I was fifteen years of age the first time I got trashed on booze. A good friend had gotten married and at the reception I discovered a fifth of Four Roses Bourbon in the kitchen. The only glass I could find was a sixteen ounce iced tea glass. So, not knowing much about drinking I filled it up to an inch from the top and added some grape juice. I really don’t recall how much I actually consumed but when my buddies dropped me off in front of my house I was trashed.
I managed to get into the house and crawl up the stairs to my bedroom without waking up my parents. I do remember laying down and the room doing non-stop three sixties. There was a small balcony outside my room and knowing I was getting sick I tried to make it to the balcony door but failed. I tried cleaning up the mess with laundry from the clothes hamper and I pretty much failed at that as well.
Next day I woke up with a killer headache and my first hangover. My mother noticed I wasn’t right and I was able to explain it away by saying I had eaten too much wedding cake; which I had and much of that was still laying on my bedroom floor.
Later that day, after getting my bedroom cleaned and sneaking my laundry to the basement to soak, I wandered up to the high school basketball court and watched my buddies from the night before play horse. One of them had a pint of bourbon and offered me a drink. He said it would, “Cure what ailed me.” Still being young and dumb I took the bottle, unscrewed the cap, and raised it to my lips.
The instant the aroma hit my nostrils I was sick all over. I wised up just a bit and realized that nothing in that bottle was going to make me feel better. From that moment on I cannot stand the aroma or flavor of bourbon. The very thought of bourbon, even as a flavoring agent vividly brings back that the horrors of that night.
I’ll share my thoughts on Scotch and Irish whiskey in another blog.