the usual?????!!!!

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My relationship with alcohol has always been safe and sound – when we have one*smile
For me alcohol is a very much a social thing – have never taken a drink or a glass of wine on my own at home. And I should probably be thankful for that – because the stressful job I had most of my year as a chef – I probably would had alcohol problems since many years back.

So I drink when visit a restaurant, in company or on my own. And I only drink wine together with food. Have never enjoyed just sipping on a good glass of wine … on it’s own. I drink both drinks and wine in my home if I have company.

I have been drunk 3 times in my life that has resulted in not feeling that great; once in Gothenburg quite young after a lunch with a very interesting man. Once in New York after a fantastic evening on a Hawaiian restaurant and nightclub. I wasn’t that drunk, but I became when we returned to the vessel and I had to use the “chicken ladder” on the outside of the side of the vessel for 8 decks up, M/S Atlantic Saga, ACL – I think it was my fear for heights that caused most of the problems.
And the morning after my farewell party in Seattle in 1989 – didn’t feel a thing during the dinner and nightclub hours, but I drank a glass of water in the morning and I became seriously drunk…

There is a couple of spirits I would never touch: Whiskey (only if I have a really bad cold), Calvados, Cognac, Strega, Jenever and Sambuca. I don’t drink beer neither – not that I don’t like it, it’s just that it make my mouth feel mucoid, just like milk does – so I don’t drink milk on it’s own neither.

I have met one beer that I liked very much and that was in China 1978-79. The Tsingtao beer, it’s a bit sweet … was able to get it Sweden too – but the problem was that they had to send back the bottles to China before they could order in some more, sure that has changed by now. Even been a guest at their factory, that was how I got the taste of it.

Something else I learn from all my time in China, was that to never drink something ice cold when it’s hot weather, because the cold drink makes our heart beat even faster and make us sweat more. Drink lukewarm drinks they told me .. and it works, so I haven’t had a cold drink in hot weather since then and I never sweat. The Chinese had loads of good advice.

I have a barrier in me – when I feel that barrier, that the drinks don’t taste that great anymore, about 3 … I swap to mineral water. That has been my saver, I believe. And I never drink any alcohol during the day – not even during a very good lunch.


During my chemo treatment and after – my relationship to wine has changed too – doesn’t apple to me that much anymore, so one big glass with a good meal is more than enough for me.

This post is going to be about my favorite drinks and cocktails – they have changed during the years and they have very much to do with my travelling too.

My Greek “boyfriend” in Monte Carlo, Byron, taught me that as a pre-dinner drink I should chose something very light and that don’t affect the taste bud before the meal and the wine, and that I always have in mind.

During my 3 months in Athens in 1976 – I was introduced to “Black Russian” at Hilton Hotel in Athens and more or less the only cocktail I had during my fantastic months there. Sometimes I swapped it with a “White Russian”.

Black Russian, single
1 part KAHLÚA
1 part VODKA

Fill a rocks glass with ice, add Kahlúa and vodka and stir.

Gin & Tonic was my favourite for many years. Then I  came acroos  Campari and orange juice … but become a bit too sweet for me – so I swapped to tonic. Then in 1977 at LE ROYALTY in Biarritz a very nice waiter suggested that I should drink Campari with Grapefruit juice. And after that I never went back to anything else. It’s something I rarely drink anywhere else than in Biarrtiz – it belongs to all my wonderful visits to my favourite hideaway in the whole world.

In 1979 in New York when Absolut Vodka was launched big time in US – I had my first Vodka & Tonic … at the famous “Windows on the World” at 107floor of World Trade Centre – and that drink has stayed with me ever since and it’s the drink I order most often as a pre-dinner drink.

In 1989 when my employer sent me to Canada to sort … things out over there and introduce Sweden. My Swedish colleague and friend Paula and I started to drink “Frozen Margaritas” and we decided to always have one where ever we went to see witch one had the best – so we sat points after every one of them.
And the winner we had at the “The Space Needle” in Seattle. We drank 1000’s I think, from San Diego in the South to Vancouver in the North.

