Miss P accidentally left her spelling words at school today. With a ten-word test looming tomorrow, we had no choice but to try to imagine what ten words might be on the list. Our only clue:
The words relate to the province of Ontario.
“How many do you remember, P?”
“You don’t remember any words on the list?”
Wow. This from a kid who remembers the name of every damn pony in that kingdom of ponies she and V are collecting. OMG, what the hell are those things called? I can’t remember.
Fortunately, as we tried to guess P’s spelling words, she was able to confirm when we hit one. By bedtime we’d scored seven:
She didn’t want to do it, but Dad made her copy each one out multiple times. In the morning she’ll at least have seven under her belt, and she can try to cram the other three into her brain when she gets to school.
Except Dad had spelled “Niagara” like “Viagra.” Which meant P had copied “Niagra” ten times on her practice sheet, effectively cramming her head with a misspelling.
By that point she didn’t care. She’d already had too much drama. Forgetting your spelling list at school is apparently a big deal, and she’d cried actual tears. Four hours earlier she’d been stung by a bee. She was stressed about the odor her orthodontic Schwartz appliance container has taken on (it’s bad). And Mum had suggested she eat vegetables.
If I could have offered P a gin-and-tonic I would have. But I couldn’t, so I had one myself. Made with BOOMSMA, now down to the dregs following our recent Shoot-Out, it was pretty good. Not BROKER’S good or even GORDON’S good, but pretty good. BOOMSMA is a creeper. It’s light and slightly sweeter than typical London Dry gin, which tempts you to add more to your tonic, which I couldn’t because everyone had emptied the bottle. When it was gone, I felt a little like P. Worn out.
The house got turned upside down this morning in a search for this.
It was the umpteenth search for a teeny Chihuahua whose owner keeps stuffing it into small spaces and then freaking out when it’s AWOL for bedtime.
By the time Chihuahua was finally discovered in the car, it felt like gin-and-tonic time. And, while my mum informed me 10:30am was too early (arbitrary on her part, wouldn’t you say?) she did agree to break out the GORDON’S LONDON DRY GIN again this evening.
The $12.69 mickey in our freezer represents another infidelity to BROKER’S GIN and by extension its lovely Business Development Manager Julia Gale, a woman who once savaged her knee busting out on a dance floor to Love Shack by the B52s.
I know (I think?) I promised Julia I’d wait for her delicious gin to be reinstalled at our government booze store, but I’m not made of stone.*
It all started with BEEFEATER 24, a purportedly higher-end version of the famously juniperous BEEFEATERmarketed as a tea-infused homage to the founder’s dad’s penchant for that beverage—but really a cagey gimmick to gain market share by offering options within its own brand. When I espied the new BEEFEATER variety I was briefly blinded by it and forgot that I was holding out for BROKER’S. But BEEFEATER 24, while enjoyable, is a bit of a departure from traditional gin, so it felt like a miss (in retrospect). A couple of weeks after it was finished, I told my mother we needed some normal gin so I could feel better—both about my breach of trust with Julia and about my delirium tremens—but she said no. She said we need to keep our booze spending down to a dull roar.
Luckily my mother is weak-willed; as soon as the thermometer surpassed 30° she relented and started considering gin of her own accord. But only a mickey! (For tasting purposes.)
Thus rationed, I requested GORDON’S because it struck me as a good baseline, standard-issue gin. Chances are, every other gin-based cocktail you’ve ordered at a bar has been made with Gordon’s; it has the widest reach of any gin. I really felt (Julia) that it would be quite an omission if I didn’t procure some.
GORDON’S isn’t the cheapest gin on the shelf but it’s one of only two available (in my hood) in a plastic mickey. This makes it fantastic for lurching around a parking lot with—a distinction it shares with the bottom-shelf Canadian gin GILBEY’S, which is the cheapest, and which my parents won’t let me review unless I manage to procure a free sample.
The last time my aging parents bought a mickey, they probably did so to spike a punch. That’s how weird the purchase felt, they said, although I think they were just bitching about taking “bear requests.”
GORDON’S LONDON DRY GIN—check
Plastic 375mL bottle—awesome
$12.69 price tag—almost as good as it gets
Superstore house brand tonic water—check
Expectations—low to middling
Little did we know last night how much of today would be devoted to hunting a three-inch Chihuahua. I think we should have had four ounces apiece, but we settled for two in tall tumblers with lots of ice.
Not bad, not bad. Especially considering the slight weirdness of our BEEFEATER 24 experience (although not as weird as HENDRICK’S). GORDON’S serves up exactly what’s needed in a decent G&T. Good infusion, good balance—more than serviceable and thoroughly underrated by gin snobs. It is, after all, the world’s best-selling gin.
But it’s not for gin noobs! GORDON’S hits all the traditional gin notes, and it hits them hard. If you’re looking for a gin that doesn’t really taste like gin, GORDON’S is not for you. If you don’t really like the taste of gin, there’s a whole shelf of gins crafted for you, with bizarro tasting notes like “cucumber” and “nothing.” If all the bottles came to life after the liquor store went dark at night, GORDON’S would kick the shit out of those pretty gin bottles. And maybe BROKER’S would help it if it was ever reinstated in the store.
I know, I know, it’s silly to anthropomorphize the gin bottles. Next thing you know I’ll be imagining Chihuahua is a real dog.
* NEW MATERIAL ONLY. POLYESTER FIBRES. PLASTIC BEADS.