Cheers! Welcome to The Drinkist, a site about a drinking life – mine. This site is dedicated to the pursuit of a life well-lived and the notion that such a life requires a healthy dose of celebration. Now, celebration doesn’t necessarily require alcohol. At least for some of us, though, a little ethanol can certainly help the festive spirits along. If your health (behavioral and physical) allows you to enjoy a good drink, then it can serve as a powerful reminder that life is about more than the pursuit of a paycheck or mowing the lawn for the second damn time this week because you can’t let stupid Bob next door keep that smug look on his ugly face.
A good drink can provide a moment of reflection. It can heighten camaraderie among old friends and new acquaintances (and even stupid Bob next door). It can offer a temporary refuge from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. I’m having one right now in hopes it help get the cranial juices flowing too. The Drinkist will explore the various aspects of a good drinking life (and some of the ways to avoid a bad one). We’ll talk about bars, about mixing cocktails, about pairing beer with food, and generally about understanding what’s in your glass. We’ll even look further afield to putting that all together into a life worth living.
Most people have some pretty clear views and preferences relating to alcohol. I’m no different. First, I should let you know. I’m a spirits/cocktail guy. Don’t get me wrong; I like good beer and good wine and we’ll talk about them here. A good cocktail, though, is a wonder to behold (and to be holding).
Secondly, people hold widely varying views on the subject of inebriation. I know bars that cut you off after two drinks, no matter how much you complain, whine, bribe the bartender or appeal to sense of common decency. (I tried them all. Even faking a medical condition treatable only by single malt Scotch didn’t help the case.) I also know people who can’t imagine ending a night with drinks anywhere but under the table. I’ll opt for a middle way. I generally prefer enjoying a few drinks with friends and waking up to greet the morning with a cheery huzzah (or something like that). Every so often, though, I’m not opposed to diving pretty deep in my cups. There are some things to keep in mind if and when you decide to take this route which we’ll touch on in the next post, but I find a blowout every so often helps maintain a more sober keel when you’re meeting a new client or out on a date or about to go in for the annual checkup.
Finally, in the spirit of full disclosure: I am not now (nor have I ever been) a bartender, a brewer, a distiller, a vintner, a distributor or member of any of the other estimable professions that work to put a drink in front of you. I studied mathematics and work in finance – both prime reasons to drink, I admit, but hardly sterling qualifications for holding forth on matters ethanolic. I have, though, spent many long hours in field research and practical study. From taverns and taprooms to shrines of mixology, from distilleries to breweries to vineyards, I’ve spent a couple of decades on an amateur’s excursion into what we drink. I’ve learned a few things along the way, and I hope you’ll let your old Uncle Steve share a few of the finer points I’ve picked up while we enjoy a drink or two together. Let’s go!
Photo: Holy Water Cocktail at Seaworthy in New Orleans
Photo Credit: Steve Morgan