About this Blog

Welcome to Po'Nutrition Fax! This blog is about alcohol - it has nothing to do with health or wellness, and the only relationship between this and Edgar Allen Poe is that he was an alcoholic.

I used to work in a liquor store and developed a taste for all different types of booze. As my collection grew, I felt the need to share my knowledge of, interest in, and experiences with my purchases - from the standards (e.g. whisk(e)y, gin) to the less-than-standard (e.g. kirschwasser, raki). You'll also find a lot on beer (another love of mine).

This is not about how much I can drink nor do I promote over-excess of alcohol. As with most blogs, there is some self-reflection included with most of the reviews. The point is to encourage everyone to reflect on what they drink.

Leave comments or ask questions! Also, "follow" me if you like what you read - I am not making money from this blog but if I see more interest in this and hear some feedback, it will encourage me to write more.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gin Shandy

"This day at the beach was the bee's knees! Now let's get fuc*ed up on Gin Shandies!"

I discovered the Gin Shandy last summer.  At the time I was making a lot of fresh lemonade and sun-brewed iced tea, plus I was drinking a lot of ginger beer.  Therefore it was important to find a cocktail using as many of these items at once as possible without just mixing them together, pouring in some liquor, and hoping for the best. 

I must diverge off course for moment and say that the Gin and Tonic has long been my favorite summer-time beverage - as I'm sure it is for a lot of other people too.  The relentless sun and heat can quickly sap one's energy, leaving little energy for fancy cocktail nonsense.  Mojito's need to muddle, Margarita's need to blend, but the simplicity of the Gin and Tonic (gin, tonic water, and a slice of lime served over ice) is probably why it has long reigned as king of the summer cocktail.

Fortunately, the Gin Shandy is also pretty simple:

Gin: Ginger Beer : Lemonade (3:6:4)
Serve over ice.

However, as in any cocktail, the spirit that is used is perhaps the most important ingredient.  Therefore, you'll have to ask yourself: "Which Gin?"

Unlike most spirits, no two gins are alike.  Now I don't mean to imply that I'm the kind of person that will say "vodka is vodka" or "any whiskey'll do!" - because I'm not that guy (in case you haven't noticed from reading this blog).   What I mean is that gins only have one flavor in common, juniper berries - other than that, gin distillers can use a variety of botanicals (herbs and spices) to give their gin a distinctive flavor.  Therefore if you want to start drinking gin cocktails, try a few out before deciding on "any ol' gin."  My preferred gin is Broker's Dry Gin.  This is not to say there are not other gins I like, but the juniper aromas are much stronger in Broker's than in some other gins.  The other botanicals can sometimes compete with or overpower the juniper flavor in gins.  While these may make for some interesting gins, I want that fresh pine aroma of juniper to really be the strongest - that's why it's gin!

The most recent batch of Gin Shandies I made included Bombay Sapphire instead of Broker's.  I was on my way to a party and had all I needed - except the gin. Broker's was unavailable at the store I stopped in so I purchased Bombay Sapphire because it has a nice citrus aroma - I thought it would go well with the lemonade.  It was delicious, but it wasn't my usual gin so it wasn't as good as previous shandies - and that's the trouble with gin: not any ol' gin will do. This is why it is important to find the gin that works for you.  It will be a long and arduous process but it will worth it in the end.

..and when you do find your gin, make sure to make a gin shandy too.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Drinking Alone

Here we are.  It's a weekday night and I've decided to have some scotch.

I haven't posted in awhile and felt the urge to write.  However I did not want to open a bottle my newest bottle of scotch for the sake of having something to write about.  Therefore I'm having this previously reviewed scotch - alone.


Yes, alone.

"Alone" because my girlfriend has left me - for the Pacific Northwest... for only a week-and-a-half.

 My girlfriend going on vacation doesn't really change my normal pattern of behavior - except that I buy more sausage.  But while she's away, when I have a drink at night it is mildly depressing.

It should be noted that my girlfriend will not normally have a drink with me; I will have a beer or two with (or after) dinner or maybe some whisk(e)y with a book, but she rarely imbibes mid-week. So I am the only one drinking most times (effectively, drinking "alone") but at least when another person is in close proximity, it doesn't feel like I'm "alone."

But why is it "depressing?"

Perhaps when one thinks of someone "drinking alone," this comes to mind:

Drinking alone like this IS depressing but this is not "drinking alone," this is alcoholism.

Alcoholism is a serious problem.  However, alcoholism is an extreme.  Limited and sensible consumption of alcohol is not an extreme.  While it isn't entirely out of the ordinary for someone who is "limited and sensible" in their normal consumption to go overboard at times (and maybe "brag" about it too), it is not "the norm" for these individuals (such as myself).  Alcohol consumption in general should not to get lumped with those who overindulge.  Occasional overindulgence should be expected, especially when we usually celebrate an occasion with alcohol.  Having a "good time" promotes the overindulgence of other consumables too (e.g. food), so alcohol shouldn't be "singled-out."  Drinking to the point of inebriation and having to do so every night, whether alone or with others, is depressing (i.e. alcoholism). Having a drink or two (by yourself or with others) but without feeling the need to do so should not be considered depressing (i.e. NOT alcoholism).

I blame Carrie Nation for this general anti-alcohol attitude:

The Temperance movements that occurred in pre-Prohibition U.S.A. have really ruined both the alcohol drinking habits and perceptions of alcohol consumption here in the States. This needs to change - and it starts with you: drink sensibly and alone more often!
So do what's right, America!