For a full 64 years, I got by without drinking whiskey. I drank formula as a babe-in-arms because that’s what new mothers were giving their babies back in those days. When you could make pizza from a box with Chef-Boy-a-rdee’s happy face on the outside, why wouldn’t you just open up a can of powder and mix it with and call it dinner for the baby? As a kid and teenager, I drank some milk, lots of Kool-Aid, and a bottle of strawberry pop when my grandmother was babysitting. She would give me 50 cents and send me next to the bakery to the bar where they sold soda pop. Different days.

When I left for college, I had only tasted alcohol on one occasion — a high school woodsy at which I drank Boone’s Farm strawberry wine and threw up all over my boyfriend’s car. The drinking age in Nebraska at that time was 19 years old, so I didn’t have long to wait until I could legally drink. Given that I wasn’t familiar with alcohol, I played around with different adult beverages. I remember trying Tequila Sunrises, Sloe Gin Fizzes, Seven-and-Sevens, Harvey Wallbangers, and Tom Collinses. My parents drank mostly martinis, and even the smell of gin at that time made me think of gasoline. No thanks. Wine wasn’t really yet a THING, at least not in central Nebraska. I simply didn’t like the taste of beer. I still don’t. An occasional Corona is about it.

Somewhere in the mid-2000s, I started drinking martinis. Gin no longer smelled like gasoline to me. I also drank wine, because it had come into fashion. In 2017, after watching Frank Reagan drink many glasses of whiskey on my favorite program Blue Bloods, I decided to teach myself to like whiskey. You might all remember because I blogged about my journey. My training program was quite successful, with me learning to like brown liquor, at least some of it. Try as I might, I don’t like Scotch, and I’m not a big fan of bourbon. Irish whiskey, American rye, or Canadian blends appeal to me much more.

I was so successful at teaching myself to like whiskey that is currently my drink of choice. In the summer, I pour it over one ice cube. In the winter, I drink it neat. I was recently reading a book by one of my favorite authors — Rick Bragg — who admits that he isn’t much of a drinker. However, he said this about whiskey: “When I drink brown liquor, it’s like wrapping myself in a quilt.” That, my friends, says it all about whiskey. You don’t need to know anything more than that.

Martinis remain my favorite drink. I will admit to an occasional martini by myself; however, martinis are social drinks. They are much more enjoyable when drinking with someone else also enjoying a martini. My favorite quote about martinis came from a friend of mine who said, “One martini isn’t enough and two is too many.” She spoke the truth.

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