Metatalktail hour: beverage reveries March 31, 2018 5:20 PM   Subscribe

Hello, friends! I'm covering for Eyebrows this fine Saturday evening, and so I ought to post something! And I'm sitting around a fire pit at a MeFite friend's house, drinking a nice beer and thinking about nice beverages, so: what's the last best liquid you consumed, or a memorable sitting-around-with-folks situation along those lines?

Or, just, how you doing? Let's skip the politics, as usual, because boy is everybody getting enough of that elsewhere, but otherwise: take a load off and let your hair down and say howdy.
posted by cortex (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 5:20 PM (93 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

red wine hot chocolate is still great
posted by Going To Maine at 5:24 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I had a nice glass of a Spanish Rioja the other evening at a wine bar, while waiting to pick up my daughter from her tap class. (Or, as she calls it, her TAPPITY TAP TAP class.) And then a pigeon flew in the open door and flapped (tapped) around a little while, until the four or so of us who were in the place managed to shoo it out. It was a nice moment of community. And pigeons.
posted by Liesl at 5:25 PM on March 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

Drinking a Mad Anthony's APA from Erie Brewing right now. It was the first nice day of the year today so we went for a walk around Pittsburgh's Northside and I shot a roll of film with my new (to me) $20* 35mm camera. When I dropped off the roll at the only lab left in the area, they said that business is booming and lots of people are still shooting film.

I got over 10,000 steps walking around the neighborhoods so now my legs are sore but the Mad Anthony's seems to be helping that.

It's a Canon EOS Elan IIE that cost over a thousand in 1995 but can be had for little more than the price of the 2CR5 battery that it takes now.
posted by octothorpe at 5:35 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

Drinking around a fire is best drinking, no question. I have begun thinking about a camping getaway for the May long weekend, which will likely be my next opportunity for this.

I've been feeling down this week because I've finally clued in that a couple of relationships are never going to be what I want them to be. I need to figure out how to let go and appreciate them for what they are and I'm afraid I'm going to screw that up. On a not-entirely unrelated self-care note, I think I'm going to go back to the gym next week for the first time in ages and start being more careful with my eating habits as well. Sadly, this probably means no more beer for a while.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 5:47 PM on March 31, 2018 [4 favorites]

I've been on the hunt for the best Old Fashioned, as made by the bartenders in my fair city and in experiments at home. To my surprise, Atria's has been the best so far. It was the drink of my maternal grandparents and my parents. Making them at home and sampling them at dinner helps to connect back to my mother and her parents.

In honesty, the best beverage I had was a glass of cheap wine outside in front of a fire during the evening after my mom's funeral, last. A childhood best friend, who was also a pallbearer, had us over to his home to decompress after a very long, sad day.

His wife and I are cordial with each other, but just aren't each other's kind of person. Yet she asked me how I was feeling (she lost her dad as a teenager), assured me that I did not have to talk and showed me an enormous amount of kindness when I needed it the most.

In happier news, Wigford's foot is healing well and he will be out of the cone of shame soon. Boy theBRKP is getting surprised with a small Easter basket, which is not something we normally do, so I hope he enjoys the special treat.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:55 PM on March 31, 2018 [5 favorites]

Eating SmartFood, drinking diet coke, knitting, watching The Ten Commandments. Life is good.
posted by Melismata at 5:58 PM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Fruit punch soda. Or the red eye with extra extra half and half I had after the dentist last month.

So I have to go to a wedding next month and I got myself a pretty new dress. I also got this one as a backup, but even though it looks good I don't like it, nor does it suit me, as much as the first one, so it's going back. But I'm also having second thoughts --it's no longer in bad taste to wear black at weddings now, right? Even at a wedding in Bakersfield?

posted by elsietheeel at 5:58 PM on March 31, 2018 [4 favorites]

I went for a long walk along the Portland waterfront with Secretariat this morning (something that is a small pleasure that we are appreciating far more actively than we would have a year ago, her having broken some ankle bones last fall and being off her feet entirely for the rest of last year and the start of this one, in the last month or so now finally back to 100% after successful surgery and convalescence) and at the end of it we split a sandwich and I drank a normally perfectly fine gingerbeer that this morning was fantastic after walking a few miles in cold clear spring weather.

I also had a tremendous, irresponsibly sweet and dense beer the other week after a MeFi-adjacent go-kart outing (my first time doing that!), a twelve-point-something imperial-and-then-some stout called Father of All Tsunamis. The sort of beer that it would be reasonable to describe as outright stupid, but in a good way.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:04 PM on March 31, 2018 [6 favorites]

I was craving crackers but I didn’t have any crackers. Then I saw friends on Instagram making their own matzo, so I made some and now I’m covered with flour and I have crackers!
posted by moonmilk at 6:05 PM on March 31, 2018 [12 favorites]

I am in my comfy chair drinking cardbordeaux and working on an embroidery project. My husband is reading on the sofa next to me and there are dogs strewn about, snoring. Life is good.
posted by workerant at 6:17 PM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Glenlivet straight up.
posted by bjgeiger at 6:20 PM on March 31, 2018

it's no longer in bad taste to wear black at weddings now, right?
Yeah, it's fine, as long as it doesn't look like something you'd wear to a funeral.

I've kind of, maybe-temporarily, mostly quit drinking alcohol, so I'm playing around with non-booze drinks. Right now, my favorite is about a quarter cranapple juice, a quarter grapefruit juice, and a half bubbly water.

So today I learned that a bunch of rabbis ruled that rice and beans are now kosher for Passover for Ashkenazi Jews. (They've always been KforP for Sephardim, but I'm Ashkenazi.) I don't know what I think about that. It almost doesn't seem like a challenge anymore!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:21 PM on March 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

Oh and during our walk we stopped at Randyland and even said hi to the man himself. There was a huge mob of tourists there, which is sort of weird since it's really just some guy's backyard but he seems to love it.
posted by octothorpe at 6:29 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I brought a delicious savory tart to a seder last night, slept in, then gardened like a boss for most of today. I'm exhausted and very dirty, but my garden bed now has a pie area (strawberries and rhubarb), and my back deck has a snack area (potted blueberries, boysenberries, raspberries and strawberries and a baby fig tree, near the nest of a little bird I think is the territorial carnivorous songbird type who will chase the other birds away). I have a whole bed of alliums and brassicas and peas planted, and I moved a bunch of herbs I use a lot into a giant pot and put it right by the kitchen door. I do not like divorce but do like the home I'm making.

I've had a lot of fantastic beverage experiences, but one that comes to mind was the first time I drank Stone IPA, when someone brought it to a party I was hosting in my backyard. I took one sip and it reminded me so powerfully of the smell of chrysanthemum leaves that i picked a stem from the chrysanthemum plant and ran around making everyone smell it then drink the beer. This isn't even my favorite beverage, but whenever I drink it I think of that memory.
posted by centrifugal at 6:31 PM on March 31, 2018 [6 favorites]

I'm with my ex drinking. We're having Lyachee flavoured cocktails. This is a bad idea.
posted by Fizz at 6:33 PM on March 31, 2018 [13 favorites]

I've been experimenting lately with tonic water and homemade cold brew coffee, creating a version of one of my favorite summertime drinks — espresso tonics, which are tonic water over ice with a couple shots of espresso. SO refreshing, especially when it's a hundred-and-fuck outside.
posted by Celsius1414 at 6:37 PM on March 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

My other half and I have just finished 2 bottles of cheap Cava while down in my Mum's house (because they were on offer - she doesn't drink but she's an impulse bargain buyer so yay) while watching a popcorn film, digesting a difficult family event, and talking about thinking about maybe planning on having a kid. Happy Good Friday everyone!
posted by billiebee at 6:38 PM on March 31, 2018 [7 favorites]

Irrelephant made me a lovely twentieth-century for dessert tonight. I'm currently considering making a cup of mint tea as i watch my second episode of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.
posted by platitudipus at 6:39 PM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

or, like, Happy Easter. 2 bottles.
posted by billiebee at 6:41 PM on March 31, 2018 [4 favorites]

Looking forward to the next one... I travel extensively and am away from mrs.chasles and the chasles mini units. So we tool spring break for 8 damn days in DC and it was glorious ( haven't checked yet but im gonna say we hit 50 miles walking). Ive got some long trips coming up, so it was really nice to sit with my kid in the middle seat holding hands. Gonna get them home soon, and then pour some rum in a glass and stomp around my 1/4 acre kingdom like I own the damn place. Nice to be (almost) home!
posted by chasles at 6:43 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've mentioned this in other places, but Serendipity by New Glaurus provoked such a strong memory of growing up in the Midwest that I actually cried, in a good way.

