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TroN-0074 04-01-2013 09:59 AM

Favorite Drink
Ok so at almost in my 40s I realize I know almost nothing about drinking. Embarrassing perhaps?
Well the thing is that I kind of would like to know what is the good stuff out there to try? Also what is the best way to taste it. I mean in a cocktail or along in a shot glass or in any other form.
this past week I got myself a bottle of gin and I tasted with nothing in a shot glass it was pretty bad, then I taste it with tonic water as suggested in a Google search I did but it didn't improve that much. I would like to know your opinion.

I mentioned I am alsmost in my 40s so I am old enough to try this please dont if you are under age for this kind of experiment.

Thank you!

foodown 04-01-2013 10:54 AM

Gin and, in my opinion, rum, are not good liquors to just sip on their own.

If you're looking to get into "shooting" liquor (that's swallowing a shot all at once and only really "tasting" the aftertaste) I'd recommend tequila. Stick with bottles that sport "100% de agave" and either "reposado" or "anejo". Tequila that is not 100% agave is not real tequla, and tastes very bad (eg Jose Cuervo) and reposados and anejos have been barrel-aged and are much more mellow for someone just looking to get their feet wet.

If you want a nice sipping experience, like just drinking liquor over rocks, you can try bourbon whisky, Scotch whisky, or rye whisky. For a first timer, I'd go with something on the smoother side, like 40 Creek, Knob Creek, or Crown Royal.

Clear liquors, other than perhaps vodka, (in my opinion -- many folks will disagree) aren't good for much beyond mixed drinks. Generally, liquor with color to it as been aged in wooden barrels and has a more complex, less harsh flavor.

oldscratch 04-01-2013 11:25 AM

A very nice whisky to try is "Black Bush" from Bushmill's. Its an Irish whisky, and is just under $40/bottle where I live, and I think it compares favorably to some single malt Scotch whiskies selling for about 50% more.

Try it with a little ice, or add a splash of water.

BTW, if you're 40 years old and haven't started drinking hard liquor, maybe you shouldn't. Liquors will get you wasted a lot faster than wine or beer, simply because you have to drink more wine or beer to get the same amount of alcohol. So if you're looking for a hobby that involves alcohol, wine might be the way to go. There are *lots* of social opportunities to drink wine and there is almost infinite variety in all the different kinds of wine out there. Wine can also be the kind of thing where you get technical with it, and have certain types of glasses for certain types of wine, etc.

Making your own beer might be fun, too.

foodown 04-01-2013 11:31 AM


Originally Posted by oldscratch (Post 4922854)
A very nice whisky to try is "Black Bush" from Bushmill's.

Black Bush is very nice.


Originally Posted by oldscratch (Post 4922854)
Wine can also be the kind of thing where you get technical with it, and have certain types of glasses for certain types of wine, etc.

Wine is a lot of fun to buy and drink, and you don't even have to spend $10 to try a nice red that you could really like.

TB0ne 04-01-2013 12:26 PM


Originally Posted by foodown (Post 4922833)
Gin and, in my opinion, rum, are not good liquors to just sip on their own.

I agree about the gin...the rum, though...:)

The 'standard' Bacardi-type rums aren't very good on their own, in my opinion. However, the darker rums tend to be more 'sippable'. Ron Zacapa is my preferred rum, and it stands very well on its own.

OP, I would suggest starting with what foods you like...identify what the FLAVORS are, that you enjoy in the foods you like. If you like spice, sweet, sour, etc., and go to a GOOD bar, and tell the bartender what you enjoy. For me, I finally got to the darker-rums after YEARS of absolutely hating spirits, but tried some different rums at a friends one night. The differences between the light and dark rums are enormous, so if you try something (tequila, say?) that you don't like, but that there are different varieties of, try may be surprised.

TB0ne 04-01-2013 12:28 PM


Originally Posted by foodown (Post 4922858)
Black Bush is very nice.

I will not post a very obvious, crude joke here. :)

Wine is a lot of fun to buy and drink, and you don't even have to spend $10 to try a nice red that you could really like.
Totally agreed....good wine doesn't have to be expensive. One of my favorite Cabernet-Sauvignion's is Peter Lehmann's "Barossa"...about $13 a bottle where I am, and amazing. Easily stands up to $100+ bottles, and cellars well.

TroN-0074 04-01-2013 09:17 PM

Thank you for the great information. I have had the chance to try different spirits but I have been doing it all wrong. so I want to start over doing it right this time.
So far I have tasted
Tequila silver by patron. I did that on an one OZ shot glass. It was o.k but then I tried
Jagermeister, and that stuff was good.
The other stuff I really liked was the Jack Daniel Tennessee Honey whiskey it was just few weeks ago that I finished sampling that stuff and I am tempted to buy more but I know there are more stuff to try. I also tasted the Vanilla infuse Vodka it was o.k.

I am right now working on a Brandy bottle, for what I was reading I have been doing the brandy all wrong too since I have been using the same one Oz shot glass and not the snifter glass suggested for brandy and Cognac.

