Speaking of Drinks

Tonight, instead of documenting our dinner, I decided to do an expose on what my family drinks. We begin with my father.

Dad’s Drink: Tanqueray and Tonic


This is my father’s signature drink. It is actually many people’s signature drink. How did my father come to adopt it as his own?

“I used to drink 7 and 7,” he explains.

“What’s that?” I ask.

“7-up and 7 Seagram’s Rye,” he answers. “And before that I drank rum and Coke.”

“What changed?” I probe.

“Well, one summer we went to the Hamptons for the weekend,” he shares, “and I needed a good summer drink. I think it was 1974. And someone told me I should have a gin and tonic. And that was it.”

“Tell the story about the straw up your nose,” says my mother.

[Once, my father was on a date and trying to look smooth. He brought the drink to his face and accidentally stuck the straw up his nose. When he quickly pulled the drink away, the straw was still there.]

“Nah,” says my father, “I don’t want that on the internet.”

Mom’s Drink: Cosmopolitan


Mom started drinking Cosmos a few years ago. Her drink before that?

“Wine,” she says. “And when I was younger, Bloody Mary’s.”

“Tell the story about when you threw up on your date,” says my father.

[When my mom was young and impressionable, she went on a date with a beau who was wearing a velvet suit. Trying to act mature (despite her inexperience), my mother ordered a Bloody Mary. Sipping it down quickly, before she knew it–and without any warning–she projectile vomited the Bloody Mary on her beau’s velvet suit.]

“Nah,” says my mother, “I don’t want that on the internet.”

Grandma’s Drink: Iced Tea, Ice On The Side


Grandma drinks her Iced Tea with ice on the side because it’s too cold otherwise. Her drink before that?

“I never ever drank!” she declares. “Ask your mother!”

“It’s true,” says my mom. “She only drank water.”

“And if I wanted a treat,” continues my grandma, “I’d have a chocolate ice cream soda.”

“Donald Trump doesn’t drink alcohol,” interjects my father.

“As a little girl,” says my mother, “we couldn’t order sodas or anything like that.”

“If you had Chinese,” explains my grandmother, “you’d have tea, and that was that.”

“Oh,” remembers my mother, “I used to drink Kir Royale.”

“We’re not doing you anymore,” I scold.

Grandpa’s Drink: Beefeater Martini


The most consistent drink orderer in our family is grandpa. His is always the same: “Beefeater Martini, very dry.” How did it come about?

“First,” he explains, “I drank Scotch. But then the Beefeater martini became popular. And if you smoked, you looked very cool drinking your martini and smoking your cigarette.”

“Any other drinks,” I probed.

“Well,” grandpa explains, “there’s also a Rob Roy, which is Vermouth and Scotch. As opposed to Gin, you have Scotch. It’s a good drink too.”

The Amateur Gourmet’s Drink: Iced Tea


My family is very particular when it comes to what I drink at dinner.

“You can’t drink alcohol,” declares my mother, “you get cranky.”

Well, true, but only when I’m with my family. When I’m with my friends, I become a lighthearted, whimsical prankster, with the mind of Groucho Marx and the physical grace of Charlie Chaplin.

(“You were staring into space the whole time,” said Jimmy, a few weeks ago, recounting my stupor at our birthday bash.)

In any case, Iced Tea is my drink of choice 99% of the time. There are many good reasons to order it:

1) Free refills;

2) Not too bubbly so not too filling;

3) Goes well with any dish.

Yes, grandpa can have his martini and dad his gin and tonic. When my son, The Amateur Gourmet, Jr., writes about what I drink, he’ll say: “Good ‘ole dad with his Iced Tea. Sure explains why his teeth are brown.”


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