Okay, that title isn’t totally true. First of all, I’m talking drinks today, not food. And I do like champagne sometimes. In a mimosa or a bellini, for example. On its own, though? Meh. I’d prefer sparkling grape juice.
My tastes in alcohol are a little… strange, I suppose. (Much like me.) I don’t like beer at all. Something in the hops, I think, that I just have never had a taste for. Things made with beer, though? I’m all about that. Beer bread. Guinness stew. Chili with beer. Brats braised in beer. Same with wine. I’d much rather cook with wine than drink it. (That throws a big monkey wrench into the whole “only cook with a wine you’d drink” advice, but I do know better than to waste money on that crap labeled “cooking wine.” *shudders*)
When it comes to mixed drinks, my go-to choice is vodka cranberry with lime, because it’s something you can nearly always get, and it’s not bad even as a well drink. I’m good with margaritas of nearly any flavor (but not tequila shots), and I like most of the fruity-sweet drinks: daiquiris, Hurricanes, appletinis, things like that. But when I can get it, I like Fireball whisky, which is a very strong, sweet cinnamon flavor, or 3AM vodka, which is sweet and loaded with a lot of the same ingredients as energy drinks. Fireball and Coke, 3AM and Sprite. For shots: Jägermeister. No, really.
This post makes me sound like a lush, doesn’t it? (And a snooty one at that!) In truth, I don’t drink often, and I rarely have more than two drinks. That’s why I can afford to be picky. My alcohol budget for the year is maybe a couple hundred bucks, even counting weekends when my place is full of guests.
When I’m writing, my characters nearly always have drinking habits far different from mine. Most of them drink beer, for starters, and many prefer liquors or mixed drinks that I can’t stand. I’ve written two alcoholic characters (one unpublished), and a character in my current project is a complete teetotaler. But like me, and like most real people, most of my characters are social drinkers, even those who do occasionally overindulge.
Drinking habits are the kind of little character details that I love in a story. One of my all-time favorite books is Marie Sexton’s Strawberries for Dessert, in large part because I fell in love with Cole right along with Jonathan. Cole is a lover of good wine who has a weakness for cheap bottles of Arbor Mist, a fact that seems small but that actually tells you a lot about him. It’s a tidbit of perfection.
So I will leave you with some recommendations. If you haven’t tried Fireball or 3AM, do. And if you haven’t read Strawberries for Dessert, GO. NOW. READ. *taps toe impatiently* WHY AREN’T YOU READING YET??