So for future testing I think I still need to do regular Whiskey, Scotch, Spice Rum, Akvavit, Sake I would like to try Absinthe but it is illegal in the USA so it is out of the list for now.

Please let me know If I am leaving something that I really should try. Thanks

chrism01 04-02-2013 03:01 AM

In general, you do have to pay a bit to get the good smooth stuff, especially spirits.
The other general rule for good spirits below is they should be sipped straight; no mixers.

Rum - get the really good (usually dark) stuff from the Caribbean

Scotch - I recommend single malt, preferably at least 15 yr old; there's a wide range of tastes here.
Try eg Macallan, Highland Park, Talisker. For heavier taste, go Laphroaig, Lagavulin (watch out here)
Depending on how strict you are, you may add a little ice or water

Cognac / Armagnac - in a wide/bowl (brandy snifter) glass mmmm :)

Vodka - not a big fan, ok, better (imho) in cocktails

Gin - pass; never liked it even with mixers

Its all highly subjective. ;)
(eg I hate Jagermeister)

I do like wine; on its own or (even better) with a good meal.
There's a infinite number of them; try to go to a few tastings. You should be able to find cheap/non-pretentious ones, sometimes even free :)

If you can make friends with a barman, he may let you try some stuff (eg sips) of some stuff for free eg beers.

Enjoy :) :)

pan64 04-02-2013 03:21 AM

what about some palinka from Hungary?

frankbell 04-02-2013 08:51 PM

For a mixed drink, check out Manhattans--Canadian with a dash of sweet vermouth (6 or 8:1); shake with ice and serve in a martini glass. They are sweet, but not cloying, and smooth. My freshman roommate liked whiskey sours, but they never did much for me.

Martinis are an acquired taste. It's been a while, but back in my road warrior days, I like very dry (8:1) vodka martinis with olives.

My own preferred tipple is Scotch. I tend towards the blends, if only because of price and consistency. Chivas is a nice premium blend; Bells or Dawson are good medium price values. If you budget is tight, Passport is passable. Any Scotch is better than every anything else, except possibly for Irish--for Irish, Tullamore Dew. Every man must have his Dew.

Now that I'm in my dotage, I find the taste of Bourbon not so much to my liking as it used to be, but Rebel Yell was one of my favorites. Jack Daniels, though not a strictly a bourbon, is quite a nice drink.

The only gin drink I every found tolerable was a gin swizzle.

For a really interesting, rich red wine, I recommend a Hungarian wine called, in English, Bull's Blood (because of its richness).

oldscratch 04-03-2013 08:25 AM


Depending on how strict you are, you may add a little ice or water
Really, its more about alcohol content than how strict you are or are not. A lot of higher-end whiskies are sold with higher alcohol content than most blends. Some are even sold at what is called "cask strength", which can be 60%+ alcohol.

Most people find that 80 proof (40% alcohol) is just about the right level for sipping, and most blends are sold at this level. Anything above that tends to burn the tongue. The high-end single malts sold at cask strength are normally targeted at those who know how to appreciate them.

Take a 12-year-old A'bunadh from Aberlour as an example. That whisky is bottled at 58.7% alcohol content. That would be 117.4 proof, and nearly 50% more alcohol content per measure than a typical blend.

If you try to follow the advice of those who say that whisky must be drunk straight, and sip on a glass of this whisky without any water or ice, you're most likely just going to feel heat and your tongue will be numbed to the nuances of the whisky. It won't be a pleasant experience at all. (You'll also get much more wasted if you drink the same amount of this whisky as you normally drink of an 80 proof whisky). To bring out the flavor and make the experience pleasant, you really do have to add some water to this whisky. Good water -- Evian for example -- will give you a totally different experience than most tap water.

Happy drinking!

H_TeXMeX_H 04-03-2013 09:45 AM

My advice is stay away from alcohol and other pits of despair.

TroN-0074 04-03-2013 10:55 AM


Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H (Post 4924341)
My advice is stay away from alcohol and other pits of despair.

That is a good advice, thank you. However I am not looking to become an alcoholic nor I am looking to scape reality of some sort or anything like that.

I am just curious about enjoying some of the pleasure of life in a safe way. I educated myself with food too and it was a good experience.

Thank you.

chrism01 04-03-2013 11:59 PM

@oldscratch: I can promise you that many Scotsmen (& other serious Single Malt drinkers) have very strong views about what you can add or not ... ;)
(regardless of alcohol content)

weirdwolf 04-04-2013 11:33 PM

I haven't drank in years, but as far as Gin goes, If you wish to drink it neat (leave bottle in fridge) then I would only want Bombay Sapphire, if mixing with tonic...Then any bar brand will do, a lemon or lime "twist" make a big difference. As for Whiskey I would suggest Knob Creek Bourbon neat or over a couple ice cubes if you wish. With any liquor, if you want to mix it then don't waste your money on "good stuff" as you will most likely not be able to tell the difference.

Would just as soon have a Guinness Extra Stout.

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