I recently made a decision to make a change in my life. Am I going to give more to charity following last week’s Mass readings on the Beatitudes? No. Do I plan to audit some college-level classes so that I can have a better understanding of economics or at least learn enough about world geography to figure out where Greenland is? Nope, that’s not my big change either. Am I going to eat healthier, exercise more, cuss less? Au contraire. I will leave all of those for January 1 when I’m deciding upon the resolutions I plan to make in 2018 and quickly forget by February 1.
The big change I have made is that I’m teaching myself to drink whiskey. I’m actually quite serious about it. Perhaps that’s why my new year’s resolutions fail. Being healthier is boring. Expanding my alcoholic consumption options is fun.
You might wonder why I made this decision to enter the whiskey-drinking training program. I blame it on Frank and Erin Reagan. Blue Bloods.
I will admit that Blue Bloods is one of my favorite television programs. My 23-year-old niece Brooke confessed that she had never seen that television show when I was explaining my new endeavor to her. No surprise there, as I would guess the average age of Blue Bloods viewers to be 62. I’m nearly 64, so I’m skewing the age upwards.
Anyway, Frank Reagan (played by Tom Sellick) and his television daughter Erin (played by Tom Brady’s ex-girlfriend, and mother of his child Bridget Moynahan) sit down in Police Commissioner Reagan’s study every Sunday after they gather for the family meal and pour themselves a whiskey. Likely a single-malt Scotch, but I can’t say that for sure. They never pour it over ice. Frank drinks the whiskey accompanied by a considerable amount of sighing. Tom Sellick is a masterful sigher. I have begun sighing as well.
And every week, I wish I drank whiskey. Usually by time I watch Blue Bloods, I’m drinking Sleepytime tea, but my heart wants to be drinking whiskey. Recently one of the characters went to a bar and ordered Irish whiskey with one ice cube. That did it. My training program began the next day.
I had a bottle of Jameson in my liquor cabinet in our AZ home because it had been used when I made Irish cream. (I blogged about it here.) I carefully poured a scant inch in my glass and added one ice cube. I sighed, just in case that was part of the deal, and took a sip. Not bad. Not bad at all……
I drank the entire inch of Jameson and added another inch and another ice cube and sipped at my new drink until it was gone. I stopped training for the day, as my stomach was getting warm and my head was getting light.
I actually did some research on Google because, as you know, you can find anything on Google. A history of whiskey was easy to find, as were suggestions on how to start teaching yourself how to like whiskey. I’m serious. See above. Anything on Google. The article suggested starting with Canadian blends or Irish whiskey, moving to Bourbons (which apparently have their own rules), and working up to Scotch. I was at the Crown Royal stage.
Last week when our AZ family arrived to celebrate Thanksgiving, I told them about my training program. Have you tried Makers Mark? my nephew Christopher immediately asked. I explained that I was still in the Canadian blend/Irish whiskey phase. Apparently he believed my training program was moving too slowly as he showed up the next day with a bottle of Makers Mark bourbon. I love people who encourage continuing education.
I poured myself a scant inch (well, perhaps a bit more than that) and added an ice cube. Not bad. Not bad at all……
It will be a long time, however, before I reach for the Black Label. I’m only in training, as you know. But for the time being, I’m pushing my Tanqueray gin to the back of the liquor cabinet and moving the Crown Royal and Makers Mark towards the front.
It’s good to continue one’s education, don’t ya know.