On one of the days this past weekend, I wanted to serve Whisky Macs to my guests because a) it’s a warm, festive drink and b) why should I be the only one to suffer the next day?

For the uninitiated, one makes a Whisky Mac (back story is here) with these two ingredients:

Of course, the Scotch was no problem, but the Stone’s Ginger Wine…?

Nowhere to be found.  Some bastard must have crept into my house unnoticed and drunk it without my noticing him.  I had to resort to serving the usual (gin, single malt, wine, etc.) but I was mightily embarrassed, I can tell you.

Which is bad enough, but the thought of New Year’s Eve without a Whisky Mac… [shudder]

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the range — and then the liquor store.


As I’ve often warned:  because our governing elites are in thrall to things that Europeans do — just off the top of my head, socialism, government-run medical systems, Corona cops and Scandinavian-level tax rates — what happens Over There often repeats itself Over Here.

Hence my bile directed at this latest little bit of Nannyism from Britishland:

Supermarket promotions of unhealthy food will be curbed as part of the Government’s war on obesity.
‘Buy one get one free’ deals on fizzy drinks, crisps and fatty foods will be banned in medium and large stores, as well as on websites, from April 2022.
And free refills of sugary soft drinks will be prohibited in restaurants and fast food outlets.

I know that we’ve seen examples of this before — once again off the top of my head, Malignant Dwarf  I mean  Mayor “Mike” Bloomberg’s ban on Big Gulps in NYFC a few years ago — but make no mistake, there is no part of your life that Bug Gummint isn’t interested in sticking its fat, snot-dripping wart-infested nose into.

By the way, I was in the restaurant business many years ago, and the “no free refills” is easily bypassed by asking customers if they think they’ll need refills, then adding a 1-cent surcharge onto the bill, making refills no longer “free”.  The cost of trying to police such practices makes the game not worth the candle, even for Gummint.

And as a one-time supermarket guy, let me assure you that any restriction on BOGO offers (or BOGOF, as they call it elsewhere) is just as easily circumvented in the scanning system — and that’s impossible for Gummint to monitor.

Insufferable, Pt. II

More Big Gummint bullshit, this time from Ozland:

Partygoers heading out to celebrate New Year’s Eve in two of Australia’s most populous states have been told by government officials what’s good for them, being warned against any random acts of affection due to the risks posed by the coronavirus.
In the southern state of Victoria, the government wants no displays of physical contact such as kissing despite the state going 59 consecutive days with no locally acquired coronavirus cases.
The state government has issued guidance for people not to kiss anyone outside their immediate family, to prevent celebrations becoming a super spreading event.
Victorians are also being advised to take hand sanitizer to parties on the night and use it liberally on anyone they come in contact with.

So, you wayward Aussies, your government is telling you there’ll be none of this:

…or this:

…or gawd forbid, this:

…just plenty of this:

No wonder people are becoming home-drunks.

Boxing Day Cheer

As I may have said before, we don’t have Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day itself:  Christmas Day is devoted to a Full English Breakfast with the kids (this was ours yesterday;  bangers, beans, back bacon, mushrooms. eggs and tomato all  fried in boerewors drippings and hash browns, also — not pictured — French bread toast, and cinnamon rolls made by Daughter)

I should point out that this was my plate:  the others had portions essentially double that of mine, because I can’t take that much because of gastric surgery.  I made up for it by drinking more Mimosas than everyone else.

We save the roast beef dinner till the day after Christmas:  Boxing Day (a Du Toit family tradition):

I cook the roast, New Wife does the potatoes, parsnips, asparagus and other veg., and Daughter makes the Yorkshire pud.  Dessert is generally peach cobbler and / or fruit cake with icing, but this year there’s a Yule Log like this one, compliments of Daughter.

Mostly because nobody in our family can handle a Full English and Roast Beast on a single day, we’ve turned Christmas Day into a two-day family affair.  In American terms, it’s like having two Thanksgiving meals in a row.

We like it that way.

