Hand sanitizer or vodka?

My fellow inebriates,

Canadian distillers continue to step up, switching production from spirits to hand sanitizer. Check out this new product from Broken Oak and Latitude 55 distilleries in Grande Prairie.

D2009 0407-GP-A3-Hand-Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is hard to come by these days, and every extra mickey of it counts.

You’d forgive me for getting confused by the packaging, right? I’m just a bear.

How one extra glass of booze can shorten your life, and why it doesn’t matter

Twitter scared the bejesus out of me today with a link to The Lancet, a somewhat more highly regarded publication than this blog, which has published a massive meta-analysis of almost 600,000 alcohol drinkers in 83 studies.

tHE lANCET HEADLINEI don’t have the attention span or the mental capacity to read a study like this, so I just scrolled through my Twitter feed, and this is what I learned:

  • Nineteen countries disagree about the ideal limit for alcohol (assuming you want optimal health, and who knows, you might not)
  • Men who drink less than 100g of alcohol per week can expect to live one to two years longer than men who drink twice that amountdrinks-2578446_960_720
  • Women who drink less than 100g of alcohol per week can expect to live 1.3 years longer than women who drink more than 100g of alcohol per week
  • Beer drinkers, spirits drinkers, and binge drinkers have the highest mortality risk
  • The ideal weekly drink limit is twice as much for men as it is for women (11 vs. 5!)
  • Exceeding the ideal weekly drink limit could shorten your lifespan by 30 minutes!!!!

So OMG, people, there’s so much to unpack here.

  • First of all, isn’t a lancet a kind of stabby thing for taking blood samples? This prestigious journal didn’t have to be named The Lancet. It could have been named Mike Tyson mysteriesThe Scalpel or The Retractor or The Bonesaw. Just saying.
  • Second, we need to move to Spain, Italy, or Portugal, where recommended drinks/week are 50 per cent higher. Whee!
  • Third, how are we to compare the findings for women and men as compacted into understandable bullet points by the Twitterverse? I mean, I only have two brain cells.
  • Fourth, wait till my mum finds out she’s not supposed to match my dad drink for drink. She’s gonna freak.
  • Fifth, we can’t binge?
  • Sixth, ummm, 30 minutes? That’s like three episodes of Mike Tyson Mysteries. Does it matter? I guess it depends whether we’re caught up on Netflix or not.

WreckSpex Zebra wood

GORDON’S LONDON DRY GIN—Gin that tastes like gin

My Fellow Inebriates,

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 BEEFEATER marketed 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.”


  • Plastic 375mL bottle—awesome
  • $12.69 price tag—almost as good as it gets
  • Limes—check
  • 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.