Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Drinking in Europe

So at some point I'll really get to the end of the story about Europe. These posts have been going on longer than the actual trip!

First of all: Guinness.

Second of all: Guinness Ice Cold. I Said, what's cooler than being cool?? Ice Cold!!

Now, onto the other less earth-shattering stuff:
Mulled Wine - First time I had the stuff was in Bath (beautiful city by the way). While doing a walking tour of the city by night, we really just need to sit down and warm up. So we headed into a cool little wine & coffee bar. Alcohol in general is great when it's cold since it really warms you up. Warm, spiced alcohol in the form of mulled wine? Even better. The bar was a great spot also since a two-piece band was playing. We were impolite enough to barge in just as they were starting their set, but it was well worth it. They started out sounding like REM, and near the end of their set, proceeded to play "The One I Love" by REM. Of course, they sounded more like REM when they weren't playing REM songs. Go figure.

French Wine - Stuff is cheap. Everywhere we went we couldn't believe that we could drink wine for less than water or coke. Plus, everything we tried was enjoyable. We really don't know too much about wine so it's nice to pick a random bottle and find that it's actually good.

Shandy - While this is rather revolutionary, it's not quite earth-shattering. Apparently, a British thing, it's definitely worth a try. Shandy is not a brand of beer, it's a style of beer, like a Black & Tan. Basically, take any light ale, pour in some lemonade or 7-up and you've got yourself a shandy. Very light and refreshing. If you don't like beer, stay away from the wine coolers, cider, zima, etc and give this a try. It's a good way to work yourself up to Guinness. Yes, long road, but you gotta start somewhere. Also great when you're stuck in the "I wanna drink, but I don't really wanna drink" rut.

Belgian Beer - While the stuff is good, I enjoyed the shandys much more.

French cocktails - This should really be titled Buddha Bar cocktails since that was the only place we had actual cocktails. The drinks were generally good (mainly because they were loaded with sugar and/or fruit juice). My only problem? What's with the straws? Here, cocktails come with a stirrer, if that. The Buddha Bar drinks were sporting straws bigger than the glasses themselves. Plus they were bent into wierd shapes. As Seinfeld would While the Buddha Bar and the music played at the place was cool, the decorations on the drinks just didn't fly with the ultra hip vibe the place had.

Rum straight from the bottle - Yes, we're reverting to our college days. What do you do when you're near the end of your trip and you've got 1/2 a bottle of rum, but no coke to mix it with? Obviously, you can't throw it away. Drink it straight! Quite enjoyable and completely refreshing. Try it, you'll like it. Don't mind the burning sensation in your esophagus.

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