My fellow inebriates,
I promised you a sob story revealing why my typists (aka Mum and Dad) have left me to twiddle my thumbless paws for over a year now while my blog wallows in the lowest reader stats it’s ever seen.
But then I had breakfast (aka FEENEY’S IRISH CREAM), which had been lurking in the back of the fridge since Christmas. Obviously my mum was the last tippler, because the top was barely on (she has no idea how to close anything; either it’s barely on or it’s hopelessly misthreaded and you have to bash it against the sink to get it open). Anyway, it was my mum’s incompetence that enabled my miraculous Feeney’s breakfast.
An odd breakfast, you say?
You wouldn’t say that if it was in a morning coffee on New Year’s Day, would you? Then it would be okay. Or if you were camping. If you’re camping anything goes! To further make my case, I had no idea what date it was today. For all I knew, it could have been New Year’s Day. I don’t pay attention to calendars. So I slipped the top off the Feeney’s, inserted a straw, and…OMG, my fellow inebriates, what a yummy breakfast! You have to try this, people. Never mind what day it is. I suggest doing it just because it’s a day.
A 750mL bottle of Feeney’s sells at our local booze store for $20.99. That’s $6 less than the more famous Bailey’s Original Irish Cream. So how does it compare?
If you ask my dad, who immediately noted the price difference, he’ll say Feeney’s has nothing on Bailey’s. Ask my mum, presumably responsible for the half-bottle’s worth missing before I discovered it for breakfast, and she’ll say it’s practically identical. Made with cream and aged Irish whisky, Feeney’s is rich and luxurious, smooth and slightly chocolatey. Perhaps it tastes different (better?) than Bailey’s—but who knows? I’d have to urge my parents to buy both at once, and that’s about as likely as an asteroid hitting the house. Nope, the holiday season is over, and we probably won’t see either beverage until next winter.
Totally aside, but just to give you a small update of what’s been going on at LBHQ, while I consumed my delicious Feeney’s breakfast, I was observed by GERBILS. Yes, for the past 13 months, gerbils have been living with us. They reside in a gigantic glass tank in the dining room. At first I was afraid they would make similar fridge forays to mine and finish off the booze before I could, but then I realized they’re confined to their tank. My dad says they don’t feel confined because the tank is huge, but hey—who knows what they’re thinking? (Except Miss V, who can channel them.)
To be frank, I’m a little jealous of them, because when we first got them my mum said: “Wow, it’s great having animals in the house. They’re so animated, aren’t they, LB?”
And then she said to the kids, “Make sure you never put LB in the gerbil tank. If you do, they’ll chew him up in no time flat.”
My Fellow Inebriates,
Oh, to be an American today…. As a Canadian I can’t get in on the action (so my parents tell me), but in the US it’s the 80th anniversary of the day beer became available in the US—the beginning of the end of Prohibition. Back in 1933, thirsty citizens lined up at bars and taverns all over the country waiting for midnight to strike so they could finally enjoy a legal brew.
Prohibition was, no doubt, one of the dumbest legislative ideas ever conceived, spawning an infamously violent underground economy and string of HBO series concerned with the crimes committed in the name of supplying and procuring alcohol to a populace that undoubtedly wanted it. Lasting an unbelievable 13 years, Prohibition produced—in addition to the gangland events that continue to supply screenwriters with fodder—some unintended consequences for alcohol production in America: consequences that would delay America’s international acceptance as a serious wine producer and instead mire it with a persistent reputation for producing bathtub moonshine.
Consider something as simple as grape planting. Driven to produce their own wine during the dry years, Americans created a demand for hardy, disease-resistant, “no-brainer” grapes that weren’t necessarily optimal for making wine. California grape growers increased their land allocation by 700% to accommodate the demand, ostensibly for table grapes, tearing up decent vines and planting crappy consumer ones because this was the only way they could stay in business. Growers even produced thick slabs of grape concentrate bearing cautionary labels: “After dissolving the brick in a gallon of water, do not place the liquid in a jug away in the cupboard for twenty days, because then it would turn into wine.”
The result was a steady flow of barely drinkable near-vinegar that would render the US’s fledgling wine industry internationally risible. Illegal wine was hideously unstandardized and even watered down. At best it was undrinkable; at worst it was unsafe for consumption. Worst of all, those citizens in such thrall to alcohol that they sought out and drank it anyway could find no psychological help.
Prohibition destroyed or caused serious winemakers to flee the country. When the dry years finally ended, grape cultivators would be left with large swaths of thick-skinned, flavorless grapes planted for the sake of easy transportation, and an industry brain drain that left behind little winemaking knowledge.
Thus April 7 is cause for celebration, my fellow inebriates. In the years since the Volstead Act was declared unconstitutional, American winemaking has followed a long road to recovery. Not until the 1980s did it manage to penetrate the international wine market with any degree of seriousness, and its fight against European derision is to some extent still being waged.
Okay, so logically, I should be reviewing some American wine here. This was the plan, but my parents are being dickheads again, and they wouldn’t buy any. (Apparently “we” are drying out for a while.) So I’ll tell you instead about the Canadian Cream in the fridge.
How does this tie in with Prohibition? It doesn’t really, except that it’s a good example of what happens when citizens with very little expertise decide to make their own booze. Cooking up our own Irish cream variant seemed like the best idea we’d ever had, but four months later the stuff is looking a bit gross. Sure, it passes the sniff test, and my mum baked something with it last month, but it has some weird curds that have to be strained out of it, and nobody OMG! I totally want to drink it but I can’t get into the fridge really wants to drink it.
My Fellow Inebriates,
You’ve been operating three days now without a booze horoscope and, while I would never say you’re drinking the wrong beverages, the stars are assholish and would rather you did their bidding. Now, if only the stars could get my typist to generate a horoscope on time. Apparently my parents are too busy “working for money” to rescue my paws from a near-impossible typing chore.
Melon liqueur and tequila means spring is coming (unless you live down under, in which case, drink it anyway). Add some grapefruit juice, a lime slice, and a cherry. Complete meal.
Got 1.75 L of Everclear? You might if you don’t live in Canada (sigh). Jack that shit up with Red Bull, Country Tyme, and 24 cans of cheap hockey beer. Take Monday off work.
Grapefruit soda goes great with Beefeater. But Beefeater’s even better by itself.
You get to be the designated driver this week. Don’t worry, I know how it feels—LBHQ is dry right now.
Why eat blueberry muffins when you can combine blueberry and vanilla vodka? That’s breakfast, all week long.
You deserve some rich, boozy dessert: Kahlua, vodka, and Bailey’s, blended up with some actual ice cream, milk, and ice. OMG, that sounds good, especially without the ice cream, milk, and ice.
Another elaborate and silly drink for you. Hollow out some kind of tropical fruit. Fill it with amaretto, rum, and pineapple juice (that’s it! use the pineapple).
It’s a boozy week and we need another designated driver. Tag, you’re it! You get to drink a nice wholesome milkshake while watching pals get pissed.
The stars like to experiment on you, Sag. Equal parts Bailey’s, Blue Curacao, and Pernod. OMG, what the hell will that even look like?
The stars double-dare you this week. Firewater cinnamon schnapps + Tequila Rose strawberry cream liqueur = hell knows what. Lucky you.
Bacardi with random juice for you. How about raspberry and orange? Another fine breakfast.
I just discovered they make root beer schnapps. Exactly why, who knows, but the stars want you to mix it up with Orange Crush, take your swampwater to a movie, and make a public nuisance of yourself. In other words, the usual.