Tragic Waste

It’s bad enough when the Chinkvirus causes a city to close its pubs a whole ten days before Christmas (thanks, Wuhan and the CCP!), but then there’s this:

Tomorrow’s closures will force pubs to pour five million pints down the drain. 

Laugh if you will, but that right there can be blamed on the Chinkvirus — well, also on the poxy BritGov who are acting like terrified kindergartners — but it’s all a bit much, really.

I need to call TrueBrit’s hubby to commiserate.  Not to mention this horrible news:


Taste Test

I will confess that I am no longer the beer drinker I used to be.  [pause to let howls of rude laughter from The Englishman and the other regulars at the King’s Arms to die down]  Seriously, I have.

As I’ve matured in years, I’ve moved on to spirits like gin, Scotch and [list of spirits redacted because of length]. Nevertheless, I still enjoy a beer or two or three, depending on a) the beer and b) the company I’m socializing with.

My besetting problem is that I just cannot find a decent beer in the U.S. that can hold a candle to English beer, specifically ales such as Wadworth 6X, Fuller’s London Pride or even Boddington’s.  The last tastes completely differently Over Here compared to its regular domicile Over There;  I suspect it doesn’t travel well in cans — does any beer? — and although London Pride does not suffer the same fate, I either have to go rooting for it in divers liquor stores hereabouts — it does not have good distribution — or else head to The Londoner several miles away, which means I can’t drive back because, well, pints.

And I don’t want to drive all the way up to Boulder CO just to buy Wadworth 6X because quite frankly, it’s sold in cans and even 6X liketh the cans not (when I’ve drunk them Over There), and I’m not going to drive a thousand miles or whatever it is, only to find shit beer at the end of it.

Likewise, I’m not interested in touring the “craft” breweries around here (even though there are dozens) because in the past I’ve discovered that recommendations from others always fall short.  (Readers please take note before you offer up suggestions in Comments.)

I’ve often thought that Mexican Modelo Negro is the closest in taste to the English ales, but until now I’ve never bothered to test the hypothesis.  So as a public service, I set one up.  Here are the culprits:

As you can see, the Negro is considerably darker than the Pride, and drunk side by side, it has a harshly-bitter taste compared to the English ale.  (I should also add that I got rid of some of the Negro’s fizz, and let it warm up just a little from refrigerator temperature as I did with the Pride.  Don’t tell me I shouldn’t do that, by the way:  I loathe fizzy drinks of any kind, and dislike ice-cold beer unless drunk on a hot day in South Africa, when I drink Castle Lager in any case.)

The worst thing about the Negro (speaking from past experience) is that after just two or three of the things, my mouth starts to taste like I’ve been drinking vulture vomit and I’m forced to change to something better-tasting or at least a little sweeter (e.g. gin, dark rum & Coke or Southern Comfort), and we ahem  experienced drinkers all know where that action takes us.  That taste, by the way, never happens to me when I’m drinking beer in England and once embarked on a course of 6X or London Pride I stick with it, as many of the aforesaid denizens of Wiltshire and London may attest.

Mr. Free Market doesn’t frequent pubs all that often, as he doesn’t like getting “full” on beer, and drinking whisky at British pub prices makes too huge a dent in even his capacious wallet.  So when I go Over There, we end up drinking either in his garden (in summer) or his living room (all other times) and because there’s no driving involved, only stair-climbing (don’t ask how many stairs are involved in negotiating Free Market Towers), I end up getting a lot more shitfaced than I do at the King’s Arms, where I generally have to call time after only half a dozen pints so I can find my way home, wherever that is.  No such restriction exists at the Towers, which means I have, on occasion, had to sleep (okay, pass out) in one of the several living rooms or parlors that are scattered about the ground floor.

Anyway, what disturbs me in all this was a conversation I once had with Mr. FM, in which he confessed that he’d rather lost his taste for beer — and the awful thought occurred to me that perhaps I may be heading in that direction too.

So, Readers:  have any of you discovered a similar scenario in your drinking?  (As always, I’m not interested in hearing from casual drinkers or teetotalers:  your opinions are as those of a virgin on sex etiquette at an orgy.)  Let’s hear from The Well-Exercised Elbow Set.