Wednesday, January 30, 2013

running on fumes

I didn't have much exposure to alcohol when I was growing up.  My parents differed from their puritan neighbors by allowing my sister and me to sample their wine and beer during dinner but I wasn't so fond of the wine.  The beer was okay.  At the time I wasn't aware of the multitudes of choices because my father only stocked one kind of wine, an inexpensive jug of burgundy, and draft beer.

When I landed in the custody of my aunt and uncle, things changed.  My uncle considered himself a bit of a connoisseur and felt morally obligated to educate me on not only wine and beer, but liquor.  And Texas.  If he could add Texas to the lesson then it was ideal.  Among the many beers that I drank with him while we manned the grill was Shiner bock, a delicious dark lager produced by Spoetzl Brewery.  Almost every dinner included a glass of wine and I would be quizzed on what I liked and didn't like.  I discovered that I liked my reds to be spicy or peppery and my whites to be crisp.  I thought that most Cabernet Sauvignon tasted like dirt.

When my aunt and uncle took me sailing, we would drink gin and tonics.  To this day I can transport back to their boat if I close my eyes while sipping a gin and tonic.  I'm not sure if my preference to gin is because it tastes so good or because it holds such powerful memories.  When I moved to Hong Kong, the first thing I did was buy a bottle of Bombay Sapphire.  It was the preferred brand at my aunt and uncle's home, though they had a liquor cabinet to rival any hotel bar.  A few years ago when I tried Hendricks gin for the first time I was a bit heartbroken that my beloved uncle wasn't alive to share the experience.

As much as I like Bombay Sapphire, my favorite flavor was Tanqueray Malacca.  It was a bit too sweet for my aunt and uncle but I loved the grapefruit flavor.  Unfortunately it was discontinued after a four year run.  Then last week I found out that Tanqueray is going to release a limited run of Malacca (100,000 bottles) in February but it will only be available in the US, and various European countries.  SB has been instructed to keep his eye out for it during this last week in the US.  If he is successful you may not hear from me in a few days.

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