Recipe for a perfect Margarita, Makes one 36 oz pitcher

18 oz. ice
3.75 oz Cuervo 1800 Tequila Gold
2 oz Cointreau or Triple Sec
3.5 oz water
3 Tbs. sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 egg white, lightly beaten
Margarita salt
Lime slices for garnish

In a blender, combine ice, tequila, Cointreau, water, sugar, lime juice, lemon juice and egg white. Blend mixture until smooth and pour into a pitcher. Coat rims of margarita glasses with salt, as desired. Pour margarita mixture into glasses; garnish with lime slices.

Also during my year in Canada, I drank “Buck’s Fizz”. Every Sunday I worked I went together with the casino girls to “Fairmont Olympic Hotel” in Seattle and in their “Winter Garden” did we drink only “Buck’s Fizz” made of freshly squeezed orange juice and real champagne,  money no issue for us girls – when leaving the hotel while waiting for the taxi – we always took a foot bath in their fountain.

Buck’s Fizz, single 
• 3 1/2 oz orange juice
• 1 1/2 oz Champagne
• orange twist for garnish

In 2007 during one of my pre-Christmas shopping visit to London at the fabulous Royal Garden Hotel, the same Paula, introduced me to a “Mojito” and we became friends straight away.

Today I either have a Vodka & Tonic or a Mojito as my pre-dinner drink.
I don’t have much good to say about Paris, but at one bar they did excellent “Mojitos” and they were only half price, Le Paris Halles,41 Boulevard de Sébastopol, so it became a couple every day.

The best Mojito I got so far was in Belfast last November at “CoCo”

Here comes the recipe for a perfect Mojito, single
1 part Bacardi Rum
3 parts Club soda
12 mint leafs
½ lime
½ part sugar (syrup: boil 3 part sugar to 3 parts water, cool down)

Place the mint leafs and the ½ part sugar in a glass, muddle well with a pestle. Add the Bacardi and top with club soda, stir well and served with mint sprig and lime wedge.

When it’s about wine .. I drink anything that taste good.
But I have two favourite and I have visit both wineyards – my white is without any doubt Cloudy Bay, New Zealand .. and my favourite red is: Bélair in Saint-Émilion – Bordeaux, France. Strangely they don’t have a website

I often chose wines from Chile and Argentina when it’s about red and whites often from South Africa and Australia. I have come across some fantastic wines from all over the world – as white from Mexico and red from Bulgaria. USA do some outstanding wines and British Columbia, Canada.

My best bar memory is from when I was living Brighton and my friend; Bärbel was over for a visit. Down in the Marina there was a big ASDA supermarket, just below where I lived, after shopping one evening we decided to go a very fancy bar in the Marina. I ordered a Campari & grapefruit – and Bärbel couldn’t make up her mind so the bartender gave her a roller index, told her to roll it and put in her finger and see what cocktail she landed on. So she did. Can’t remember what cocktail came up. She orders one.

The last evening of her stay we went down to the bar again – this was about 16 days later – the same bartender on duty .. when he saw us, he asked the usual??!!! Yes, we got the same drinks again. That is class.

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And of course I enjoy champagne … absolutely at its best when chilled and free! I drank Veuve Clicquot (the Yellow Widow) for many years, my first glass ever of champagne I had in Monte Carlo,1972 – then “Taittinger” was introduced to me and I have stayed with it ever since, but I’m not picky when it’s about real champagne – and I enjoy a good Spanish Cava too. Champagne is the only Tax-Free/Duty Free item I buy those days and twin packs. UK airports has good offers.

Plus I can take an ice cold shot/snaps with my crayfish and herrings, but I’m not a bigger fan, but it warms nicely when it goes down.

As my cloud I have of course .. the reason for this post – the Mojito song – was listen to it while I was ironing and I came up with idea to this post. The Mojito song is a track that Bacardi use to for their Mojito website, a wonderful place to soft land. Robert Abigail, the guy behind the track, comes for the Netherlands and have been working as a DJ since 1996 in Rotterdam and he composed the Mojito song in 2008. I always want to dance when I hear and it makes me feel SO good without any alcohol.

“Booze is the answer.
I don’t remember the question.”

Photo provided by and thanks to:

53 thoughts on “the usual?????!!!!

