day, I had a Tom Collins mixed by you. It was good. I filled my "something new" quota for the day. :)

I'm going to be doing a blind test this week sometime between a couple brands of beer. Here's the tentative line-up:

1. Budweiser
2. Gordon Biersch Pilsener
3. Kona Longboard Lager
4. Maybe another mass-produced, domestic lager like Coors.

I want to see a couple of things...

1. Would I ever blindly choose Bud or Coors over what I would consider a "premium" style lager? (Of course, someone's definition of premium is subjective, as it evidenced by the Olive Garden Menu.)

2. Is Bud or Coors as bad as I currently believe it to be?

3. If the Premium beers are better, why?

Should happen Tuesday or Wednesday.

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