FCB: Random musings and a Daiquiri
Some random, irrelevant thoughts on drinking socially and such. Feel free to skip to the drink recipe at the bottom.
I enjoy consuming alcohol, but have realized that satisfaction often comes more from the social interactions inherent with drinking rather than the spirits themselves. To be sure, some alcohol such as aged single-malt scotch or fine bourbon (on the rocks) are better appreciated alone, preferably with smooth jazz in the background. And a cold dry martini tastes great anytime. But in case of beer, cocktails and particularly wine, they are best enjoyed with friends in more boisterous settings. Grabbing a few pints with friends at the end of the week or sipping cocktail at a party is great way of socializing. Not to mention the often juicy, secret details that reveal themselves from the slippery tongues of the inebriated.
Social drinking brings to mind the custom of ‘toasts’ (with or without a speech) and clinking of glasses. According to Wiki, the practice may have originated with the Greeks and the fear of poisoning; however this is disputed by Snopes, which believes its rooted from the practice of sharing a drinking vessel. Either way, there has grown a variety of customary toasts for different occasions and in different cultures, especially what you say while toasting. This website describes toasts in fifty languages, although I’d be careful trying them in foreign lands, considering that they think the phrase ‘Mubarik(sic)’ is a toast in Hindi !!
Speaking of drinking customs, here in the land down-under, famous for its beer guzzling, I have had to quickly familiarize myself with the custom of ‘shouting‘. To ‘shout’ basically means to buy a round of drinks (mostly beer) for everyone in a group. Buying a jug (pitcher in America) with enough for everyone will do as well. By custom, once someone in the group has shouted, it is an obligation for everyone else in the group to shout in turns. The carefully constructed set of etiquettes with regard to shouting can be found here (and also see this for comprehensive beer etiquettes in Australia).
On the topic of buying rounds of drinks – apparently there are unwritten social rules of buying a drink for a woman at a bar. Personally, I have bought drinks for only one woman at a bar and so far, there hasn’t been any complaints. 🙂
Talking of drinking at the bars and rules, last night I had to teach a bartendress (is that the right word?) how to make a martini. Now I was a bit drunk by the time this was happening – so not sure if she was pulling my leg – but her answer when I asked if she could fix me a martini was amazingly: no, she did not know how to and never had made one in ten years of bartending ! Sacrilegious, even if it happened to be a bar within a bowling/pool/karaoke/hangout place and therefore should really be classified as a place whence alcohol is poured out – not a bar. Still, I have to assume she was probably taking advantage of my visible lack of sobriety; anyhow, I did provide her step-by-step instructions, for some reasons they would not let me come behind the bar and help myself.
On to this week’s drink – another classic cocktail ‘The Daiquiri‘. Now many restaurants and bars have subverted the true pleasure of enjoying the tart flavor of this drink by peddling the frozen version. Served chilled, straight up in a cocktail glass is the best way to enjoy. You need:
- Light Rum 3 parts
- Lime Juice (fresh!) 1 part
- Brown Sugar 1tsp – but depends on the sourness of the lime.
Before juicing the lime, don’t forget to roll it on the counter-top or heat for thirty seconds in warm water to take the pith out. Also it is often convenient to make a batch of lime juice with the sugar added.
Mix everything together in a shaker with ice; shake and strain into a pre-chilled glass. I used Havana Club Anejo Blanco (which is not available in the US for obvious reasons), but Bacardi should do as well.