The beer is a fruit ale that was made when the cherry crop they rely on for their (absolutely fantastic) cherry ale had a bad season, and they couldn't source enough cherries of the grade they needed. Instead, they added apple and cranberry to the recipe, and turned out a beer that tastes like fall in the Midwest. It tastes like thanksgiving.

I first had it because a mutual friend of Mrs. Ghidorah and I is a massive beer fanatic, frequently traveling to the states on weeklong brewery tours, and bringing back tons of not-available-in-Japan beers. Every once in a while, he'll do a tasting party, sometimes in a bar, sometimes at his house. This one was at a local bar, and was a selection of New Glaurus' fruit ales, as well as some meads from a Michigan brewery. Everything was great, but then we got to Serendipity, and I took a sniff of the beer, and was completely overwhelmed. Up until this last year, due to weird scheduling issues, I hadn't been home for thanksgiving since 1998, and for my family, that was the one time we were together under one roof, grudges set aside for a weekend, no fighting. Between the last thanksgiving and my first experience with Serendipity, both my uncle who always held the thanksgiving dinner at his house, and my father had passed away. Just the aroma of Serendipity brought back all those memories of those times, and the realization of loss.

This last year, I finally got home for thanksgiving, and was able to be the one to cook for everyone else, with Mrs. Ghidorah as the most reliable sous chef a thanksgiving cook could ever want. We went up to Wisconsin (the only place New Glaurus is available), and bough a case of Serendipity, enough to bring back to Japan and share with people we care about, and also to share with my family at thanksgiving dinner.

If you ever have the chance, don't hesitate. It's really that good.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:44 PM on March 31, 2018 [17 favorites]

As someone who can't have and is generally not interested in alcohol, and shrugged at the idea of mocktails mostly because I don't drink sweet drinks that often anyway... I've just recently discovered the Sweet Sunrise and holy shit??? I like the taste of orange juice, but could never drink it because I have geographic tongue and it always made my tongue hurt. I don't know if it's the ice or the grenadine that cuts down the acidity but it somehow makes it magically smooth and not painful and holy shit guys I can drink orange juice now.
posted by brook horse at 6:44 PM on March 31, 2018 [8 favorites]

Yesterday I had a pineapple dragon fruit smoothie while eating the most delicious couscous lime avocado grilled prawn salad and that is really the pinnacle of my life right now.

I'm really enjoying my Holiday Weekend on Lombok. The bar for white people is so low, everyone is very impressed at my Bahasa Indonesia. The beach is beautiful and has crazy spherical sand, which I have learned (via science twitter) is actually probably bicarbonate accretions called ooids! I'm terribly sunburned! I've gotten caught in three different rain storms! I've had about three zillion people take pictures with me, and then some of them have shared food with me afterwards! There are lots of Good Dogs! There are some Aloof Cats!

The folks selling things on the beach - little kids selling bracelets, and women selling sarongs - have picked me for an easy mark, so I'm leaving with at least 6 sarongs and 3 bracelets. Because I can speak Bahasa (sort of), I'm getting prices somewhere between Indonesian and Terrible White People prices, and I really don't mind spending $3.50 to buy a sarong from very friendly ladies selling things on the beach. And I'm really enjoying watching these tiny kids price gouge terrible holidaying Australians and Europeans. The German guys in the bungalow next to mine got back last night around 3 AM very loudly and drunkenly and proceeded to take both chairs off of my porch and throw up directly in front of my house. I hope they paid absurd amounts for their bracelets.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:51 PM on March 31, 2018 [13 favorites]

It's a Scotch Ale called "Old Chub" for me this evening. 8.5% ABV, so a little boozy but not too much and a little lighter on the palate than the last couple of Scotch Ales I've tried. I'd have it again. I was playing Civ VI earlier but got tired of it, so I'm just surfing around online, kinda bored. Dirivng up to Maine in the morning to see my mother for Easter Sunday, so it's probably off to bed as soon as I finish the beer.
posted by briank at 7:03 PM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

I love fermented things. I'm proficient with bread, and almost all baking, but I also make cheeses and yogurt and pickles and krauts and kimchee and anything you could think of related to fermentation.

That would include beer. When I started making beer I was in the middle of nowhere Appalachia. A tiny town about 30 miles from where I lived had a brew store that sold home brewing supplies. And they sold this kit for this brew they called American Eagle, which had all these odd ingredients like moss, and charcoal, and this malt I had never encountered before or since. And this odd combination of hops that blended bitter and smooth seamlessly, and created the creamiest pale ale I've ever made. The process was pretty straightforward, though did add a couple of ingredients after the initial brew. But it produced the most delicious beer I ever drank.

They were total business amateurs at the store and seemed a little nutty on a lot of issues, which I was used to living in a rural community. They offered a discount for cash and also sold generic canned goods and dry goods in bulk. And I was never sure of their ability to operate a business, but they also didn't necessarily seem committed to a long-term anything. Lots of ads about Y2K supplies. While I was glad they were there, and as this occurred during the early internet age when they were kind of my only option for supplies and ingredients, I was never comfortable in the store. Even so, I sort of went out of my way to buy from them, just to keep the option open, even if I hated the radio station that was always blaring on my visits to the store. If they closed, the next place that sold brew supplies was an hour and a half away.

So one day, after visiting the store for over two years, I pulled up to the parking lot which was also the employee lot, and it was empty. I went up to the window and looked in, and the shop was also empty. With that look of a rushed evacuation. Dust and debris everywhere except the square and rectangle shapes where the fixtures and counters used to be.

And with them went the most delicious beverage I ever had or produced. I could never find the moss or malt they used, nor could I figure out how to create worthy substitutes. And the process seemed provincial, but it didn't work on anything else I ever made, probably because of the ingredients, which weren't off the shelf.

My mother-in-law also had the beer I made from this kit, and on first tasting, it turned me into a beer god that I'm not, but that doesn't stop her from always deferring to me at restaurants whenever a beverage choice is inquired about.

It was insanely good, and it appears it's the product of evil witches that added all sorts of secret ingredients they weren't telling us about, and perhaps had misfortunately bet their future on a kit that missed the internet, but which also died with their Y2K aspirations of a cultural collapse.

I miss that beer. And I tried five different times to recreate it. But I think all those failures have taught me that it's not something I should continue to chase after, in spite of how much I want it back. Even though I'd pay well over $100 for one more bottle of it, the point of it was it was a lesson on ephemerality and living in the moment. It will never come back. And it probably shouldn't, but it was the best thing I ever put in my mouth, and now, maybe for the best, it's extinct. Just like that late Twentieth-century fear of the end of the world.
posted by Stanczyk at 7:06 PM on March 31, 2018 [10 favorites]

Old Chub! It's a nice one, feels like a good balance of stuff going on with it without being obnoxious or over the top. My favorite in that territory is actually a Montana beer that doesn't seem to have wide distribution so I only get it when I head up there to visit family or family drives down to visit me: Cold Smoke, from (I think?) KettleHouse.

I don't know that it's actually necessarily a particularly good scotch ale on the merits, but it was the first one I really took a shine too, while sitting around playing bluegrass on a lakeside porch in northwestern Montana, and its sweet tallboy charm has stuck with me ever since.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:07 PM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm currently drinking Oban 14 neat. Oban has become my brand of scotch because at some point in my 40s I became a guy who has a brand of scotch.

