The Drink of Choice

This story originally appeared on the Gents Cafe Newsletter. You can subscribe here.

It is a strange feeling to be without your beverage of choice, that drink that is somewhat part of your life, your weekend ritual or evening delight.  We all have it in some way, that cup of coffee or tea you have at the same time each day, that evening Martini at Dukes in London or that version you make at home once the kids are out the way.

For me it is the Negroni, after a hectic work week, lovingly poured, stirred and strained over that large cube of ice, the orange peel twisted just right and paired to perfection with garlic olives and salted almonds. It is just pure delight, a joyous thing that pulls me back to a feeling of normality and ease.

But for three weeks my drink of choice was inaccessible, I just couldn’t have it due to the tribulations of life and the possible need to jump in the car and drive at a moment’s notice. Drinking and driving is an obvious no and is severely frowned upon, so here I was, that Negroni had become just a memory.

But a selfish thought came to me as I stared at a bottle of vermouth, wondering if maybe a small one would be okay.  Now for you all I am sure you are aware of the ratio of a classic negroni, there is no such thing as a small one. It is one size fits all.  The compulsion was pushed aside, but it was a strange feeling that in all the turmoil of life during this time my brain pulled me to the habit of my drink of pure relaxation.  Was it myself guiding me to relax in the best way I know or the Negroni Gods of old whispering in my ears, also known as House of Negroni videos on social media. I am leaning towards the latter.

Maybe If I had succumbed to those red wonders, would it have tasted far bitter than it should, sitting there as a glass of guilt, who knows, I of course did the gentlemanly thing and pushed the thoughts of myself aside and put my all into another.  So I went without.  It was a simple and easy gesture, but I still had that wistful knowing feeling that very soon I would be back at my favorite spot, with that perfectly poured drink, relaxing as the Gods intended, with my wife at my side with her own drink of choice.

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