It has been a little over a year since I bought my first bottle of liquor. For some reason, unknown to even myself, alcohol was uninteresting to me. I suppose it could be the lack of quality drinks that I had previously consumed. Who actually likes a bunch of fruit flavored sugar water with 2 oz of vodka added? Or it could be that I am not particularly fond of wines or beer. Whatever the case, as of October 2006, I had never touched a single bottle of hard alcohol.
Then one evening my wife and I decided that we would have a cocktail party. We made our own invites, bought glassware, handmade some amazing coasters, and went to the liquor store. I jumped on to the amazing intrawebs, and found a couple of sites, that gave some hints for starting a home bar. We printed out some recipe cards for our guests to assist them in making drinks. It was a great party. And so my love affair with cocktails came in to being.
I became intrigued that you could create such delicious concoctions using such ingredients. The more I learned the more excited I got. Simple Syrup? Who knew that you could use this in everything under the sun?! Then I began to learn the truth. Nobody really wants sour mix, pina colada mix, margarita mix, or any other mix for that matter. And Blue Curacao? I still have a bottle that hasn’t been touched since I unscrewed the lid for our first cocktail party. The more I studied and researched the more I realized how much better my drinks could become. I started buying bitters and hard to find ingredients over the internet. I made my own lemoncello, lemon curd, grenadine, simple syrups, and other ingredients. I would make special trips to different liquor stores to find things that I wanted. (I once walked for 2 hours across Seattle while we were shopping down there, just to get a bottle of maraschino liqueur)
I found several websites with great info. One particular site was Robert Hess’s Drinkboy.com website. From there I embarked out to read many other cocktail blogs, bar menus, and the like. I still have trouble with some spirits, whisky being the preeminent. My palate just doesn’t want to warm up to it in most cases. There are exceptions of course as one of my favorite evening drinks is the whisky sour.
So, off we go to celebrate the love of drink. Good thing that Repeal Day is just around the corner. I was needing a good excuse to try some new recipes and purchase some fine spirits.