Hello again and welcome to my ridiculously neglected blog! You’ll be able to tell from a quick glance at my posts that I’ve still not really found my feet here, nor indeed have I tried very hard. As luck would have it this evening though, I had an urge to write something and this time decided to actually follow it through.
One excuse for my lack of blogging is that we moved last month and I’d like to think we’ve been settling in nicely. Realistically though this has not really taken up nearly so much time as to have truly stopped me from blogging, my brain is responsible for that, silly thing that it is.
Having moved from London is in many ways what my blog is about this evening. I’ve realised what it is I think I miss most about living in London, aside of course from the many friends who live there which we will now sadly see less of (gratefully counteracted by the fact that we will be able to see other friends more regularly).
What do I miss most about London? Alcohol.
In London I was never far from some damn good liquor, mixed and served beautifully in unique surroundings. Being fortunate enough to live near some of the greatest cocktail bars in the city and even more fortunate to be going out with one of the most knowledgable people in same when it comes to where to find them, I feel I can say I’ve sampled some truly amazing drinks.
So what now? Outside of London the ratio of people to bars seems to swing badly in the wrong direction and I find the thought of trying to get a good drink in any of the local bars an unpleasant one, knowing that I will have to share my space with far more people than I would like. I’ve been spoiled and perhaps even turned into a bit of a bar snob, but my how I miss those places. In my ‘new’ town which I love with all my heart, it being the town I was born and grew up in, the choices are between crowded pubs serving beer, one or two ciders and spirits, or crowded bars selling the same but with perhaps a limited cocktail menu, but bars that bewilderingly try to bridge the gap between bar and nightclub by playing music as loudly as possible, despite having nowhere to dance. It’s the classic ‘I’m getting old now, I’d rather talk to my friends when I drink than have to shout in their ear over some music’ but I’ve almost always been that way and find it odd that anyone would want to go anywhere so loud you can’t communicate with your friends, unless you are there to dance and enjoy the music at least as much as the company…. but I digress. Outside of London it’s understandably but unfortunately lowest common denominator drinking. Of course these places have to make money and to do so need to attract as many people as possible, but for someone whose drinking habits have changed such as mine, that doesn’t quite meet the criteria.
I miss being able to go somewhere and sit down with one drink that I know will last me an hour because a) it’s so delicious it would be a crime to drink it quickly and b) it’s strong enough to knock me off my feet if I don’t show it some respect (and yes occasionally c) it’s so expensive I can’t afford too many!). To sit and catch up with friends, or learn more about my wonderful girlfriend, and at the same time experience something new in a drink that has had an unimaginable amount of thought and effort put into it. Not somewhere where your cocktail, which comprises 5 different ingredients, is simply poured from a plastic jug with the name taped on it. Call me a booze snob if you will, I’ll be proud to bear the title.
So what now? Well, I’ve decided I’m going to teach myself to make great drinks and be the barman for like-minded friends! I know from your point of view my track record for accomplishments isn’t exactly great, having managed a handful of blog posts in something like two and a half years, but not really having much of an alternative, and I suppose having the benefits so clearly evident, certainly boosts my determination!
I have so far tried and tested two classic cocktails and if I may say so myself, they turned out very, very well. My first attepmt at a Whiskey Sour was a little heavy on the bitters, but come my second attempt I had Emily’s seal of approval, and seeing as it’s one of her all-time favourite drinks I’d say that one was a success. My next drink I decided to make before we prepared to sit down to watch Casino Royale; that most controversial of cocktails, despite its simplicity, the Martini. I’ve been craving another ever since.
I’m going to give myself a couple of months to learn some of the fundamentals of mixology, and get some classic recipes down before I hope to introduce and establish a little idea I had: Cocktail Club. I’m hoping to find some like-minded and booze-hungry friends who are willing to put their faith in my newly developed skills, and in return I hope to serve them up a storm (or perhaps a Dark & Stormy!). I shall be sure to keep the blog updated on how it goes. Maybe I’ll even start a little Mixology section and you can follow my attempts to make some nice tipples!