Today was that first semi-warm weekend spring day that we've all been waiting for so I bought some lemonade and hot dogs and grilled the dogs for lunch and had a glass of lemonade while sitting on my back steps on the patio. I just realized that this has become an early spring tradition for me. I grill year-round, I've literally shoveled a foot of snow before so I could get to the grill, but firing up the grill at lunch time to do a couple dogs is a thing I've done on this first semi-warm weekend day of spring for the past couple of years.

I think my favorite drink is coffee. Good, strong coffee. Black. I love my morning cup of coffee. I love making a pot on the weekend and sitting on the porch on a summer weekend morning, watching the birds at the feeder and giving the cats some scritchies.
posted by bondcliff at 7:12 PM on March 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

Not drinking it tonight but my special Nectar of the Gods is a mead by Sky River Meadery that ages in whiskey barrels, and I luv luv luv it.

Also this last fall I tried various fresh hop beers and they were wonderful. I don't care for IPA's but the piny-ness and citrus of fresh hops are very tasty. So that's my two cents.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 7:17 PM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

I haven’t tried them yet, but I just got back from a trip to an international grocery store laden with a pile of unusual sodas, including an “Irish moss peanut drink”, an unidentified Turkish soda, and a Russian soda with pine cones on the label. I’m pretty excited.

Alcohol-wise: we just bottled up a batch of our Cabernet franc after oaking. Small-scale grape growing and wine making are an enormous amount of work and expense relative to the amount of end product you get, but it makes for a very satisfying drink. Time in a bottle, in many ways.
posted by jedicus at 7:21 PM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

All of your drinks sound so fancy! And here I am about to write that I really like tart cherry juice mixed with perrier. That's it. Just juice and bubbles.

I have had a pretty good holiday weekend so far. I've been to the gym twice, had an excellent burrito, ordered a comic book (Saga issue 50) and tonight took myself to see Love, Simon. I went into it as a queer lady ready to have her heart squeezed, and oof! The theatre was less than half full which was good because I totally cried through that scene between Simon and his mom.

Now I am home on the couch under some blankets watching the cat clean himself with his own spit.
posted by janepanic at 7:38 PM on March 31, 2018 [5 favorites]

I don't know about favorite drink ever, but I went wine-tasting with a friend today and it was awesomely fun. I love wine-tasting with her because 1, she loves wine and is very enthusiastic about it, 2, she has a very expressive face and makes all sorts of happy faces when she's drinking good wine, and 3, she works in the wine industry which means we generally get free tastings and a 30% discount on wine when we go out. Sonoma tasting prices are getting ridiculous and we got two $65 tastings today for free, and then two $15 tastings (which is a much more reasonable fee anyway) for free, plus discounts on purchases.

The expensive fancy place where we started was super-fancy (outdoor fireplaces! hipster bleached-antler chandeliers! bleached-pinecone centerpieces! much bleached things!) and we sat at a table on their patio with views of the Sonoma Valley and we had good wine and pate and olives and such, and it was very nice. The second place was a little place we've passed by a lot and is at the intersection where Sonoma tourists meet Napa tourists to go back into San Francisco and therefore always in the midst of giant traffic jams and I'd always written off the couple wineries there as probable tourist traps but! The wine was outstanding! And reasonably priced! Especially with an additional 30% discount! We tasted rose, a white Rhone blend, three chardonnays, three pinot noirs, a red Rhone blend, a Syrah, and a late-harvest Roussane, and I had very, very hard time limiting myself to buying only three bottles, which was more than I wanted to spend anyway but every single wine we had was really, really good. And the pourer was knowledgeable but also making dad jokes ("This syrah is just beautiful and dark and rich, which makes it the opposite of me. I'm plain and pale and poor. But that's why I drink it; I hope to achieve its qualities"), and had the exact right balance of presence vs. absence, and we were again on a patio of their 100-year-old farmhouse looking up the Sonoma Valley and watching vultures play in the wind currents and it was just *lovely*.

I am currently drinking a glass of that 2015 Anaba Turbine white Rhone while I wait for the rice cooker to finish polenta, at which point I will roast green beans and hazelnut-crusted halibut into the oven, and then have it all together.

I realize this is a pretentious-sounding comment but there's something really, really nice about drinking wine in the place where it was made (which I think is a "Shirley Valentine" quote), and I like that I live in a place where I can easily do that.
posted by lazuli at 7:39 PM on March 31, 2018 [6 favorites]

There's not a man, woman or child on the face of the earth who doesn't enjoy a tasty beverage. - David Letterman

Indeed, any tasty beverage (though I personally am partial to a good scotch) with good friends around a cozy warm campfire, surrounded by trees and stars, is just the best. Looking forward to exactly such a thing in about 3 months.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:00 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

Delirium Tremens, the Belgian strong pale ale. Ruined me for Duvel. Conditions have to be just right for me to drink a 750ml 8.7% ABV beer so I’ve been looking forward to this.
posted by Lorin at 8:01 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I bought myself a bottle of Laphroaig quarter cask to share with some friends after finishing the term. We all had to move in the middle of the term, it's been an awful mess, managed to pass everything swimmingly -- was a lovely evening.

I've also been going with a friend to a swing dance night at a local bar known for their cocktails -- so once a week we order something new to us (usually -- we have a couple faves at this point), chat about life, then go dance for a couple of hours. Been a pretty good routine.
posted by curious nu at 8:02 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

Speaking of beverages - I recently saw this quote online in reference to the flavor of my most favoritest scotch ever, Lagavulin 16. Though it is perhaps a tad on the uncharitable side, it's funny nonetheless:

"It's the taste of a small fishing boat. In a storm. While it's on fire."
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:06 PM on March 31, 2018 [5 favorites]

My mind immediately goes back to a small restaurant called, IIRC Der Kupferkessel* in Lichterfelde, Berlin, on a cold October evening in 1979. I was out on my first date after my divorce, and I was very awkward and unsure of myself. My date, who I'll call Cindy for the purposes of this post, was very kind and understanding of my situation. We bonded a bit over a few mugs of gluehwein. It was just a perfect, complete experience. No expectations, no pressure, just watching an early snow fall over the Drakestrasse, leaning close in to each other and sharing confidences.

Cindy, I think of you often, and I hope life has treated you well. You were a beacon of sanity.

*Copper Kettle, if my rusty German is correct.
posted by pjern at 8:15 PM on March 31, 2018 [7 favorites]

I had a lot of Pimm's yesterday afternoon, sitting out in the garden with five friends. I made a whole jug full, and it turned out no one else wanted to drink, so it was down to me. (I only managed half the jug, though). It helped it feel like summer was still happening, even though the days have got a lot shorter. (Temperatures still in the 30s some days though, so it's definitely still summer).

Another fantastic beverage I have been drinking now and then this last year is sahlab. I was only introduced to it for the first time on Eid last year when I went to a nearby suburb that has a big street festival that night, and decided to try everything I saw that I hadn't tried before (starting with camel burgers). It's custardy and rosewatery and like the vanilla version of the best hot chocolate you've ever had. And then I discovered our local Woolworths sells the powdered mix, so now I can have it whenever I want.
posted by lollusc at 8:19 PM on March 31, 2018 [4 favorites]

In my youth I worked the opening shift at a hippie juice bar. I was all alone in the shop at 5 o'clock in the morning squeezing carrots and vegetables and oranges. I drank a sip of the orange juice and my eyed opened wide, I felt my world expanding, and the sun came up inside my head.

I had never tasted real, fresh squeezed juice before, My mother only bought the cheapest frozen orange juice and I had no idea how mind shattering delicious fresh juice could be. I looked for the biggest glass in the shop and tried to drink it slowly but I just couldn't.

