Approximately two weeks ago to this day, I tried whiskey for the first time in my life. I thought I was going to burn up in flames.
It was Jameson whiskey. Because, as my Whiskey expert friend advised me, if you are going to have whiskey then you have to have the best there is. I totally got that. To me, that is like dessert- if you are going to have dessert, then you are going to have the absolute best there is. Fat. Butter. Sugar. I get it. When that drop of whiskey liquid touched my tongue and slowly slid down my throat, a slow turning burn began to fill my entire body. Mind you, that was a sip…no, no…pretty much a drop of whiskey. The whiskey was so pungent and so infused with an earthy, rustic, and fuel-like taste that I could not tell the difference between the dancing fiery flames of the fire pit under a sky full of stars in front of me and myself.
As you can well tell, I am not much of an alcoholic beverage drinker. My first introduction to alcohol was wine coolers, and that already in itself made me quite wild because I LOVE sweet and fruity. I guzzled those down like water and would end up dizzy and sleepy. I tried a shot for the first time just five years ago. I tried vodka for the first time on my 34 birthday—I didn’t have to pay for it, so why not?? As a child of 10-years-old, I remember that my grandfather had a thing for XO Hennessey. I remember downing that so fast when my aunt gave me a small swirl that I looked down with blurry vision as to if I had withered down into a bunch of smoldering ashes. My aunt scolded me: “No, Mary, you aren’t supposed to down it like that. Not so fast. You are supposed to nurse your drinks. Gentle and slow.” Suffice to say, I go for the solid food and not the liquidated beverages when I am at a social gatherings. People offer me wine, cocktails, and even as something as simple as a sweet non-alcoholic beverage and my quip is: “I’m H20 Happy and a cheap date. H20 Please. Fill it up.”
But there was something about Whiskey.
I think it is because Whiskey was a starting point depth of conversation with a very good and close friend of mine who I went glamping/camping with two weeks ago. She promised she would bring the whiskey on our weekend trip while we meticulously checked off must items to bring, and then she suggested: “You should probably bring a sweet beverage to ‘chase’ the whiskey taste down with.” Confused, I asked: “Why does whiskey need chasing?” She laughed and said, “Well, it may be strong for you so you want to drink something after it that tames down the strength of the taste.” I was even more intrigued by whiskey then.
Under a milky midnight dark blue black sky dotted with stars that spilled over so bright that I could actually count and see them, I fulfilled three of my ‘Live List’ items: 1) Glamping/Camping, 2) Be so close to the stars that I feel like I could touch them, and 3) Drink whiskey WITH s’mores over a fire with my one and only friend who introduced me to the magic of Whiskey. But, unbeknownst to me, that weekend that I spent with my friend was laden with ventures, newness, and processes that surprised, shocked, and exhilarated me. We used a propone gas stove for the first time to make rich and cheesy Mac N’ Cheese. We walked to the greatness of waterfalls in the company of Mother Nature. I went on a see saw for the first time in my life, and realized that the soothing up and down motion could only be accomplished with my friend; You can’t have a see without a saw and a saw without a see. We grilled veggie burgers and crab cakes and toasted buns. We made our own fire with flames so high that we were in a hypnotized and mesmerized trance with our glasses of Whiskey in hand and smoldering s’mores and marshmallows coming out extra roasty toasty.
And this is where my kinship with Whiskey lies. The newness. The process.