Ah, remember the night we sat on the Piazza Navona, sipping limoncello as the stars came out over the Panthenon? Or that little café, perched above the Danube, where you spilled your Zwack Unicum on my linen pantsuit? Tequila and a donkey show in Tijuana; a refreshing Kingfisher when we reached Everest base camp: so many traveling memories are brought on (and wiped out by) the taste of the local brew.
Some countries have a magic touch when it comes to distilling liquor; others just ferment whatever they find buried up the back of the shed under some burlap sacks. But whether glorious or vile, the thrill of tasting exotic booze is one of the highlights of travel.
The good news is, a little thing called 'international trade' means you can now gamble your liver and your eyesight in the comfort of your very own home. Even your local liquor store is bound to harbour at least one dubious spirit, beer or wine of unidentifiable lineage. Stores like Trader Joe’s or Dan Murphy's have a plethora. So here’s what you do: invite your closest friends to your place for a cocktail party. Everyone has to bring a bottle. More importantly, everyone has to bring a bottle of something foreign that they’ve never tasted before (if they can’t even figure out what it is, so much the better). Then, mix and match at your discretion (and remember, you can’t have too much water. Seriously. Drink up).
Ah, remember the night we put Vilmos Nectar in the blender with that beef-scented, orange stuff from Tanzania? No, neither do I…