Last week’s discussion of what to put on your wedding registry made me think fondly of all those crystal wine glasses I never use… so I thought it might be fun to have a discussion about what you’re drinking these days. What brands are your favorite for wines, spirits, and others? Any mixers you absolutely swear by? What’s your go-to cocktail if you’re ordering something fancy?
If you mention anything that you think is regional, please do let us know where you are…
(We’ve talked in the past about tips for moderating your alcohol intake, as well as had discussions about how some professions seem to encourage a lot more drinking — as well as what to drink at an office cocktail party. Please always drink responsibly!)
Here’s what I’m drinking in 2018:
- Gins (for martinis, up, with a twist): I always get Hayman’s Gin where it’s available. Other standbys are Hendrick’s, Tanqueray No. 10, Bombay Sapphire… Because of my love for Hayman’s I’m always winning to try any Old Tom gin, since it’s kind of a rare recipe for gin these days — but there’s a wide variety in how they taste.
- Tequila (on the rocks with lime): as long as it’s blanco, añejo, or reposado, I’m not picky, but I love to taste test different ones. I haven’t gotten into mezcals too much.
- Vodka (for vodka sodas): Absolut or Ketel. This is my “I probably shouldn’t be drinking tonight so I’ll get a vodka soda with a seltzer on the side and keep adding seltzer to it…” drink.
- Whiskey/bourbon: We don’t do well with whole whiskey bottles in the house, but I tend to buy airplane bottles of Knob Creek, Bulleit, or occasionally Honey Jack. When out at restaurants, I tend to go by price and age.
- Actual cocktails: For calorie reasons I usually prefer straight alcohol, but occasionally I love a good Manhattan, Aviation, or a Bee’s Knees if it’s on the menu and looks tasty.
- After dinner drinks: We’ve always had Drambuie at family gatherings, so I’ve always drunk that (on the rocks). Since law school, I’ve enjoyed a good port. I was on exec board for law review, and when the old board and new board went out for dinner at a fancy restaurant, one of the guys insisted we all order “Cockburn’s” port because, ha ha. I actually liked it, but it’s hard to buy a bottle because it goes bad pretty quickly and I’m the only one who drinks it, so this tends to be something I only have at a restaurant. Oh! And I just started drinking this in the last year or so, but caramel vodka is really good for an after dinner drink. I originally purchased it because someone on Facebook suggested that this is what you’re supposed to do with hollow Easter-related candy: bite off the head, fill with caramel vodka, and drink away. We haven’t done that… but caramel vodka is surprisingly good over ice.
- White wine: I don’t drink a ton of white wine, but like everybody, I really like Conundrum! My go-to gift wine is Pouilly-Fuissé because I really loved it years ago when I took a wine tasting class.
- Red wine: I’m not terribly picky, but tend to prefer malbecs, tempranillos, zinfandels, or pinot noirs. (I never drink cabernet sauvignon because we had a case of it for our wedding and it always made me sneeze. Lately I’m also trying to stay away from blends/meritages — they feel a bit too much like juice — but I do like me some 19 Crimes.) Speaking of juice, my parents still swear by the Bota Box (Old Vine Zin), and it’s our go-to boxed wine for parties and other events where having four bottles of wine makes sense.
- Beer: When I was pregnant I liked O’Douls’ nonalcoholic beer, but I’m really not a big beer drinker. My husband is all about the stouts and porters, though.
- Mocktail: A reader called this “unicorn juice” — seltzer plus pink lemonade powder — and it’s what I drink when I want a treat but I’m not drinking alcohol. I’m also a fan of seltzer mixed with just about any juice.
(I feel like I should point out that I’m not drinking all of this in one night — if it’s a Saturday night and we’re out with friends I try to stick to two servings of alcohol for calorie/sleep reasons.)
All right, ladies, that’s my wide range of what I drink. (Pretty much everything but rum and beer, right?) What do you drink? What are your favorite bottles and brands, and how do you find new ones? Do you buy them based on what’s in stock, do you read reviews at spots like Caskers, or do you buy them based on an amorphous thing like the bottle art?