I love this. Write drunk, edit sober. At first when I read it, I laughed and decided it was good advice. Then I thought about it a bit more and realized drunk and sober need not be literal, but that it's smart to keep in mind that changing your mind, taking another look at things, can be good for you.
And so that's what I've been doing lately with whiskey.
Yesterday a friend said that I amused her, even when I'm belligerent. Perfect, I thought! Belligerent!! Nobody had ever said that to me before, though I'm sure people have thought it. I do like a good bit of verbal sparring. Yet, I sometimes think I'm not taken seriously because I tend to be nice and thoughtful and stuff. So, because I was in a mood, "BELLIGERENT" was a badge of honor.
One thing I have learned while pursuing my love of the verbal fight is that you can always learn something from it. Sometimes a fresh idea is presented by your adversary. Sometimes you just learn that you'll need to dumb it down next time. ;) And so, in this spirit of doing things someone else's way, just to try it, I mixed up the way I drink my favorite evening pours.
First off, as you know, I prefer drinking whiskey neat. Period. No ice, no mixers, no pop (for crying out loud, people!). You do it that way if you like, but not me. However, there a certain times when I think a cocktail sounds nice. I've got three go-to cocktails for bourbon and rye: sazerac, old fashioned, manhattan. And tonight, I'm trying a hot toddy.
I make the best sazerac I've ever had, save the ones my cousin makes. He's the one who taught me. Ohmygosh delicious. I could drink them all day if only I could hold that much alcohol. So I wasn't going to mess with that.
Lesson learned: Nothing.
But a manhattan. Dominic the amazing loves them and thinks liking them is as easy as liking rainbows and unicorns. (Seriously. That's what he said.) I wasn't convinced, so I tried doing it differently. I tried it with different ryes, with different bourbons, classic, perfect, orange bitters, chocolate bitters, plain old angostura bitters. I don't like them. I don't like them so much I didn't finish them. I'm blaming the sweet vermouth. I like everything else in them. I made sure I shook my bitters and bought nice vermouths. My husband enjoyed those experiments, because he ended up drinking most of it. I have yet to try one with all dry vermouth. Maybe that will be good. I do like a dry martini. We'll see.
Lesson learned: I don't have to like them just because everyone else does. Also, I don't like sweet vermouth.
On to old fashioneds. I had been making them with simple syrup because, well, it's easy. Dominic kept telling me to use a sugar cube! (Yes, it felt like he said it with an exclamation point.) Ok, ok, I tried it. He is right! I muddled the sugar cube with the bitters, added in the orange slice and muddled a bit, then the bourbon or rye and poured over ice. Topped with a cherry. Delicious! As the ice melts and the sugar dissolves, it changes a bit and I liked it a lot. It's been very, very cold here where I live the past several days, but I've had a chance to enjoy my old fashioneds.
Lesson learned: I like it when the flavors change in a drink as I sip it. Trying a new way to make a cocktail can produce a better result.
Tonight's hot toddy is inspired by the cold. Honestly, I feel like I'm drinking cough syrup. We've got whiskey, honey, lemon juice and hot water. ::schrunched up nose:: I've had one made at Zingerman's Roadhouse before and it was so delicious. They must have fancied it up more than this one. I'm not sure I'll finish it. (I did.)
Lesson learned: If it sounds like a cough remedy, it will taste like one.
So I took another look, tried things a new way. I learned that I still prefer neat, but that I can enjoy a fantabulous self made old fashioned for a twist sometimes. Yay! Very fun.
Write drunk, edit sober. I always write, read over a couple times and then immediately post. ::shrug:: I'm too impatient to wait. ;) Do I listen to my own advice, apply it everywhere? No. I'm BELLIGERENT. Haha!