Gies a Drink
Most people that know me know that I am not much of a drinker. I know, right. A Scotsman who doesn’t really drink. Who would have thunk it. When I tell people I don’t really drink I get incredibly anxious in case they’re judging me and think I’m in recovery or something. I have never had an alcohol problem – I just grew out of it. I used to spend hundreds of pounds a month on nights out and waste the second half of my weekends off work recovering. In some cases, I was still recovering through to Tuesday or Wednesday, sluggishly working away and feeling sorry for myself. So I found myself almost like Wullie here, where I’d be badgered to have a drunk but I usually wouldn’t cave in.
After I met Lauren and we moved in together, my drinking slowly ceased. I just wasn’t interested in it any more. We would go out and get drunk every now and again but after we had Seren and having a killer hangover and having to look after her I realised that it’s just not practical nor responsible. I’d never been a casual drinker. I drank to get drunk. What was the point on drinking alcohol if you weren’t going to get drunk?
Once the drunken shenanigans stopped, I would go weeks and often months without an alcoholic drink. I didn’t even get drunk at my wedding – I had some whisky in a hip-flask my brother-in-law gave me and, after sharing it round, I emptied the contents into my pint of Diet Coke. It wasn’t even a conscious effort – I just didn’t want nor feel the need to drink.
Fast forward to the May Day bank holiday and, after spending time down at Barry Island, I decided to stop off at Sainsbury’s in Pontypridd to grab a bottle of pink gin and some lemonade. Some of my team in work had been raving about it and, seeing as it was an incredibly hot day, the idea of a a cold refreshing beverage was very appealing. I had no idea how much to pour in so I chucked a bit in, tasted it and realised I had overdone it so I quickly discovered the ‘sweet spot’. For a few weeks, this became my drink. I even drank on ‘school nights’. Just a glass, mind – I wasn’t getting drunk.
As a teenager, the drink to polish my nights off was Jack Daniels. I’d start on lager in the pubs and once we hit the club (if you could call the ‘Sporty’ that) I’d move to shots and then stick with JD and Coke until going home. After I discovered cognac (rap music videos and black gangster flicks were a big influence on me), Rémy Martin soon saw me through to the end of our drunken seshes. VSOP all up in this bitch.
My recent discovery has conjured up good memories of my old drinking habits. And also some bad memories. They can be for another time, though.
Anyhoo, my latest champion in my newfound enjoyment of alcohol is Kraken rum. The other week, just out of the blue, I realised I had never tried rum. So I figured I’d give it a shot. Pardon the pun. After a few of my buddies on Facebook and in work mentioning Kraken, I thought I’ll make it my first port of call. That pun worked on so many levels but again, it wasn’t intended. I’ll try to steer clear of any more nautical and alcohol puns. Kraken is one of the few brands I knew of – mainly because of the funky bottle and the fact that it’s called Kraken – an almost Lovecraftian beverage.
I unscrewed the top and, upon my first whiff, I realised I had tried rum before. As a kid, I’d often sneakily take a sip of any booze my Mum or other family members had. Sometimes I wouldn’t even sneakliy do it – they’d often encourage me to give it a try. I still remember the faces I pulled and the awful tastes of the wines I had tried. Whisky and vodka etc. were nicer but even then, the sheer potency of the alcohol made me recoil a bit. My Mum and her partner often drank Bacardi on the weekends and I don’t recall disliking it but I don’t know why I never drank it in my adult life.
So, this week after buying it on Wednesday, I have found my new tipple. Where I normally have one, maybe two, pink gins in an evening I have found the rum and Coke concoction go down quicker than a hooker in the GTA universe. A few ice cubes, a splash of rum (which tastes lovely straight too), a freshly cut quarter of lime squeezed into it and some Diet Coke = divine.
I’ve found the ability to just have a drink, without needing to get drunk and just enjoy the flavour. Maybe it’s something that comes with age or maybe it’s just a newfound interest in having something ‘normal’ people do. Either way, I feel like I need a funky decanter and drinks cabinet. Or a study with one of those globes with the drinks inside – oozing elegance, maturity and class.
Despite me having a drink almost daily now, it’s nice to just have a cold glass of booze to unwind and no feelings of being tipsy or waking up regretting it in the morning. Who needs to get drunk, anyway?
—The Trying Scotsman has a ‘Don’t Be A Dick’ policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—