It's been almost 40 years since then, but there has never been a more delicious drink than my first taste of orange juice.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 8:21 PM on March 31, 2018 [11 favorites]

Pjern's comment reminded me: most of my memorable beverages from the years when I lived in Germany involved Feuerzangenbowle. I wonder if I can make one of those happen here in Aus?
posted by lollusc at 8:22 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

My cat Kato got me up early and I hated him for it. But then I made a hot milk cake and then some vanilla pudding to make a Boston Cream Pie tomorrow.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:29 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I brought a not-cheap-but-not-expensive bottle of Bordeaux to my parents' seder and we all really liked it! "Go Down Moses" was sung, rack of lamb was consumed, family cat was pet, and I'm treating myself to an early bedtime for a Saturday.
posted by capricorn at 8:36 PM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Tonight i've been sipping Three Pins over ice, and playing cards with my wife.
posted by jazon at 8:52 PM on March 31, 2018

There’s a little donut and pizza shop I would stop at every morning for coffee on the way to my most draining clinical in nursing school. (In a psychiatric ER). It wasn’t objectively good as coffee, only drinkable with ungodly amounts of cream and sugar, but the storekeepers were incredibly kind, and that goes a long way as you’re heading in for a day of screaming patients.

My current office is, incidentally, not far from that same donut shop. I don’t stop in every day anymore, but I pop in if I’m passing through the area. The coffee is still objectively mediocre, but it still tastes like reassurance and getting through a long day. It’s still one of my favorite places to get coffee in the city, actual quality be damned.
posted by ActionPopulated at 9:18 PM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Fever Tree tonic and The Botanist gin.
posted by Gorgik at 9:30 PM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

My husband and I are intense introverts who need the entire weekend to recover from the demands of the week. We also have a couple spare rooms that are open to any friends who need a place to regroup in the difficult process of moving to Los Angeles. Random chance means both rooms are currently occupied, by friends of mine from a mid-90s USENET group (she was in high school then, just after I got out of college) and late-90s forums (she was one of my two M*s of Honor in my wedding). We are drinking wine and watching Hamilton (don't ask).

Tomorrow we are seriously throwing them both out for the day to go amuse themselves so we can introvert hard enough to recover for the week.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:34 PM on March 31, 2018 [5 favorites]

I'm with my ex drinking. We're having Lyachee flavoured cocktails. This is a bad idea.

That is, like, a literal nightmare I have. But with my ex, not yours. And not necessarily lychee -- pretty much any flavor. Also, not necessarily drinking. Mostly, just being in the company of my ex.

My husband and I are intense introverts who need the entire weekend to recover from the demands of the week.

And holy hell, that's my idea of the perfect relationship.

Yay Metafilter!
posted by mudpuppie at 9:43 PM on March 31, 2018 [6 favorites]

Somehow got the idea of adding whiskey (probably Jim Beam) to hot chocolate around the fire while camping and it works. Preferably at Kalaloch on the Olympic coast.

A Framboise they served at the Crater Lake Lodge. There’s not a whole lot to do at Crater Lake besides sit and gawk at the most wonderous natural feature on Planet Earth. I had newly arrived in the PNW and was just married and we took a trip there in July and they had a freak snow storm that kept everyone cooped up in the lodge around the fireplace playing board games. I have this problem with Monopoly where I get super competitive and cutthroat and I knew if I played with my new bride it would threaten our marriage but she insisted. As the game progressed, fueled by bourbon, I became a larger and larger asshole, and other people took notice and started watching the game and eventually cheering my wife on. As we became the central entertainment in the common area of the lodge, the waiter started comping us glasses of this exquisite blueberry Framboise. Eventually my wife, a total Monopoly novice, began to take control as the few spectators grew into a small crowd. By the time I landed on her Pacific with a hotel and had exhausted my mortgages the crowd erupted into cheers which just inflamed the hell out of me. Reader, losing that game and falling back into a happy Framboise-fueled buzz likely saved my marriage and entertained a dozen stranded tourists one evening in Oregon.

A Very Good and Rich Friend gave me a bottle of Talisker 35 for my 35th birthday. I’d been saving it for something special but on my 40th birthday we were having a big barbecue and everyone was already pretty toasted when I yelled out “who wants to try a Talisker 35?” A dozen yeses arose including a few friends who were struggling hard to make it as chefs here in Seattle. The scotch itself was likely very very good from what I can recall, but it was all that much better sharing it freely with some people who could really appreciate it but had never had the opportunity to enjoy something like that without fretting about the cost.

Whistlepig 10 is a really really delicious and complex bourbon that is one of the world’s best yet not out of range of mere mortals like me and I can manage to secure a bottle maybe once a year. I had the opportunity to try Pappy Van Winkle once (this is the holy grail of rare high end bourbon and was actually bought for me by the same guy who gave me the Talisker) and while it too was very very good, it is not convincingly better than Whistlepig.

My brother in law collects wine and I’ve had some extremely good bottles from him but I just don’t have a head for wine and can never remember what’s what. I just drink it and enjoy.

Finally, there was a time in the 80s when Peet’s coffee was just a little place in Berkeley and they brewed a cup that is still the best coffee I’ve ever had.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:54 PM on March 31, 2018 [6 favorites]

I drank some Simi cabernet at seder tonight; it was fine, but nothing to write home about or anything. (I guess writing to you guys is writing home, 'cause I was thinking earlier about how this really is my home online in so many ways.)

I previously listed the things I won't drink anymore. But I can also list quite a few things I will.

The first thing that came to mind: Orkney's Skull Splitter, which I drank on a good number of occasions with friends at the sadly, I-still-can't-believe-it's-demised Cicero's here on the Delmar Loop. I miss so much about Cicero's, like the creamy peppercorn parmesan dressing (which apparently wasn't house-made but still made my day), the outstanding house salad (even if the lettuce had occasionally been in the bin a bit too long), the fries, that stupidly thick pizza I could only eat a slice or two of, the loaded pizza chips, the bouncer, the dudes taking a smoke break out back, the bands loading in, the bass you could hear the second you opened the back door... I would alternate between Skull Splitter and Bell's Two Hearted Ale there; I think I also had my first Delirium Tremens there. I still can't decide whether Skull Splitter is more likely to cure a headache or give you one—I've had it do both—but its dark taste of brown-sugar crust is worthwhile.

I'll also never forget a lovely afternoon at Cicero's, when I'd had a bad day at work and in life a couple years ago and decided for once, a huge deal for me at the time, to kick off a bit early and walk the block to Cicero's and just drink at the bar for a bit. They'd gotten in a jar of moonshine, and one of the regulars bought me a couple shots. It was nothing special—yet all the more special for that, this little stolen afternoon at the bar in good company. Like I knew that place well enough, after meeting friends there many times over the years and ordering takeout from there many nights over the decade I lived a block away, that yeah, I had complaints, 'cause I knew their flaws, but it always felt like home. I spent way more time just sitting there waiting for meals that were supposed to have been done a half hour ago than perhaps would've been ideal, but I didn't really mind—it was a good place to just cool my heels, chat with Kimothy and yeahlikethat on my phone, sometimes until it died, since I wasn't usually expecting to sit there that long, heh, and people-watch while I awaited my takeout order. I miss its stupid face, staring at that checkered floor.

Between that and the sadly also demised Riddles Penultimate Cafe & Wine Bar, I got a lot of my early education in drinks. They were both known for impressive selections. Framboise at Riddles—perhaps with that blackberry pork chop or some morels, when in season—was also delightful. I'll always think of Riddles as sort of a spring destination, even though it was always right there down the block. That's when we went there the most.

That afternoon at Cicero's, though, was kind of the template for a certain sort of walk I've taken from time to time that usually comes out better than I expect. I'll just need a mindfulness break, set out to walk around the Delmar Loop, worry that I'm taking more time away from my desk than I should...and inevitably get pinged in chat on my phone, panic for a moment that I knew I shouldn't have stepped away for that stolen bit of time...and then it's something either entirely harmless or even unexpectedly good news. It's always fine, and I need to remember that, heh.

Regarding New Glarus Brewing Co., I've had some delightful cherry ale and framboise from there now, as a relative who lives up there brings me some from time to time. I'm going to have to get him to bring me some of the Serendipity if it's still available.

