Back in the Bar Stool for 2010

So this blog is up and running again after a year off because I was on some medicine that doesn't play well with cocktails.  I tried writing about smoothies and juice drinks, but frankly, I don't even particularly like fruit in my cocktails, let alone with no alcohol to make them interesting.  I missed writing this.

I was trying to decide what I should write about this year.  I didn't want to do the cocktail a day thing again.  That got hard to keep up with, and I was doing more drinking than I'd ever done in my life.  I didn't want to, say, check out Internet Cocktail Database every day and troll for a recipe to shake up, though that site is really great.

What I finally decided on is to concentrate on 2 kinds of liquor, write about drinks made with those, do samplings of different brands straight up, and throw in other cocktails that look interesting as I come across them.  I still have pretty much a complete bar left from a year ago, at least the more expensive stuff that I didn't give away.

So my emphasis for this year will be on Canadian whiskeys and gin.  Odd combination, you say?  You bet.  I wanted two that would be a big contrast with one another.  Give me lots of different drinks to explore.

I chose Canadian whiskeys because everyone yammers on about single malt Scotch, everybody makes pilgrimages to KY and TN for bourbons (I'll confess, I've been to Maker's Mark twice), the Irish don't shut up about, well, I could stop here, but about Irish whiskey.  (No hate mail from Dublin or Boston, please; I like Irish whiskey better than single malts.)  You don't hear or read much about Canadian blends.  And I don't know the Canadian whiskeys well at all, aside from Canadian Club, so I figured this is a good year to explore them.

As for gin, well, I like gin.  Far more than vodka.  I go for the juniper and other botanicals in gin, which appeal to my taste buds.  Mom used to put juniper berries in sauerkraut when I was a kid, and I was the rare kid who liked bother juniper and sauerkraut (with hot dogs or sausages in it).  I also like retsina, the Greek pine-pitch wine, so go figure.  Gin has made a comeback in the last decade, I just read on the NY Times site, so I should find lots of new and interesting recipes for drinks out there.  Small batch gin distilleries are also springing up, so I should be able to tell you about new brands you haven't heard of.

It should be a fun year and I'm looking forward to it.  If you come across Canadian whiskey or gin labels that you'd like me to check out, let me know, and drink recipes too.  You can never have enough recipes.