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
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 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.
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.”
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