The other thing that comes to mind was a delightful, smoky time around the fire late at night after friends' country wedding at the bride's family farm. I barely knew the couple at that point, and this was our first chance to get to know each other, at their wedding. It was lovely. I was freezing, as I hadn't realized how chilly it would get at night out there and had only worn a thin jacket, so like everyone else, I kept drinking around the fire. Ultimately I believe the groom and/or the bride slept out on the lawn. I got smoky enough, I had to take a shower before I could sleep. I'll just never forget the point at which the husband decided I was good people. I'd spent quite a while humoring the drunk guest next to me, who kept talking complete shit, this nonsense about how she wanted to start a band with me. Once she'd gone, I still didn't say much, but I said a few choice words that made them realize, yes, I had just been being nice that whole time, and no, I wasn't her new best buddy. The husband—a reverend's son, a black metal–playing satanist, and an as-yet-unreformed alcoholic at the time—burst out laughing and declared "She has hate in her heart!" I'd passed the test, apparently.

I still think about that all the time, even though in the intervening years, perhaps in part due to the alluded-to reformation and the demands of their parenthood, we've drifted apart. If ever I say someone has hate in their heart, in an admiring way—or that they've "got the hate"—that's where I got that.

Sigh, it sure has been some time now since those early days on the Loop. I miss, I miss...
posted by limeonaire at 10:37 PM on March 31, 2018 [6 favorites]

As Jimmy Buffet once opined, the warmest beer I ever had was just cold enough.
posted by AugustWest at 10:38 PM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Fever Tree tonic and The Botanist gin.

Fever Tree is the brand my coffee shop uses to make their espresso tonics. :)
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:13 PM on March 31, 2018

Lots of favorite drinks. For ordinary daily purposes, coffee milk--this kind of coffee-flavored milk that tastes basically like Haagen-Dazs coffee ice cream in drinkable form, only not quite that sweet, served very cold. The thing is the individual glass bottles it comes in.
(Also very good with a splash of kahlua on a weekend night...)

This week--Friday night actually--my closest co-worker's wife had their first baby. He's a very placid, sweet-natured guy of whom I'm very fond, and who seems likely to be an excellent father; I'm really happy for him. (It's also a little bittersweet, because my husband and I are going to see a doctor next week to find out if it's worth trying IVF etc. to get pregnant or not; we are ambivalent about the whole thing, but it's hard not to be affected by the happiness of new parents.) I went to the big bookstore downtown and bought Japanese editions of a few of the books that all children should have, among them Where the Wild Things Are (to this day the last page still makes me cry) and The King's Stilts.
posted by huimangm at 11:46 PM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Fever Tree and Hendrick's is my G&T of choice, but I've never heard of this espresso tonic thing and I'm intrigued in a way that I shouldn't be at 2am. In the morning, though, I have both a Nespresso (which I have been loving) and some extra tonic water that's worth the experiment.

I tried kombucha for the first time this week and was totally prepared not to like it very much but wanted to at least be able to say I'd tried it... and now I'm already looking into making it myself because I think I like the concept but not the particular ones available from my grocery.
posted by Sequence at 11:52 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm four weeks alcohol free today but haven't properly branched out into the various mocktails etc yet, so Diet Coke currently but cherry and Perrier sounds lovely! I've been referred back to a rheumatologist for my back in a few weeks, hope they have some good ideas.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:52 PM on March 31, 2018 [8 favorites]

Currently drinking Whistle Pig rye. Earlier this evening I convinced the bartender at our favorite bar to make me a rye and soda with the bitters ice cubes that they make at the bar for their Old Fashioned. The bitters ice cubes were perfect in a rye and soda, and the guy sitting next to me at the bar decided to order one as well after seeing mine.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:18 AM on April 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

I must learn more about these bitters ice cubes!

Just on our way driving home down the interstate in the middle of the night, returning from my first trip to Mexico. We took our three kids and rented two houses in Sayulita with three other families-one child in each family part of a great group of kids in a dual immersion Spanish school, where they’ve been learning Spanish since kindergarten. It was a great trip, even though getting 12 year olds to speak a word of Spanish is apparently the most embarrassing request that a parent can make. Sayulita is gorgeous, Semana Santa is absolutely insane but wonderful, and we were able to go out to dinner, all 17 of us, for my eldest’s 21st birthday-open air restaurant on the beach, two huge tables shoved together, happy happy daughter. One of those moments where I find myself trying to stop and capture everything, realizing that this is a perfect moment and I want to remember forever.
posted by purenitrous at 12:37 AM on April 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm drinking my way slowly through a bottle of just-bought Chianti, largely because I don't want to glug a hole into our wine cellar while the spouse is traveling and also, for not going too fast with the 18y-McAllan that I got for Christmas and that's really good.
Daytime it's mostly coffee and herbal tea. I got a book chapter to write and it goes excruciatingly slow...
I've also tested some of the un-classifiable homemade apple cider/wine of which I have uncountable bottles downstairs. It's quite ok, actually, for being made from the wrong kind of apples and based on spontaneous fermentation (only some sugar and citric acid added...).
posted by Namlit at 1:15 AM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Honorable Youngest Daughter and I bought bottles of Mr. Pibb on the way home from our scrapbooking weekend last Sunday. She let me drive her Prius hybrid... nice, delightfully quiet given that I have a hearing loss and get tired of pretending to understand conversations while on the road, and it gets excellent gas mileage while hauling all kinds of yarn and cardstock and clothes and such.
Why yes, it was a nice long test drive. The Honda Accord / Toyota Prius debate continues in my household.
At any rate, I squirreled away the Mr. Pibb in a back corner of the refrigerator until the right moment, and... meh. Maybe it's an acquired taste in certain fast food restaurants, but it just didn't live up to my expectations.
So it's back to Dr. Pepper and diet cherry DP, which is no big deal. Summer weather, more bottled water.

Meanwhile, I'm almost done with a Turtle Beach-style king-size crochet blanket for the new SIL, who loves beaches. Zigzags are so soothing, and there's no frustration about keeping up with the stitch count.
I am debating making amigurumi turtles similar to those in various blanket designs and handing her a bagful. Various grandkids will adore them.

Happy holidays!
posted by TrishaU at 2:03 AM on April 1, 2018 [4 favorites]

I saw the first of the season hummingbird yesterday. Made iced coffee which I forgot about and left sitting on the counter till bedtime.

Am up and getting ready for another day of retail (7AMers represent!) ...and all the customers who will come in after sunrise service and cluelessly say "happy easter".
posted by mightshould at 3:24 AM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

This thread is interesting because I'm ~5 years sober (from alcohol) and I'd basically forgotten that alcohol is a beverage. I guess I came in expecting folks to be like "some amazing hot chocolate" and forgot that wine, beer and liquor are also extremely popular drinks.

Probably the best thing I ever drank was the virgin pina colada blended ice drinks they had on the cruise I went on a few years ago (Island Oasis brand; so sweet, so creamy, but sadly I can't find their mix on sale in the UK for less-than-extortionate prices). I swear I must have had at least three of those a day for the majority of the two-week cruise; in retrospect it is not entirely surprising that I needed a nap every afternoon.

The flipside of this wonderful pineapple paradise beverage was the time I went to a bad chain Mexican restaurant, ordered a virgin pina colada blended ice drink, and they served me fucking orange juice blended with ice. There was no pineapple or coconut in it at all. And they didn't say anything about it. I mean neither did I, but I'm conflict-avoidant and they're a fucking professional restaurant who should know the difference between a pina colada and fucking orange juice with ice.

The best recent thing I drank that wasn't water (seriously, have you guys tried cold water? it's great) was the Budweiser Prohibition Brew non-alcoholic beer. I never really got into non-alcoholic beer because the main variety on sale over here is Becks Blue and that stuff is awful pisswater, then I tried some of the new Budweiser stuff at a work party recently and really liked it, then I went back and tried a bunch of other brands based on this false newfound confidence and found that they were all still really bad.
posted by terretu at 3:38 AM on April 1, 2018 [5 favorites]

T'husband and I are decluttering the kitchen this weekend - going well so far, turns out I own a bundt tin that escaped into the back of the most awkward cupboard! Might be cake in my future - so to avoid spending too much time in it, we went out to our local pub for dinner last night. I took advantage of their excellent gin menu and had a Raspberry Ghost and t'husband had a beer and we just had a nice couple hours chatting about all sorts of random things and just chilling.

