Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Drinking in Kentucky, Drinking in New Mexico

I was out last night with some friends in Lexington. I was drinking some fine bourbons, and God bless bourbon. Although I love gin and tequila, it's hard to argue that bourbon is not the greatest liquor in the world. Great taste, complex in the mouth, beautiful when properly done. I've become a great fan of Woodford Reserve over the last several months and have tried others here in Kentucky.

But by the end of last night, I was in the mood for a change. What I really wanted was a shot of really good tequila and a beer before bed. So we were at a pretty nice bar at this point with a hell of a bourbon selection. But when I asked for Herradura, the watress looked at me like I was from Mars. She clearly had never heard of it. When I asked what kind of good tequilas they had, she said they had Patron. I decided to stick with the bourbon.

Of course, drinking is a regional thing. The Koreans love their homemade liquor, soju, and the Asians in general love the Johnnie Walker for some reason. I was in a 7-11 in Bangkok once on New Year's Eve and saw a kid who was about 10 years old buy a bottle of Johnnie Walker. In New Mexico, and of course Mexico itself, you can get some real good tequila. I used to hate tequila but then I separated the drink from its frat party associations and realized that once you moved beyond Jose Cuervo and the crappy cheap restaurant margarita, you had a really amazing and complex drink. This article from the New York Times on tasting high-quality tequilas is a pretty good summary of the greatness of the drink.

I have a dream trip in mind that I hope to take in the next year. I want to fly into Guadalajara, rent a vehicle, and head to the village of Tequila, which I hear is extremely cool. Someone out there should come with me. Any volunteers?