If I was to choose a favourite drink I would probably have to choose red wine but I am no expert on it! - I only started drinking it when I stopped smoking a few years back. That’s only because a man at my NHS quit smoking class said I should drink something that I have never smoked a cigarette with. There wasn’t a long list to delve into, and as the girls were drinking a lot of red wine at the time, it was the only realistic option. The trouble with red wine is you can have a great bottle for a fiver on Monday night and by Tuesday it will taste of vinegar. I have however just enjoyed a fine glass of Chateau Briot 2008 Bordeaux (just copied that off the label) . At just over a fiver a bottle I will go to bed happy. If I was to think of who introduced me to drinking it would be my parents but as a wise man once said it's the people that teach you how to drink that are important. That prize would have to go to Sarah Clemson, our Head Cook and Tablecloth Maker (Hannah runs a very close second), although Sarah would argue I taught her how to drink.
When I first met the girls I would order a Vodka and Orange whilst they would be ordering a Bottle of House Red.“I can’t believe you can drink that at this time of day” would be the usual sound as I took my first sip. How we could drink anything before Lunch on the Sunday I will never know. But I am pleased to say I can now share a bottle of red during Sunday Lunch.
So, "what is old monk?" was the question I asked my friend who had returned from the bar with four glasses of black liquid. The barman had told her it would give us an amazing night. Old monk is a vatted Indian rum. You may not have heard of this wonderful rum (as it is not advertised but is the third biggest selling rum in the world). The rum sends you to a wonderful place every time you drink it. There is no feeling quite like it!! It’s so cheap as well but I have not yet found it on UK shores, but a friend of mine is rumored to have spotted it in Shepherds Bush!!!
As I made my way across India I introduced 'the ol monk' it to many people. Some had adverse reactions. One French girl I met missed her train to Delhi the next morning, others drank a monastery full of monks and regretted it the next day. You see that’s why many Indian’s don’t drink the stuff - the hangovers are not nice and “the fear” springs to mind.
So if you ask me what my favourite drink is I would have to choose Red Wine. Why? because you can drink half a bottleand feel fine the next day. It may not be the best night of your life (like you get with the monk) but for the moment I am happy with this most civilised of drinks. Who knows though it may all change if the French Lady comes back to poison me with a vintage, overly ripe red, that tastes of vinegar - that will make me missed my train too!