In a bit, I'm going to unmould the toilet cleaning tabs I made last night (bicarb and citric acid and essential oils) and make some window cleaner and then it is back into uncluttering for a bit before I make a roast for dinner.
posted by halcyonday at 3:40 AM on April 1, 2018

and found that they were all still really bad.

Through all three of my wife's pregnancies, she would get the occasional hankering and buy a nonalcoholic beer. No matter how often I warned her, she would always forget and try to drink one. They are horrid, horrid beverages (granted, I never tried the Budweiser). After she would drink a sip and hand it off to me, I would add a shot or two of soju to make it a "real" beer, but it only made it worse.

As for drinks I like, I make something called Andy-ju, which is 80% soju (red cap or bust, imo), 18% cider (sprite), and 2% drinking vinegar (of any flavor). Mix up a couple liters of that stuff and buckle up for a wild ride. It is 18% alcohol (give or take) but tastes like sunshine.

Also, I gave my 3 year old son a glass of carbonated water today and he told me it was "spicy". Wool spicy water!
posted by Literaryhero at 3:50 AM on April 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

It was your Saturday night, but my Sunday morning in sunny, autumnal mellow Western Australia. Easter provided a lame excuse for my man and I to have a Peroni with our Lindt-infused breakfast as we sat listening to the magpies, carrolling away in the gum trees.

We did our usual post brekky sit down to do the NYT crossword, and dammit, we were stumped over and over. We blamed beer and the huge sugar upload for our clue-answering fails, yelling louder and louder 'what. the. fuck.' as each answer didn't fit.

We resorted, after 28 minutes, to hitting the 'reveal' button and were totally sucked in. 'You can't put two letters in one square!' 'That isn't even a word!' Then we realised it was April 1st and we were two middle aged, thoroughly duped, twats.

More beer ensued. Happy Easter everyone.
posted by honey-barbara at 4:09 AM on April 1, 2018 [10 favorites]

I don't drink alcohol so my normal indulengent drink is a 7-up and OJ (half and half 7-up and OJ concentrate) but it appears I'm in the thrall of a Noro episode so right now the best drink in the world is an ice cold ginger ale.
posted by Mitheral at 4:44 AM on April 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

I had the opportunity to try Pappy Van Winkle once (this is the holy grail of rare high end bourbon and was actually bought for me by the same guy who gave me the Talisker) and while it too was very very good, it is not convincingly better than Whistlepig.

A while back I was with a small group at a bar, and the bartender poured us, unexpectedly, generous tasters of the regular Pappy Van Winkle (that sold for a few hundred dollars) and the expensive version (that sold at the time for one or two thousand dollars per bottle). All of us much preferred the cheaper version; whether that says something about us or about the drink, I don't know.

I mostly drink IPAs and pale ales, and sometimes wine, cocktails only very rarely. I wasn't a hard drinker to start with, and I've been cutting back even further this year since alcohol seems to be negatively impacting my sleep more and more. Actually, this year a lot of people I know have cut back or quit alcohol for health reasons, so social gatherings have abruptly become much less alcohol-based, which is interesting to see and kind of nice; I hope it continues.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:36 AM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've finally come to the realizations that
a) I like fruity, light beer; and
b) I now drink so infrequently that one will be enough. I don't have a particular favorite but I will usually go for anything apple.

When I was younger my friends and I would make cheap applejack. We took a few bottles of cheap apple wine (probably Boones Farm!) and would pour it into a plastic jug, and leave outside overnight in sub-zero temps. In the morning we would remove and toss the frozen, non-alcohol ice part and save the now concentrated apple wine. We did this a few nights in a row and boy howdy! It was strong.

This year I'm going to take advantage of my "bounty" and make dandelion wine. This thread reminds me that I should start getting ready for that...dandelion season is right around the corner, even though it is currently 11°F outside and there's a pile of snow on the ground.
posted by Elly Vortex at 7:03 AM on April 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

I had to stop drinking caffeinated drinks because I have PVCs and the coffee/tea exacerbated them to the point that I was exhausted every day from the palpitations from just one cup of half-decaf coffee. Not good. I need the ritual and a teeny bit of caffeine, though, to stave off the migraines, so I've switched to only decaf coffee. That's what I'm drinking now, waiting for the nearly-18-year-old to wake up and find her Easter basket. Then she and my husband will continue working on the bat box that is her high school graduation-required challenge project (yes, she will be graduating in three months and yes, I know...she procrastinates). Then we'll go to a friend's house for Easter revelry and dinner; three of the kids will be off to college in the fall so it's going to be bittersweet. We're all basically family, the kids might as well be cousins. I work for Catholics so I had Friday off and will have Monday off so I'm really enjoying the break.

Is it possible to be allergic to beer? I have ridiculous environmental allergies (basically everything that flowers or grows makes me miserable) and I've noticed lately that I'm a little wheezy and sneezy after I drink beer.
posted by cooker girl at 7:08 AM on April 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

Is it possible to be allergic to beer? I have ridiculous environmental allergies (basically everything that flowers or grows makes me miserable) and I've noticed lately that I'm a little wheezy and sneezy after I drink beer.

I've had family and friends say they started getting itchy a few hours after drinking beer. Claritin seemed to help them.
posted by lazuli at 7:35 AM on April 1, 2018

I'm not a huge fan of alcohol in general, but I have to say that the Whistling Pig Red Ale that they make at the Norwich Inn is great. If you are ever in Vermont ... I've also been drinking and enjoying hard cider, but haven't found a specific "best" yet, though Bold Rock is pretty good (if anyone has recommendations, I'm open.)

Mr. gudrun is away till mid day, so I'm currently drinking some crazy expensive TWG New World Tea and hanging with the boy cat, and trying to get over the shingles (Shingrix) vaccination I got on Friday. Don't get me wrong, feeling bad for a day or so is infinitely preferable to getting shingles, but the arm pain from the shot was so bad I could barely sleep Friday night, and last night was tough too. I'm finally feeling a bit better today.
posted by gudrun at 8:07 AM on April 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

Earlier this week I had a delightful matcha latte with oat milk at a coffee shop down the street that I hadn't tried yet (one coffee shop closed, another opened in the same space, and I unfairly held a grudge because they weren't the old place, turns out they're perfectly nice). There was a pretty little design on the top of the cup, and matcha leaves this beautiful stratigraphy down the side of your cup as you sip, recording each transient surface level of the drink. It makes me think of bathtub rings in a valley showing the previous lake levels, or ancient shorelines showing evidence of isostatic rebound from glacial retreat, or varves (recording periods of drinking matcha and not drinking matcha?)
posted by Secretariat at 9:03 AM on April 1, 2018 [4 favorites]

Claritin seemed to help them.

I already take Claritin daily, and NasaCort, and a non-steroidal daily inhaler. I'm as medicated as I can be and I still get wheezy and sneezy after beer. Was wondering if it was all in my head.
posted by cooker girl at 9:55 AM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

It was a bad idea, and yet despite this, no bad decisions were made.
posted by Fizz at 10:38 AM on April 1, 2018 [8 favorites]

Good job, Fizz.

I work at a coffee shop, and have been experimenting. I created a drink which tastes like, depending who you ask, either the essence of spring, or pastel colors. A matcha green tea latte with lavender syrup. It is delicate and heavenly and I’ve been drinking it nearly nonstop.

Now I need to start brainstorming April/May drink ideas.
posted by Night_owl at 10:43 AM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

At my local hackerspace, the drink of choice is Mate (ma-tay), by which we mean an iced-tea like, fizzy, heavily caffeinated softdrink that contains the extract of Yerba Maté. It's a great way to stay awake and alert while you're working on a project.
Since our space is located close to the German border, and Germany is where these drinks come from, we can easily get more different kinds than most other Dutch hackerspaces offer. So apart from the ubiquitous Club-Mate (we have the standard version, the one called Ice-T Kraftstoff, the Winter edition and the red Granat version), we also have Flora Power which is more smoky in flavour, MioMio Mate which is less smoky, fresher/lighter and almost apple-ish, and the new and rather nice MioMio Mate Banana.