    • Thank you. I didn’t lose my hair during my chemo .. strangley enough. I couldn’t drink coffee or wine during treatment – tasted metal and even a while after. I couldn’t eat cheese that I love -because it be came too salty. I eat cheese again now, but not so much as I did.
      I think I will order a Black Russian next time I’m out for a dinner. That is 37 years since I had one.

    • Totally agree with … to be drunk isn’t a great feeling, even if I have never been really sick the day after – why drunk of purpose. Spell out your secret now. *smile
      I hate not having control over myself and what is happening to me.

      • That is EXACTLY why I do not want to drink, never started drinking, and fear drinking…I don’t want to lose that control.

        The reason I drank that time? 🙂 I was going through a divorce. I had “moved home”. My brother and his girlfriend stayed with my daughter. I had friends who wanted to take me out. They drove, child was taken care of, I thought…okay, I’ll do this once. See what it feels like. I did not like how it felt one little bit. 🙂

      • They say we should try everything at least once *smile – at least you know how it feels, can you image feeling like that every day .. and to get rid off the sickness you have to take another drink. That must be very close to hell to be be caught in alcoholism – poor people.

      • I couldn’t imagine feeling like that one MORE time!!!! I was very blessed that I can’t stand the taste of alcohol. Even when it’s in medicine it is very difficult for me to take because I can’t stomach the taste. Or…taste bud the taste.

    • I’m a bit crazy anyhow …. but I’m so happy I haven’t excepted alcohol to fix my problems and my moods. But I have seen what alcohol has done to friends through the years .. and their families. I hate being drunk, because I’m not in control.

  1. OH Viveka!!!! 🙂

    I had Black Russians when I was a teen, haven’t for years…

    It’s great you have that barrier in you & swap to mineral water. You’re a natural. We with problems are NOT natural.

    Drunk 3 times only… you must be very healthy, and that is beautiful.

    Hope you have a wonderful day, Viveka 🙂

    • Noeleen, you that I had quite a few friends in your situation … and that has scared me too – 3 times drunk is more than enough for me. Really hate when I’m drunk and … so I don’t put myself in that situation anymore.

      The doctors has said that my liver is very healthy, but I don’t now about the rest … *smile .. worried about my head sometimes. Thanks for your kind words.

  2. You can’t believe but I am always drunk without any drink 🙂 (you know I am crazy one) anyway, I agree with you and seems that I am same with you. It is nice to drink with friends… I never drunk alone and I never been drunk too 🙂 My favurite drink is wine, I love it. But in a few years I didn’t because of my diet and also my pills. But I told you I am drunk without drinking… Thank you dear Viveka this was amazing post again. I enjoyed. Love, nia

    • Drunk without being drunk ??? You’re mad! I don’t like the feeling drunk .. because I don’t have the control over what happens to me.
      And that is another reason why I don’t drink that much.
      Thank you very much … I enjoyed doing the post.

      • I understood what you meant, Nia … have problems with email today – don’t receive any on the email address I have with WP … and the reader is too slow for me .. so I haven’t been around visiting today – hopefully I be around tomorrow.

  3. Love the post although I don’t drink any more… or not for the last 25 years now.. as an alcoholic I wish I’d had that barrier years ago.. would have saved me a fortune….

    • Yes, I had a mum that had drinking problems when I was about 8 years old, she came out of it very well – she asked for help soon .. and she can take a drink now and then if she want too today. Yes, I have been luck with the barrier because in my job there is always been loads of drinking around me – after work every evening and night, and being at sea for many years. I admire you that you have been able to stay sober for so many years – I guess it becomes a lifestyle. My hat off for you. !!!!

  4. Great post! What special places you have visited and I guess worked at…! Drinks I don’t know much about – I will have to try out some of your recipes! I drink wine (any?) with food and whisky when I have a cold. Snaps for midsummer and beer with tasty pizza. I have been drunk once, I think. Very young and didn’t understand when to stop when I was offered and someone else just kept filling my glass (rom). Never, ever again do I want to lose control like that. I sat pinned on that chair for hours because the floor was moving. So ashamed. Didn’t take anything at all for about ten years then. Interesting that you too don’t want to lose control…

    • Seth, you haven’t missed anything … I’m just the same … don’t like when I’m not in control of myself and may happens around me. Thanks for your feedback.

