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The WineWiz Takes a Break and Has An Important PSA for You
You know, I’m a reasonably intelligent person. There are many, many topics besides wine that I can discuss and absolutely make it sound like I know what I’m talking about.
So I’m closing the wine cellar door this week and spreading my wings a little. And I have something very important that I need you all to seriously consider.
When was the last time you cleaned out your liquor cabinet?
And not hurr hurr think it was New Year’s.
Because, guess what. Opened liquor bottles do not last in perpetuity.
I mean they don’t dissolve or anything. The liquor remains. But it does not, in all cases, taste good. As I found to my chagrin last weekend.
Inspired by this Epicurious article, Vermouth—Just Vermouth—Is the Drink of Summer, I seemed to recall I had some vermouth in my liquor cabinet. Which is in one of those super high cabinets that even 5'8" me has to dig out the stepladder to access.
I think but I’m not sure that that dry vermouth was last used when I hosted a Halloween party for my book club. The book was The Shining, and if you’ve read it, you know that martinis feature prevalently. And that was......some time ago.
I tried a little over ice, like the article suggests. Gah! Yeah, that old boy was long gone. I poured the rest of the bottle down the sink.
Happily the sweet vermouth was more palatable. Yummy even. It was even better with a couple splashes of Angostura orange bitters, which cut the sweetness some. It’s still more of an after-dinner drink or with something spicy.
My go-to cocktail nowadays as temperatures spike ever higher is the humble gin & tonic. It’s cold, it’s crisp, it’s a little sweet, just the ticket. Right now I’m still finishing up a bottle of Boodles gin, which I bought primarily because Boodles sounds like one of those British pilots in an old movie bounding to their old Spitfire. I like that it tastes clean and refreshing on its own, and nicely balances anything you add to it. When I’m feeling both fancy and schmancy, my favorite addition is Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic Water. Ever since I had my first sip of St. Germain liqueur, I've been an elderflower fan, so I love getting to enjoy it here.
Do yourself a favor. Anything that’s lost its flavor or is all funky in a bad not-George-Clinton way, throw it out. It’s a pandemic, people. We can’t be drinking nasty alcohol. And let me know what’s in your shaker.