January 16, 2013

Bar Belle: My drinking evolution

We all go through phases, and I think that’s a good thing. It means we’re changing, trying new things, refining our palates, discovering new adventures, improving our lives. I went through a Sharon Stone phase once, and although I didn’t learn much from it, I can kill at the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game (“He Said, She Said”).

It got me thinking about what I like to drink today compared to what I drank when I first dipped my virginal toe into the water world (Kevin Costner to Kevin Bacon = “JFK”) of alcohol. I’d like to chart my progress here, and I’d like you to think about your own drinking timeline. And before you judge some of my tastes, just remember that we all like what we like, and I often drink for quantity, not quality.

1995-1999
Oh, college, how I miss you so. I look back fondly on the cycle of staying out too late, drinking way too much, and still being able to make my 8 a.m. class like a young gunner (Keifer Sutherland to Kevin Bacon = “Flatliners”). So what was I drinking? Well, it was difficult to obtain alcohol my freshman year, so I had to take what someone with a fake ID could get me. I was like the Ellis Island of cheap booze. I learned that Smirnoff Vodka goes great with Crystal Light, and Busch Light tastes best when consumed as quickly as possible.

I had to be creative once when I was given a bottle of Bacardi 151. Let’s just say it does not go well with coffee. Zima was my drink of choice, and I could usually put away a six-pack with a few watermelon Jolly Ranchers during the duration of the “Dangerous Minds” soundtrack (Michelle Pfeiffer to Jack Nicholson (“Wolf”) to Kevin Bacon (“A Few Good Men”)).

When I was finally 21 and had the liquor store at my fingertips, it was anything my budget could afford — Andre champagne, Boone’s Farm, 30-packs of Miller High Life Lite with the wide mouth, tequila, rum, Jagermeister, Goldschlager, Hot Damn, and wine coolers. I ransacked frat parties for free beer and ashtrays. You do time at the keg as “pump bitch,” you get house beer all night. And there was that one crazy summer (Demi Moore to Kevin Bacon = “A Few Good Men”) where all I drank was Bud Light on draft. That was also the summer I gained 15 pounds.

1999-2005
In these days, I was acclimating myself to Louisville’s nightlife. I thought I had a tolerance of steel, but when the bars are open to 4 a.m. every night, you have to readjust you intake levels and rezone your jurisdiction. In the beginning it was rocky (Sylvester Stallone to Robert De Niro (“Cop Land”) to Kevin Bacon (“Sleepers”)). I stayed too long at the Back Door, binged on too many Twig Tots at the Twig N Leaf, and generally learned everything the hard way.

This was when I had my first fling with red wine. It was over a steak dinner at Judge Roy Bean’s (now The Bard’s Town) when my friend Sue outlawed beer at the table and waterboarded me with merlot. I learned about its virtues and loved how it tangoed with my meal. I was smitten — hook (Julia Roberts to Kevin Bacon = “Flatliners”), line and sinker.

It was also during this time when I fell for a boy named bourbon. I knew from my college days that I should stay away from whiskey — that’s what cowboys and Steelers fans drink. But one day my friend and fellow buckeye decided to check out the Maker’s Mark Distillery to see what all the fuss was about. All you people talked about was basketball and bourbon, so we took a road trip (Amy Smart to Neve Campbell (“Blind Horizon”) to Kevin Bacon (“Wild Things”)). It wasn’t until I dipped my hand in the yeast and smelled the sweet scent of a charred oak barrel that I developed a respect for and obsession with Kentucky gold.

2005-present
I’ve certainly expanded my palate over the years. Along the way I’ve given up old flames (Goldschlager) and partaken new paramours (Bulleit Rye). Some days I’m happy with a Miller Lite, other days I crave a robust porter. Some days it’s Bombay Sapphire gin, other days it’s bathtub gin. Some people like their sake cold, some like it hot (Marilyn Monroe to Eli Wallach (“The Misfits”) to Kevin Bacon (“Mystic River”)). To each their own.

Drunk Texts of the Week
• He who farts in church sits in one’s own pew
• Cropdusted at Wicks! Abort!
• Is there a sale @ Costco? The yuppies r missing!

Send your drunk texts to shavens@leoweekly.com. My blog is at barbelle.leoweekly.com. Word. 

Nice post

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