Gin, gin, gin


I do like gin. The winning combination of alcohol plus malaria prophylaxis is one you have to respect, even if the latter is really from the quinine in the tonic and nothing to do with the gin itself. In the last year I’ve drunk all sorts of gin; extra flowery gin, extra strong gin, extra regrettable gin. English gin, American gin, and French gin have all passed my lips.

This is an expensive hobby in Singapore because booze is not exactly cheap in this little island. I suppose it prevents hordes of gin-soaked urchins laying waste to the Central Business District. Well, there aren’t bars full of gin-sodden lunatics. Instead, when I go running, I encounter the forlorn remains of nights out by the river; an empty bottle of whisky here, a comatose body there, a puddle of vomit somewhere else.

Hang on… They’re still drinking, they’re just not all drinking in bars, which would at least be tidy. Something Must Be Done About That. Although I’m not the Someone To Do Something.

Today’s gin was Small’s; I was having a late breakfast/early lunch at the Social on Gemill Lane, and having had my first coffee in a week, I thought I’d counterbalance it with a gin and tonic. It was almost 1pm, after all.

There are seven or eight gins at the Social (eight if you include the genever). The most obvious ones are Hendricks and Tanqueray, but there’s also Miller, Death’s Door, a curious Germanic gin with a monkey on the label, and the Small’s, a gin from Wisconsin that’s quite strong, with a hint of cardamon.

I’d never had the Small’s before, and I did fancy something new. I wasn’t sure though; usually I prefer something sweet rather than something robust. The Small’s turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The cardamon is very obvious in the taste, but it’s an interesting departure from the norm, not some revolting addition to your life. I’d say more, but I realise I have very little vocabulary to describe gin, beyond “it’s full of alcohol” and “I have yet to contract malaria”.

Instead, I went away and got a beard trim, then went and had dinner. And then some beer. These are not the actions of a man focussed on losing weight, and although I ran 11 miles this morning, sweat dripping into my eyes and off my nose, I’ve put on 5 pounds since I weighed myself 13 hours ago. I think I may have to come off the Booze Diet before I make inroads into the flab.


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