Saturday, 31 March 2012

Gin soaked.

“Subtle, sweet, soft and smooth”, I said.
“And very sexy”, said Hubby peering down my cleavage. I slapped his nose away.
“Not my bosoms for goodness sake; gin”.
“Gin? I just thought it was junipery and fizzy and great with ice and a slice”. I groaned. Suffice it to say that it was my son who bought me a master tour at the Plymouth Gin distillery as a gift and not Hubby, who wouldn’t know the difference between a supermarket brand and a Plymouth gin if he were unfortunate enough to drown in it.
“That is how our master guide described the flavour of their gin – subtle, sweet, soft and smooth”
“And was it?” asked Hubby.
“Well the one in the bar with tonic and lime was”.
“Ha-ha”, said Hubby punching the air triumphantly
“The others”, I added, ignoring him, “were a little more curious”.
“How so?”
“Well, the ones we had to taste weren’t all Plymouth ones. One was a Bombay Sapphire, another was a Gordon’s, another a Beefeater. One very pucker chap in a seersucker blazer and cravat was horrified. Apparently he hated Beefeater gin”.
“So what did you have to do?” asked Hubby rummaging about in my goody bag the guide had kindly presented us.
“Well we sat at a bar with five different gins in front of us, then, we had to water them down a bit and then, do as you would a wine.”
“Knock it back d’you mean? Oh well then Alice, I’m very surprised to see you still standing. ”
“Ha, bloody ha. We did have to knock it back actually. Twice for each gin. First we had to swallow it quickly and secondly we had to swirl it around our mouths and then swallow it. Apparently one’s mouth tastes gin differently to wine, further down or something”. Hubby looked at me askance.
“Sounds kinky to me”.
“Well it wasn’t. It was very interesting and our guide was fantastic. We learnt how to nose a gin and what spices to sniff for and then we had to say which one had been our favourite of the five and Mr Seersucker said ‘number 3’, which was revealed to be the Beefeater!”
“Anyway, cut to the chase”, said Hubby rather impatiently, “Did you bring any home?”
“As a matter of fact I did. My very own, hand made by me. And, like the Little Red Hen, as I made it all myself, it will be drunk all by myself”. And I took the bag away from Hubby. I didn’t really mean it, but I was feeling peevish that he wasn’t listening to the fascinating procedure involved and just wanted to imbibe my masterpiece instead of appreciating how it’d been conceived.
“Oh come on. Don’t sulk. It’s just that we’ve been there, done that. Don’t you remember?”
“That was entirely different. That was the cheap tour; this was the crème de la crème of gin tours.”
And I removed from my Plymouth Gin plastic bag, a little bottle of personally labelled gin, the flavour unique to my blend as I had hand picked the spices from quite a selection then added some citrus peel and Bob’s your uncle, Fanny’s your aunt, distilled it myself.
As I carried it through to the dining room, our son ran upstairs from the basement.
“Mum! You’re home, how did it go?”
I gave him a huge hug. “Thank-you my darling, it was fantastic, I had a wonderful day. It was a very personal and thoughtful gift. Most unique”.
“What did you do?” he asked. Not wanting the same reaction that I got from his father, I chose to tell him a snippet of information that, as a boy still, he would love.
“Well, before we could go into the huge room where these gigantic vats of gin are being distilled, we had to leave our phones in a locker. Can you imagine why?”
“Thieves and scoundrels?”
“No darling, I somehow doubt that on a masterclass gin tour on a weekday afternoon we had to fear our mobile phones being nicked from our handbags”.
“Why then?”
“Because the alcoholic vapours were such in this vat room that a spark from our mobiles could have triggered an enormous explosion. Bigger than any on a petrol station forecourt”.
“No way. Wow! That’s like, really cool”.
“I thought you’d like that nugget of health and safety advice”. You could tell by the faraway look in his eye that a part of him wished that I’d been reckless enough not the heed the safety advice given and that far from bringing home a bottle of gin, I’d come home with singed eyebrows and a far more exciting tale to tell. Hubby too was nodding his head as if my involvement in a cataclysmic alcohol calamity would have been one hell of a story to dine out on.
“They even insisted we touch a metal handle before we walked into that room”. They both looked at me with big eyes, as though listening to a bedtime story.
“To get rid of any static on our person, apparently even a spark from a nylon jumper would have been enough to cause a mighty bang of such catastrophic proportions the building would have been razed to the gorund”.
“Wow!” they both said in unison. Boys eh? It’s no wonder Top Gear is such a popular show. A show about cars and explosions. The producers know their target audience very well indeed.
“Shall we try it then?” I said. Our son ran to the fridge/freezer to get ice and tonic, Hubby cut a lime into a wedge. We poured it into two tumblers and took a swig each, our son watched; his taste buds have yet to mature beyond Carling Black Label.
“Jeeze”, I said coughing and thumping my chest.
“Crikey” added Hubby, “That’s more potent than Navy strength gin, enough to knock old Nelson off his plinth at Trafalgar square”. Mother’s ruin? This mother was that night. Very.

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