Alcohol Buy Curious: Day 1
Monday, October 24th, 2011 at 7:02 pm by Steven DiTullio

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By Steve
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So, let the festivities begin! I took a trip to grab an early dinner at a mall complex not far from my apartment. In this complex there is a Barnes and Noble book store. After dinner I decided the best course of action when beginning a journey is to buy a compass. I walked into the food and health sections of the store and began thumbing through a few books on cocktails. The selection wasn’t huge, and for the most part these books seemed a bit more involved than my brain could really follow along with given my early level status as an alcohol aficionado. With that in mind I decided the best thing to do was to just dive in head first and start imbibing. So I promptly left the store and took a trip to my local adult beverage shop.

I decided to start off with harder alcohols for my first few drink experiments. When I got to the liquor store I arrived without much of a game plan. My only thought was simple, try something new. I immediately found myself perusing the isles and getting pulled to my usual territory. Cheaper beers, vodkas, micro-brews, those are the empty bottles that fill my recycling bin week in and week out. I wanted to get creative, but the question was where the hell do I begin. Not wanting to buy a huge bottle of something I wasn’t even sure I’d like, I took a look behind the counter at the smaller bottles. I wanted something more than just a nip, because only having one drink isn’t really a solid foundation to base an opinion off of. I opted to stick with the 250ML bottles, which for those of us in the United States is a little bit more than 5 shots worth of product. I got myself one bottle of rum (Bacardi Gold), one bottle of whiskey (Jim Beam), and one vodka (Smirnoff Triple Distilled, which I have never tried before). I figured I would start this journey off with the basics, so I grabbed a diet Coke and made myself a Bacardi and Diet.

Bacardi and Diet
1.5oz Bacardi Gold
4oz Diet Coke

Now going into this I have some semblance of an opinion about rum. I don’t really like it. I’ve always wondered if this was a rebellious side of me because my parents are very fond of rum, particularly Bacardi. So I decided to open my mind and take a swig, and it was AWFUL. Really I did not enjoy this at all. The alcohol burned my senses three times, once smelling it, once when I took a sip, and once when I swallowed. There was a very bitter aftertaste that reminded me of cough syrup when I was a kid. I actually gagged a couple of times. In the interest of fairness to the Bacardi Gold I must admit, this was the first drink I have had in a few weeks, so I’m sure some of the potency was a direct result of how dry I was going into the experience. All in all, not something I enjoyed one bit.

Not to be deterred by one crappy experience I took my friend Sharon’s suggestion. She’s a whiskey person, and she suggested I try a combination I had actually never heard of before, whiskey and cream soda.

Jim Beam and Cream Soda
1.5oz Jim Beam
4oz Cream Soda

Now THIS was something I could get into. I was actually very surprised at how smooth the combination was. It was dessert-like, but at the same time had enough kick to remind you that this was not just some treat. Put a few too many of these down and you’d likely have more than just a tummy ache. With that said, there wasn’t anything particularly memorable about it either. It was good, and I’d have it again (and I probably will since I still have a ton of cream soda kicking around) but it didn’t blow me away either. This drink most definitely turned my crappy opening night around.

I mentioned this in my Prelude post, I have very little knowledge going into this project about the world of the adult beverage. I’m really interested in hearing what other people are drinking to try some new things and expand my currently limited pallet. I’ve still got 5 shots of vodka and 4 of whiskey and rum to go before I need to stock my supplies, so if you have a suggestion for the best use of these tools of destruction, send me a message on Twitter, Facebook (be sure to mention the article in the friend request), or leave a comment below. Thanks for reading, until next time, bottoms up fuckers.

By Steve
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