And last week, we found another variety at the nearest Getränkemarkt: MioMio Mate Ginger. This is my new favourite. Fresh and not too sweet, and with a strong but not overwhelming ginger flavour and aroma.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:44 AM on April 1, 2018

A beverage I still dream about is Moet & Chandon's Petite Liqueur, a carbonated champagne, that was everywhere in the 80s and 90s and then disappeared. I just discovered a site for rare wines that has a few bottles of the French version and the prices are in the hundreds. Sigh.

On my 40th birthday, my closest male friend gifted me a bottles of 1963 Warre's vintage port. I said "we'll drink this on my 50th!" He said "damn, not till then." My 50th rolled around and we met up in New Orleans (he from Portland, me from Asheville) in 1993. He said, "if you don't bring the port, don't come." We bought special little port glasses and would have a glass or two before venturing out for the evening. One night, we stopped in Mr. B's Bistro for a nightcap and saw the 63 Warre's on the list of ports by the glass. It was $40 a glass. We laughed and laughed. It was a great time and a great memory, especially since he died a few years ago.

Most often these days, I drink gin, and a gimlet is my favorite drink.
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:56 AM on April 1, 2018 [4 favorites]

I grew up in Sonoma County and my parents would use any excuse to go wine tasting. In those days it didn't cost anything. I remember attending a wedding or two where if you were old enough to hold the glass they would keep pouring you champagne. So I developed my taste in wines early.

For a long time California Cabernets and Chardonnays were definitely my preference. I worked in a bookstore in the same little mall as a terrific wine shop whose proprietor knew more about wine than I can imagine. She carried an amazing selection of wines and beers. One of my favorite beverages from those days is Green Rooster, a danish beer. I was very surprised one day when after drinking it from the bottle for a couple of years I poured some into a glass and discovered that it was bright green.

slartybartfast, I too remember when Peet's was a little coffee place in Berkeley. At the bookstore, Zenobia, A Book Cafe, we served Peet's coffee and made espresso drinks with Peet's beans. My favorite coffee was always the 101 Blend. We drank so much coffee at that bookstore. We also served desserts. For me, Just Desserts will always be the only carrot cake worth eating.

I married the guy who owned the hi-fi shop in the same mall. He's reasonably well off and I tasted many of the finer things in life thanks to him and some friends. One of our friends, an architect, retired and his retirement party was held at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley. (By this time I was no longer married to my second husband, but we are still friends and were dating at the time.) Anyway, another friend gave the architect a bottle of Louis XIII cognac. Our architect friend knew I had never tasted it so when there were only a few of us left, he opened the bottle, primarily so that I could taste it. I still remember the taste lingering for hours afterward.

One very hot day in Walnut Creek when this second ex and I were working in our backyard, the architect friend brought over a picnic along with an exquisite bottle of vouvray. I have never found a vouvray that good since.

Recently the best beverages I have had are Red Breast Irish Whiskey 12 year old, and a barrel tasting of a Washington cabernet that was the best cabernet I have ever tasted and it hadn't been bottled yet.

Incidentally, the best Zinfandel I ever had was made by my brother's friend and was consumed in a beautiful cabin in the Sierras. I've been enjoying tasting various bourbons and ryes. I do really like a rye in a mixed drink.
posted by Altomentis at 1:57 PM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Altomentis is my mom, and I've absorbed wine enjoyment through association. Which gives a bit of context for the stuff below that I was typing out while she typed out her comment. She's much faster at typing than I am right now.

There is a rather complicated tale that got me there, but I'm going to skip over it because of something that happened after the moment I am recounting.

So last week I was at a chain pharmacy in a town that for a long time continued to flourish because of the outlet mall it hosts, and being the halfway point between Seattle and Portland on Interstate 5. As you might guess, I was there to pick up a prescription. Not for me, I had never been to this pharmacy before. I was unprepared for the liquor section. They have a nice range of hard liquor, kind of refreshing to see in a small town. Then I turned down the next aisle...

This pharmacy must have someone who really likes wine.

Since the Great Enboozening (WA allowing non-state owned stores to sell hard liquor a few years ago), I've become accustomed to supermarkets having hard booze, and occasionally, astonishingly good wine sections. Safeways often have quite good wines here. California wines that top $50 a bottle. I've never seen a pharmacy with anything like what I found at this one.

Because I've never seen a bottle of Caymus Cabernet for sale at a pharmacy. Much less several.

I didn't buy a bottle. Though I might go back and get one. I'm reasonably sure that it will still be there. I did buy 4 bottles of my favorite Zinfandel (that totalled less than 1 bottle of the Caymus). Tonight I think will be a good time to open one, because I'm no longer taking pain meds for the thing that happened that makes it challenging to type. About that...

Life Pro Tip: When you're in the middle of cutting up a double corrugated cardboard box with a dull old blade, it is perhaps not the best time to change to a sharp new one. Change the blade either before or after. Sometimes one's reflexes can't compensate for such changes.

I have 7 stitches in my left index finger. Trying not to use it while typing is not too bad, but it does slow me down.
posted by monopas at 2:27 PM on April 1, 2018 [6 favorites]

I had a cup of chai (made with actual black tea and fresh ginger and spices from jars, not that aseptic carton dreck) and whole, nonhomogenized milk from our local dairy, where the cream on top blobs out into your chai and then melts and leaves globs of melted butter on top, which sounds gross but is actually amazingly delicious.
posted by HotToddy at 3:47 PM on April 1, 2018 [4 favorites]

The hops on my back terrace are starting to sprout. I have five, in containers; each plant sends up multiple shoots, which I cut down to one. Twice now I've had a good handful of hop shoots to add to dinner.

I have a friend who home-brews. Every year I give him my hop harvest, and a few months later he gives me back a share of the beer. The last couple of years it's been green-hopped, which has a weird bitterness to it, and I'm not sure what I think of it, but I drink it with reverence for the friend's sake.

That's basically the entire history of me and alcohol: weird bitter drinks that I taught myself to like for the sake of friends, partners, muses, boon companions in the rites of Dionysus.

So the hopeful little hop shoots make me smile, because soon they will be healthy green vines with sun on their leaves, and then the cones will ripen. I'll harvest them by climbing ladders and leaning perilously out of various windows; I'll carefully pick them over for insects, bag them and freeze them; and then I'll give them to my friend, who will give me back weird-tasting beer. It's the circle of life.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:39 PM on April 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

That's a lovely little blog that you linked, Pallas.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:02 PM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've been trying not to drink too much alcohol lately because I am incredibly stressed at work and I don't want to deal with it by drinking wine to excess (my usual crutch). I just had a hot mug of Trader Joe's cocoa almond cashew milk and it was pretty comforting and tasty. I wish I didn't dread Monday so much these days, here's to hoping for an easier April.
posted by gatorae at 7:03 PM on April 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

I just had a truly horrible Irish coffee at an Applebee’s in Sidney, Nebraska and I was thrilled to have it. I have been driving through Wyoming as if pursued by demons since Wednesday and it’s been rough. I keep being barely one step ahead of really bad weather but I think I’m just going to give up trying to outpace it now. Yesterday I got to Curt Gowdy State Park, between Laramie and Cheyenne, just as it started to snow. I woke up to about 3 inches and it was pretty, but a little unnerving. I was going to stay another day or two - the snow had all melted off by noon and I was looking forward to going for a late afternoon hike - but then the wind started kicking up strong. I checked the weather again only to find a scary high wind advisory. 65 mph gusts are too much for a small camper, unhitched, broadside on. . . I lost my nerve, hitched up in 45 minutes flat, a new record, and fled down I-80 to Sidney. Where the snow is still on the ground, there’s a highway out the window instead of a lake and the wind will soon be following me. But, there are people around and if I end up having to stay for days I can get more propane if I need it, take a shower and walk to the Applebee’s. So that’s what I did when I got here, because there is nothing like a 115 mile drive on 45 minutes notice to make a horrible Irish coffee taste good.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:15 PM on April 1, 2018 [10 favorites]

I am not much of a drinker nor do i claim good taste, but i do love me a sour fruity beverage (lemon zinger iced tea is my default over the summer) and this weekend i discovered Anderson Valley Brewing Company's Blood Orange Gose and it is so so good. @Elly Vortex, you will probably like this.

