Thursday, February 22, 2024

90 Proof Evening

A bottle of 90 proof Ezra Brooks Bourbon Whiskey had been staring me down for several months. It sat haughtily on the window sill in the office. It had maybe 4 fingers of good, but not great, Kentucky sour mash sitting inside un-swigged. 

I could feel it calling my name, teasing me, telling me I was a light weight by not tipping the rest of the bottle and finishing it like a man. Ignoring it was sacrilege in some circles; circles I no longer circled in. The good ole boys would hang their heads if they knew what I had become.

My days of drinking shots just because a bottle was available have been over for many years now. Testimony to that truth is just how much of a buzz I ended up with after finally taking the challenge that bottle had been throwing at me for so long. 

Fifty years ago I would not have even felt a quiver or a rush from four fingers of 90 proof anything. Fifty years ago I had no exit ramp, no sense of proportion, no control.  It took me awhile, took me changing my lifestyle, and took me becoming totally fed up with hangovers before I found I could walk  around a bottle of hooch without even a second glance.

But tonight, I sit percolating in my lightweight buzz wondering just what was the draw back in the day. Why was drinking so much fun? ............ Hmm.

Thankfully, my wonderment found other things to concentrate on and I moved on. Wondering why I cut back my alcohol intake is of no interest to me anymore. I'm an old fart now and drinking beer, wine, and sweet sour mash are imbibed only occasionally now as a reminder of the days when I was sure I was indestructible.

Tomorrow will probably be the reminder of why I stopped. At least I have something to look forward to.

But since I am here and half in the bag, I think I need to share my view on drinking hard likker. 

When I was young and stupid and not the more intelligent older and not as stupid human I have become after 71, almost 72 years on the planet, I tasted every alcoholic drink I could lay my lips on. It only took a decade to settle on whiskey as my favorite poured on 3 cubes in a short glass. No sweet condiments, no mixers, no straws and definitely no umbrellas; just good whiskey and a coupla cubes and I was a happy camper. I like tequila and all the agave plant derivatives. Problem is they have a tendency to make me trip like I was on on some hallucinogen.

So, if ever we meet in some bar or airport lounge, order me a whiskey, neat, in a short glass swirling around a coupla ice cubes. If there is a god, I am sure that is how they meant alcohol to be consumed.

Later .....................................


I think I had already dropped out of college. I was humping furniture for a living and spending all my money on the weekends chasing good times. A close friend from the high school come up to Towson from Bethesda, Maryland to pick me up for a road trip to party at one of the infamous Delaware roadhouses. A band called "The Delaware Destroyers" was performing and he assured me I would not be disappointed.

I am fairly sure I was not disappointed though my memory of that night faded quickly once we started in on our 7th or 8th round of Boilermakers with tequila back shots. I do remember the band. It was the first time I saw George Thorogood.  Between his hard rockin Blues and the round after round I partook in, my love affair with whiskey and the Blues was in full bloom.

Here is George and his Destroyers with one of their more memorable tunes, "I drink alone"


BBC said...

I still love a good brandy or peppermint schnapps but at 80, I can't handle much of it anymore.

The Blog Fodder said...

I sip Jameson with ice or water but shoot vodka straight like Ukrainians taught me to do. 50 grams is a European shot. 250 grams and I am off to bed.

PipeTobacco said...

I will typically drink anything that is free. But, when I pay, it is usually an IPA, whisky, or a gin & tonic.

Hoping you do not have a hangover. When I was smoking my pipe it was easier to get the “drunk” feeling with less alcohol. I miss that.