"Are you ready for round four?" asked Raphael.
"...Yeaah. While I can still put it on Serious Eats' tab."
On Tuesday night, Serious Eats had its first holiday party at The Gutter, a bowling alley in Williamsburg with a Bring Your Own Grub policy. Erin wrote about the Fornino pizza, but I'm just here to talk about the booze. And the bowling. And maybe a bit about the food.
To bring you up to speed, I'm known for not drinking. It's not a moral issue; it's a taste issue. "But people never start off liking the taste," is what I'm frequently told. Ohhh no, no, no, if those people can get over the taste issue, they're definitely not tasting what I'm tasting. The day I take a liking to alcohol is the day my taste buds die. It's just bad—the sharp, eye-tearing sting of multifaceted bitterness piercing the inside of my mouth and burning the back of my throat. Why am I supposed to drink this liquid—an expensive liquid at that?
Well, there's that "getting drunk" thing. Not that that's the reason responsible drinkers drink. Not that anyone wants to see me drunk off my ass. ...Actually, most people would like to see that, to test if I were actually a normal human being.
Part of the goal of party night from the perspective of the Serious Eats gang was to pump me full of cocktails, a seemingly acceptable way to introduce alcohol into my bloodstream. (By the way, I was all up for the idea; no one would have made me drink cocktails if they thought I really didn't want to.) I've never drank a full cocktail before—I've only had sips of them from other people's glasses and in the Beverages class I took during college. A sip—or more specifically, a few milliliters—is generally the maximum volume that I'm willing to drink. But as I trust my Serious Eats cohorts, I gave them full rein to bring me cocktails they thought I might like, or at least not spew out.
"You have to try a White Russian," insisted Michele, one of Serious Eats' interns and overall food-loving extraordinaire. "You'll love it. It's sweet and milky."
And this is what happened.
The first sip. The swallow. The intensely squinty, open-mouthed face of disgust. That's usually how it goes.
But the White Russian, made with vodka, Kahlua, and milk, wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Not to say it filled me with a bubbly, new found love of cocktails—I would've liked it more without the alcohol—but I knew I could finish the drink without gagging. And I did.
...In between bites of way too much pizza from Fornino and burgers and fries from WIlliamsburger. I tried Williamsburger once before (didn't get to write about it) and I found it disappointing, but it was better this time even thought it must have suffered a bit from being delivered. Although my lack of willpower when faced with mountains of fries resulted in a bloated whale-esque feeling, padding my belly with carbs and fat was probably a good idea considering the drinks to come.
Next up was a Sex on the Beach, made of vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry juice, and orange juice. Because of the bitterness from the alcohol, I thought it tasted just like grapefruit juice. But with added alcohol. It was alright.
In between drinks, I bowled. Poorly. My coworkers and friends didn't shoot cocktails at me in a rapid fire-fashion.
Amaretto sour was next on the list. If I forgot there was alcohol in it, this could've been an enjoyable dessert drink. Amaretto almond liquer and sweet and sour mix make for a very sweet, slightly sour beverage. Not that I'd ever choose to drink it.
Last up was a Malibu, coconut rum and pineapple juice, as far as I know. It reminded me of the tropical-flavored candies I half heartedly ate as a kid only because they were mixed in with the other candies—the temperate-flavored cherries, grapes, strawberries—I actually wanted to eat. Not too alcohol-laden. Kind of boring. I finished it anyway.
"Do you feel okay, 'Boppy? Gonna come to work late tomorrow from a MASSIVE HANGOVER?" A few people said something along those lines to me. For better or worse, I felt totally fine; I think the couple potatoes' worth of french fries soaked up the alcohol, besides that the culmulative alcohol content of those four drinks was probably too weaksauce to do any damage. The next morning there was no sign of alcohol-induced poisoning, aside from the intense lethargy that comes with getting less than five hours of sleep (a path that I'm on now seeing as it's nearing 2:30 a.m.). Never again will I have to say, "No, I don't have a hangover," so many times in one day.
...Unless anyone else want to challenge me to a succession of cocktails. You're paying.