May those who love us, love us.  For those who do not love us, may God turn their hearts.  And if he will not turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles, so that we may know them by their limping.  Cheers!

It’s been credited as an Irish toast, and since that’s my ancestry I don’t feel any need to argue.

I am a fan of the drink, be they straight spirits or classic cocktails, even newfangled or flying by the seat of my pants concoctions.  I do admit to a wee bit of snobbery – I like my Scotch single malt and generally old enough to vote when that’s an option, I like my rum to not have The Captain on it (but the Kraken is a-okay since it’s good enough to drink alone, but I am not committing a crime when I mix it!), and I even judge your tonic slightly if it’s not at least Canada Dry.  Not that I won’t consume the more standard offerings, I’m just likely to gravitate to the ones I consider better.

I have seen drink lead to bad choices, I have seen it lead to great ones.  Sometimes it’s lovely to let loose that little bit of inhibition as you imbibe.  And it gives me a wonderful excuse at parties for the fact that I will never remember anyone’s name… but of course it was because I was drinking and not that I can’t remember a name to save my life!  Right.  I am a silly, flirty drunk, generally a happy drunk – although in part because I try not to drink much if I’m in unhappy circumstances, I like to drink for the “right” reasons.

A little over four years ago, when I was laid off and times were stressful, I made myself a promise.  I would not drink for that first week.  If I did, I would be drinking things away, not a good choice.  After the full week, I felt I could finally partake in a celebration of the closing of one chapter and the starting of another, a time to drink with friends, so we did go out and drink our way through Downtown Disney.  And it was DELIGHTFUL, the more so because I had been so careful and it was fun to not be that night.

Not to say I never drink when things are stressful, sometimes that shot just helps relax things that are wound too tight in my head.  I remember sometime during that period between companies when I was served a gin & gin (oops, instead of tonic more gin got added) and I didn’t notice at first.  In my defense, we were trying a new gin and I thought it was just REALLY strong.

My go-to cocktail when I’m out and about is the Tom Collins.  A gin based, mildly sweet drink, with a little fizz.  I’ve had bad ones, but over all as long as the gin is alright the drink can be drunk.  It used to be the Old Fashioned, but I have seen too many places destroy that one – it makes for a great litmus test of a good bartender. Ever since I saw a bartender not add the simple syrup but just pour the juice from maraschino cherries (the bright red near-plastic kind, not the quality luxardo ones) to ruin a perfectly good rye Old Fashioned I have gotten a little more careful with that order.  Tom Collins, and if the bartender asks if I want gin or vodka I raise an eyebrow, the only thing they should be asking is if I want to call my gin.  Vodka Collins is it’s own drink, as is a Pedro Collins (rum), a John Collins (bourbon), and so on.  So Tom Collins – generally safe in the hands of any semi-competent bartender, well known, classic.

I told you, I’m a drink snob.  I mean, I still drink my “Dark & Stormy” variant, that is Canada Dry ginger ale and Kraken rum – but I try to call it a Partly Cloudy.  A true Dark & Stormy has Gosling’s Black Seal rum and ginger beer, it is in fact trademarked by Gosling’s that way.  I’ll accept any dark rum, really, but if you are substituting the ginger beer, it’s not truly a Dark & Stormy and I will acknowledge that it’s still my home-drink of choice.  Generally easy to keep the supplies on hand (except when the rum is gone… why’s the rum gone?) and make another up, even if you’re three sheets to the wind.  Although the rum pours do get more generous as you drink more, I have discovered.

So to you, lovely readers, a toast! Sláinte!

(Okay, so I’m at work and had to toast you with my water bottle.  Which actually has water in it.  Not “Water of Life” water either.)


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