They also have a Briney Melon one that is basically like alcoholic watermelon rind (but, you know...not vodka).
posted by softlord at 9:56 PM on April 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm a Tea Man, through and through. My discovery of the summer was making my own sugarless milk tea with... Lapsang Souchong. I know, as a combo it sounds totally wack, but the smokiness *totally* works with the ice and milk. Brew yourself a strong pot, pour it over ice and add a bit of milk to taste.

Lovely easter weekend away camping in the southern highlands (of NSW Aus). Campground was tiny, only ten sites, which suited me down to the ground. Saw wombats, kangaroos, lyrebirds, black cockatoos, rabbits and a couple of very chubby brush tailed possums. Lovely walks, kids were great. I'm tired, and a little dirty, but very happy (also happy I took two additional days off and can clean everything and relax before trudging back to work!)

I've been on a bit of a tear with books lately, if you're a fantasy reader, and you haven't already (I'm late to all these), check out Uprooted, Jade Empire and Wake of Vultures. It's the longest run of high quality fantasy I've had in literally years.
posted by smoke at 3:04 AM on April 2, 2018 [6 favorites]

My friend owns the Ravenna Brewing Company in NE Seattle and we went over there for a few pints after the baseball game on Saturday evening. We missed the can release of their delicious new Big Secret Double IPA, there were lines around the block at opening time. But helped to finish off the keg, and my understanding is that the one and only Big Secret case has arrived at Chuck's in Greenwood. Don't beat me there!

If you should find yourself at Ravenna Brewing, the signature beer is the Jalapeno Kolsch.
posted by Kwine at 3:11 PM on April 2, 2018

I have been kvetching about our town not having a local coffee roaster, but our cafe / hippy grocery has stopped brewing the unpalatable swill they were peddling previously, and are brewing Just Coffee instead, and also selling whole beans. The winter seasonal, Cabin Fever, is really the only thing that got me through November and December.
posted by BrashTech at 6:14 PM on April 2, 2018

The best beer is a cold Pilsner when it’s kinda hot out and you’ve been doing something kinda exerting. Beer is often pretty damn good at other times as well but the cold beer/ warm day combo is pretty great.
We had a friend for a while who was a Sommelier. We would go eat where he was working and he would bring us glass after glass of amazing wines. I can remember exactly none of them specifically but most of them from taste and the memory of which restaurant we were in and which wine. He was eventually fired for selling out of the wine cellar - he was working in one of the original, best, ‘check out our awesome wine-list’ restaurants in NYC but couldn’t keep his nose clean. And the selling wine from the cellar.
Most recently I got a bottle of Glenfarclass 12 Scotch for my birthday. It’s lovely and curious and tasty. The guy who sold it (the whiskey store is around the corner) once told me that it’s a ‘pure’ whiskey without additives, unlike the most and least expensive ones. I thought that was interesting and he told me he thought so as well and when he brought it up at a distillery tour the guide said it was only germans who gave a shit about this... I... don’t know what that means, just that it’s good whiskey.
When I was 16 Jimmy and I sailed the Int.14 around From the Ware to the North river, in November, to drop in on a girl I had a crush on. She wasn’t there, but her father was - he was older, 50’s a banker of some kind, and he made us hot toddies. They were delicious and warmed us for the return trip. Two hours in a double-trapeze racing dinghy, in November. The wind was a solid 20 knots and we planed damn near the whole way back.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:49 AM on April 3, 2018

local coffee roaster

My brain changed this to "local roller coaster" and I was very confused.
posted by cooker girl at 5:55 AM on April 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

We recently went to a couple of hidden bars, both of which were wonderful with amazing cocktails.

One was in the George Town district in Pilau Penang, Malaysia. You get in through a dummy cooler in the coffeeshop out front. We got there right when they opened and were the only patrons for a while. The bartender was a local, and was excited to tell us about all the infusions, syrups, foams and other ingredients they make in-house, and he let us sample them. He clearly had a lot of pride in his work and seemed to enjoy getting to talk about it in detail with an appreciative audience. It was like having our own private bar & cocktail tour guide. The drinks were phenomenal.

The other was in Bangkok, accessed from a small unmarked passageway by sliding some fake lockers aside. Tiny lounge downstairs, tiny bar upstairs.

They had a past, present and future version of each drink (classic recipe, craft recipe and experimental/gonzo/whatever).

Again we got there early and had the place to ourselves for a while. The staff were very engaging, and happy to tell us the story of the bar and the drinks.

During our conversation it came up that a couple of them had lived and worked in Seattle where I'm nominally from, and when we started taking about where in Seattle they had spent time they revealed that some of that time had been spent in Bellevue where I grew up.

It was a strange and delightful small-world moment, accompanied by amazing drinks.

So those were two really optimal drinking experiences that will stay with me as cherished memories.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 12:11 PM on April 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have to post this somewhere, and it contains the word 'cocktail', so here goes. It is, however, a distasteful tale of filth. You have been warned.

Poor Pepper (our cat who recently lost half of his tail) just walked into the room after having used the litter box, and apparently he'd tried to bury his creation (unfortunately of a liquid nature) and ended up sticking his transparent plastic cone right into it. The edge of the thing was frosted with litter and runny poop, making it look like the world's shittiest cocktail glass.

If the mail service gods smile upon us, we'll receive a parcel tomorrow that contains a bitter spray to be used on Pepper's tail, to keep him from licking it. If that works, we can say goodbye to the Cone, permanently this time. Because after I got him home from the vet, he was really really good all day long and then during the night, he apparently discovered that he could reach his tail and licked it all raw. So the Cone went back on. What can I say, he's not very bright.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:14 PM on April 3, 2018

Too-Ticky, that link doesn't work for me- says "Not authorized". But poor Pepper! I hope the bitter spray works.
posted by Secretariat at 2:19 PM on April 3, 2018

A cat pic that doesn't work... that won't do. Here it is on Imgur.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:37 PM on April 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

Saigon, working-class neighborhood in the 1st District, sitting with my sister for a morning breakfast of banh xeo or better known as sizzling pancakes with pork and shrimp from a street side vendor. The drink that morning was Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk and a small pot of green tea to cut the ferocious sweetness of the coffee. Skip Ban Thanh market for food, you need to do the side streets away from the traffic crazy of Le Loi. Markets start at 6 AM and kind of run out of food by 11 AM. Each neighborhood has their morning market used by locals and that is where the street food is at if you can get there early enough.
posted by jadepearl at 5:02 PM on April 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

In fall 2016, my brother and I spent a wonderful day biking to the St Sixtus abbey in western Belgium to drink all their Westvleteren beers and eat their cheeses and pates. The Westvleteren 12 in particular is a fantastic malty/maply/bourbony/quad that for a long time had a lot of hype as being the best beer in the world. The beers lived up to the hype, and it's one of my favorite drinking experiences. There weren't any bottles available for sale yet when we had to leave the brewery, but through a slightly convoluted chain of events involving an informal cab driver we hired through Facebook, both my brother and I wound up with a couple of bottles each of Westvleteren 12. I've been saving mine for special occasions ever since.

I had a bit of an up and down weekend this past weekend. Friday, I finally got official confirmation that I made Associate in the Society of Actuaries, which is something I've been working towards for the past 4 years and is a big step in my professional and career development. Saturday morning, I got dumped by someone I was pretty excited about (not dating long enough to merit heartbreak, but still pretty bummed). As the starting course of my friends getting me properly drunk for both reasons Saturday night, I cracked open one of my Westvleterens and -- it was as good as I remembered! I had a mild fear in the back of my head that I had been inflating the beer quality in my mind, but there was the same depth and richness of flavor and may even have been better after aging for a bit.
posted by bassooner at 8:47 AM on April 4, 2018

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