  5. Cool, you’re a chef and the bartender! 😉 I’m not much for hard liquor, but that black Russian sounds good. We here in Florida have a drink called a seabreeze. It is vodka, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice. Of course, there are the many yummy frozen drinks for this hot state as well. Mostly, I drink whatever I’m in the mood for, either beer or wine, and sometimes a sangria (and only socially, like you). Thanks for sharing these cocktails, one or two of those are on my list to try.

    • Lori, I’m not much of a bartender … have never made a Margarita myself – it’s a recipe for a friend that makes the best. The other drinks are very straight forward – don’t need any skills for them. Mix and stir only.
      I think I had a Seabreeze somewhere – never been to Florida, but I had the drink. Sangria I have only been drink one of maybe two times, quite nice. Thanks for your replay. I forgotten about the beer and milk thing .. so I added that only 1 hour ago. Now time for Zumba ..!!

    • Dia, thanks … I don’t know if I know a lot … but I had a long life – behind a bar, not me .. I’m too intolerant against too drunk peoples and I don’t anything about drinks more than a couple. No I better stay on this side of the bar .. and order an other Mojito. *smile

      Can’t sleep tonight … maybe a drink would help me.

  6. I am a social drinker. My faves are white Russian, Manhattan tea. When I entertain at home with friends, I’d make some Sangria, if I go out with my family – esp. in San Diego, I love their margaritas, they’d bring them to you in a big glass – as big as a swimming pool. LOL

    • Manhattan Tea … never heard about – have to check it out …. Hand one Long Island Tea and that is a lethal drink *smile
      Margaritas is a great drink with or without swimming pool, never had one with swimming pool. *smile – have to try that.

    • Neither did I until China …. they gave us lukewarm tea – tasted terrible when it was really hot and it worked fantastically – so when I buy a cold mineral water I have it for a while in my bag before I drink it – and it make sens that if you had a really cold drink into a hot body – the poor heart gets a chock. *smile
      I like White Russian too.

    • I like Bucks Fizz … but I haven’t had one for years and years – maybe time to have soon again.
      Yes, I had a great life and I have seen so much – been at so many places – my job had a lot to do with it.
      Thanks for your nice comment.

  7. Wow – great post.
    I’m not much of a drinker either. I’ve even developed a bit of an allergy to wine- kind of a bummer.
    I like a cold Hefeweizen with lemon. But would rather eat my calories.
    White russians- love. Vodka tonic with lime- good staple. Good margarita on ice (not blended)- yum.
    Mojito’s are a little sweet but ok.
    I like the idea of Calvados but not really the taste so much (ok – not at all).
    Would love to have a toast with you someday – either a mimosa or how about a nice hard cider? xx wendy

    • Wendy … pity about the wine thing – because a good wine with a great meal .. is something special.
      Like what you said about the calories – rather eat them than drink them – have to remember that one.
      Yes. I hope so to that we will be able to have a drink together one day – cider fine with me so long it’s not British, far too sour for my taste. A mimosa will be fine .. or just a cup of coffee.

  8. We are alike in many ways except our drinks…although we do have the same taste in Champagne. I like a glass of Champagne as an aperitif before a meal and a glass of wine or two with dinner. I’m not must on cocktails and have never cared for beer.

    • See .. another lost sister *smile … I like cocktials before a good dinner, but I enjoy a glass of champagne too. Have a lovely weekend now and thanks for your support.

  9. I love black russians. Yum, though we drink them with coke in them. I haven’t had one for many years. I do drink, but my father is or was an alcoholic and I know I have that gene, so I have always been very careful around alcohol.

    • Leanne, you don’t have to have the genes because you father had problems – but it’s good to be careful with the stuff.
      Because alcohol is alcohol – even if we think it makes us relaxed or happy – it only does one thing – kills brain cells and damage our bodies. Coke – never heard that one … haven’t had one since I was in Athens. Great cocktail.

      • No I have that complusive nature that would make me a perfect target. My brothers have both had problems as well. I drink, but I drink for no reason, and I always limit the amount. Better to be safe.
        I thought the coke is why it was called a black russian.

      • Vodka & Kahlua .. plus loads of ice – you have the right attitude … I have also great recept for alcohol. I think you have a great relationship with alcohol.

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