Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wings of Ikarus - blue cheese and bacon infused vodka

I was wearing wings of feathers and wax.

Daedalus und Ikarus, Relief in der Villa Albani, Rom
I was on my way to meet my friends.  In my jacket pockets were two containers.  One was vodka infused with blue cheese, the other vodka infused with bacon.  We were going to fly.

I met them at a bar.  In Pennsylvania it is unlawful to bring alcohol into a bar.  As I entered, I kept the infusions out of sight, in my jacket pockets.  I hoped I would escape being found out.  The room was fairly large, I'd say about 25'-30' wide by 40' deep. A rectangular bar was situated in the center of the room and touches the far wall, where the beer taps are located.  A 10' wide area surrounded the bar on the left and right sides, a 15' wide area at the near end of the room.  Within those areas were tables, each table seated four.  There were already enough people near the door and with the lights down low that I felt confident I wouldn't be confronted about my creations.

My friends and I were meeting a small group of people that work together.  They were having an unofficial company Christmas party.  These days, most companies look poorly upon officially condoning the inbibing of alcohol.  Or maybe it was the companies' insurance companies that protested?  Contrary-wise, I have it from a reliable resource, that at the company's annual convention in Las Vegas, quite a bit of drinking goes on amongst upper management.  I guess upper management can handle alcohol better than these low paid employees.  Nonetheless, there were thirty workers enjoying themselves with their own money.  They were celebrating their camaraderie.  They were celebrating life.

Upon finding my friends, I ordered a few doubles for a toast.  I delivered the drinks to a table on the west side of the room.  We wished each other cheers, clinked our glasses and downed the doubles.  Standing with our backs to the bar and bartenders, I poured some of each infusion into two of the empty double shot glasses.

My friends had arrived at the bar about half an hour before I.  They started drinking as soon as they arrived.  I was handicapped, they had a half hour head start celebrating.  Once I had a Yuengling Lager in hand, I asked for the tasting to begin.  Jimmy went first, he sipped the blue cheese infusion.  He didn't consciously choose the blue cheese infusion, but because of the low light and his vision already impaired, he now had his fist wrapped around that glass.  The resulting moments after his sip may have been influenced by his surroundings.  There were some thirty fellow workers there, a few of which were women.  He desired one of the women.  With another woman, he had a past.  There were also men there.  Manly men.  He didn't have any desires for them but he did have a manly reputation he needed to uphold.  For whatever reason he swallowed the sip of blue cheese infused potato vodka.  It seemed against his better judgement.

He spun around and looked me straight in the eye.  If looks could kill ...  At that point in the evening the room already had reached a level of noise that we had to nearly shout to communicate with each other.  He leaned in towards me and in a loud voice, squirted out, " It tastes like dirty dishwater."  Dirty dishwater?  Just to let you all know, I have never drank dishwater, deliberately or otherwise.  So I had no way of comparing the taste of this infusion to dishwater.  There was only one way for me to know of what Jimmy spoke.  I had to try the blue cheese infusion.  I took the glass from his hand and poured more infusion.  I swished it around the glass.  Even in the low light I could see there was still plenty of cheese particles in suspension.  I put the glass to my lips.

There was no longer the over powering whiff of hospital disinfectant from the alcohol.  There was a sour smell, like milk past its date.  I took a sip.  I swallowed.  Let me say this.  The taste was not pleasurable.  It was not what I would want to drink as a cheese course in a meal of cheese and bacon.  I wouldn't want to drink this at all.  It was foul.  Not foul in the chicken sense.  Foul as in the New Oxford American Dictionary defintion - "revolting, repulsive, repugnant, abhorrent, loathsome, offensive, sickening, nauseating, nauseous, stomach-churning,stomach-turning, distasteful, obnoxious, objectionable, odious, noxious, vomitous; informal ghastly, gruesome, gross, putrid, yucky, skanky, beastly;literary miasmic, noisome, mephitic.", foul.  I could see feathers floating to the ground.

Jimmy was the one person that really liked the idea of bacon infused vodka.  So, I offered him the glass containing the bacon infusion.  Again, he looked my directly in the eye and shouted, "Are you trying to poison me?"  He really didn't need to say any more.  I got it.  The blue cheese infusion was bad.  It was a mistake.  I was wrong.  The bacon infusion didn't have a chance.  Blue cheese killed my credibility.  I flew too close to the sun.  I was dropping headlong from the sky.

I couldn't just throw away both vodka infusions.  I had near $50 tied up in this experiment.  At the very least, I had to taste the bacon infusion.  With spectators in the stands, I took a sip.

Although the blue cheese infusion was terrible the bacon infusion wasn't as bad.  It had a strong bacon taste.  I'd have to say, too strong.  The infusion tasted heavy, heavy with oil, or better put, grease.  Maybe half a pound of bacon was too much for the amount of vodka?  I wish I had more patience and figured a way to remove all the grease from the infusion.  Jimmy may have enjoyed the bacon infusion, if he hadn't first tasted the blue cheese infusion.  There were no cheers from the spectators as I crashed into the ground.
Boyd and Blair Vodka

No matter what transpired, I took a risk.  This time I failed.  I don't think I will continue to experiment with blue cheese, bacon and vodka.  I will collect my feathers and place them in a box.  I'll purchase a new bottle of Boyd and Blair.  I'll drink it straight.  I'll fly without the need for feathers and wax.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

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