RT Cunningham


Whiskey is an Acquired Taste, Like Beer and Wine

whiskey Yes, whiskey, whether it’s spelled with or without the “e”, is an acquired taste. Regardless of which type you prefer, it always takes a bit of getting used to. I can drink almost any type of whiskey but I prefer Scotch, when I can afford it.

Until recently, I never drank any alcoholic beverage without it being mixed with something. Other than beer and wine, that is.

Whiskey instead of Rum

When I’m in the Philippines, I like to drink rum and Coke. I like the local Tanduay brand of rum for two reasons: It’s inexpensive (less than $2 USD for a large bottle) and it doesn’t have added flavors. The imported brands, like Bacardi and Captain Morgan, are much more expensive.

I don’t like to drink rum while I’m in the United States because I still have to mix it with something. With Captain Morgan spiced rum, it’s creme soda. I can drink whiskey by itself as long as it isn’t too strong. Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam are easy enough to swallow but I really like Johnny Walker. It’s just more expensive than I want it to be.

Take it Easy with Whiskey and Everything Else

I don’t encourage drinking alcoholic beverages, regardless of what country I’m in. If you don’t like beer, wine or liquor, more power to you. If you do like one or the other (or all of them), drink in moderation. Despite appearances to the contrary, I don’t drink every day of the week. That’s especially true when I’m in the United States.

I always start my day with black coffee, before or during breakfast. I won’t start with any alcoholic beverage until early evening most of the time. Parties in the Philippines tend to start early in the day and so does the drinking.

I don’t keep alcoholic beverages stocked in my house in the Philippines. It makes it way too easy for me to drink them too often. My aunt’s partner, in Temple Hills, Maryland, keeps all kinds of liquor and beer on hand. My older son, Joseph, here at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, rarely buys liquor. He has some stocked up but it’s mostly gifts. He recently received a Jack Daniel’s gift box, which includes a glass.

Speaking of Joseph, he bought me a hip flask for my birthday last month. It has the Marine Corps logo (eagle, globe and anchor) on the front and “Lolo” (the closest word to grandfather in Tagalog) on the back. That’s what his children call me. I don’t think he had whiskey in mind when he bought it and had it engraved.

Sipping Whiskey

I don’t know what defines “sippin’ whiskey” but I understand it’s supposed to be smooth. Anything stronger than than 80 proof can’t be smooth, in my opinion.

I’ve been able to sip some good Scotch and some of the flavored whiskey, like honey whiskey, but that’s about it. I don’t like other types of liquor, like gin and vodka and I can barely stomach them when they’re mixed.

Unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to drink whiskey when I return to the Philippines, whether it’s for sipping or otherwise. I don’t remember seeing anything other than imported brands the last time I noticed and they were too expensive for my tastes. Most of my relatives and neighbors drink an inexpensive brandy for that very reason.

I’ll be in Hawaii, with my younger son, in a couple of months. I don’t know what kind of liquor he likes other than a spiced rum called “The Kracken”. He told me it mixes well with Coke better than Captain Morgan. I think I’ll avoid it altogether if I can and get whiskey to drink. I’ll be there for at least a year, so I’ll have plenty of time to test different brands and types.

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By RT Cunningham
December 22, 2018
Food and Drink