Sorry about that. Had to get that out of the system.
This month’s Mixology Monday is hosted by Matthew Rowley over at Rowley’s Whiskey Forge. I, unfortunately, procastinated and now have the fun of trying to squeeze mine in while wishing I was in bed after a long holiday of meetings and more work in the morning. Ahhh, I love my job.
Which makes the theme of “hard drinks for hard times” a bit harder for me. I’m lucky enough to have a great job with a company that I really enjoy working for, and so, I usually don’t pay close attention to how much I spend on booze (too much). Should I do cheap wine?
Oh lad-dee-dah! WINE?! I’m supposed to be giving ideas of how to drink cheaply and I’m sipping on a bottle of Sangiovese I got from Wegman’s? Oh, sure, it wasn’t THAT expensive, but for some reason I think if you’re going to drink WINE in hard times it needs to be something that barely fits the moniker of wine. Something you’d drink in college, like Mad Dog or Boone’s Farm.
I ain’t touching those things again. I might spend my money on stupid things (Ice Pirates on DVD? YES PLEASE) but I like to enjoy my drinks, such as they are.
Some of you might take offense or something from that when knowing how much cheap beer I drink. That’s more of a lifestyle choice, I’d argue; both that cheap beer, in my humble opinion, is much more palatable than a lot of cheap wines (sometimes – Two Buck Chuck or whatever it’s priced at now helps disprove that, admittedly) and and also that I’m the type of person who always needs a drink in hand, and I drink a lot of liquids. Not just booze – sodas, milk, juice, water, I just like to have a drink at hand. I get made fun of it.
In the keg right now we have Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. It ended up being right around $150 or so for the keg. Never minding the capital costs of a kegerator – the kegerator itself, for instance, the irregular refills of CO2, to name but a couple – the average price for a 12 ounce beer if you get the full 15.5 gallons out of it is about $.91. They charge you about $5 or so for a pint of it at most restaurants.
Back at Christmastime my parents got me a SodaStream machine. Now, you’re probably trying to get one ahead of me and say “Oh, HA! You got Morgenthaler‘s tonic recipe, and ordered cheap quinine from online, and…”
No. Shut up. I didn’t. I drove down to Boater’s World in Springfield and bought at $5 bottle of diet tonic syrup.
Seriously – uh – it’s not that bad. It’s better than any other diet tonic water I’ve definitely had and I can make a bunch of liters of it for about the same price as a four pack of Fever Tree. Just gotta carbonate that water…
I really had figured that a gin and tonic is a great “cheap” drink. Maybe it was the night I ended up drinking 16 ounces of gin in my gin and tonics. Maybe it’s the reputation that gin has as the beleaguered poor Englishman’s drink of choice (Jay?) (not to imply you are poor or beleaguered). Maybe it’s…I don’t know. But what I did know was that I needed a proper cheap gin to drink with it.
A while ago, one of our Thursday Drink Nights over at the Mixoloseum involved stuff that you’d never bought before. I used a bottle of Beefeater gin but while I was out there I figured, you know, what the hell, and I bought a bottle of Jacquin’s Orange Flavored Gin.
The thing was, it ended up, that it really wasn’t that bad. Oh, I know, you’re all JUDGING ME and stuff, I can tell it, because I like to drink 3-4 Miller Lites in between cocktails and I willingly listen to Katy Perry. SCREW YOU. It’s orange-y, it’s about 66 proof, and you know what, it was like $3 for a pint of it.
So there we go. I ended up pouring in three ounces of the “makes a great orange collins” stuff and topped it off with diet tonic and a few ice cubes. Keeping with the orange theme – which always rocks with my UVA glass – I used the orange drink stick.
Now, admittedly, I did drink that whole bottle of Sangiovese before even starting in on this experiment. And the first taste was kind of rough. But after that, as I started to drink it, I started to kind of dig it, and think, hey, maybe all it needs is a brown paper bag, and maybe all you critics of what I like to drink need to just shut the hell up, and oh, maybe there’s some kernel of truth to the whole thing about “gin makes a man mean” but you know what I’LL TAKE YOU ALL ON I WILL YOU JUST SEE!!!!
Okay, sorry about that.
Anyways, it’s not really a bad drink, and I guess it’s basically a gin and tonic but I’ll think of something cheap and easy to call it…
Orangin and Tonic
3 ounces Jacquin’s Orange Flavored Gin
Dash of Orange Bitters (orange angostura)
Build in a double old fashioned glass over ice. Stir, garnish with a small piece of orange.
Is that good enough for you buggers? HUH? I didn’t need to drink one so FANCY SCHMANCY so you bloody fools can…
Okay, okay, I’m all right now. I gotta get to sleep anyways.
Big thanks as always to Paul for setting up MxMo and to Matt Rowley for hosting this month. Also props to The RZA and Master Shake, our two cats in the first picture, and Cosmo, my parents’ dog in the latter, for helping me resist the urges of demon gin.
Maybe just one more drink…