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Roger Bara

Our blog is at least two days late this week, and it’s all my fault. I shall, of course, beat my breast violently several times, while shouting: 

“Mea culpa, mea culpa,
mea máxima culpa.”

Just like I used to when I was a 7-year-old boy, indoctrinated to believe in magic fairies in the sky.

In fairness to me, I’ve been in hospital for a procedure that included several days of checks and pre-op stuff, that left me way back in third place in the “I’ve completed this week’s blog” competition. (In fact, the Yank invariably submits his effort way before Sergey and I get round to it. So annoying.)

Alberino Wine

When we decided on the title at the beginning of the week, I knew straight away what my top three drinks would be. 1) Wine, 2) Wine and 3) Wine. To make it a tad more interesting, I would have, perhaps, added the name of the grape associated with those three, which would give us 1) Sauvignon Blanc (not Moldovan), 2) Alberino, and 3) Gewürztraminer. Mmmmn. I am salivating just thinking about that wonderful combination.

Anyway, my stay in a Turkish Cypriot hospital made me change that order, not once, but twice. Firstly, unlike in British institutions, there is no trolley service with tea that comes round into your room every morning, afternoon and evening. And it reminds me. being British, how important tea, with milk of course, is to my well-being. Especially when it’s not there, and you can’t have it, and particularly first thing in the morning. So now we have 1) Wine, 2) Tea and 3) Wine.

The day of the procedure saw me not allowed any water, or food. It was 40C outside, so all air-con units were set to maximum. Which kind of dries you up. Badly. So, when, after some 15 hours of no water, I was finally allowed a sip, I decided it was the most delicious, awe-inspiring sensation ever.

That brings me to my final list of: 1) Wine, 2) Tea, 3) Water.

My Trinity

Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

First, to soft drinks and other non-alcoholic ones. In this case, I’d choose straight black tea, no sugar, no milk but good main stuff, like Assam or Darjeeling. On the other hand, the best regular coffee to me is black with cream and sugar. If we talk about flavored blends, I’d go for vanilla and hazelnut mix, preferably by Zavida, Canada’s premium producer. 

Now, let’s check out the most interesting thing – the world of buzz. It is this substance that adds some fun to our lives, and, to some degree, pushes the limits of our creativity. 

Assam Tea

I might look like a simpleton to some but my #1 choice is beer. Yes, it might look too plain to some demanding souls but it isn’t. The world of beers is very diverse, it ranges from pale lagers to Imperial IPA stuff, or Belgium’s famous ancient brews. One of my pleasures of life is to have a run on a hot day, up to 10K sometimes, and then to have a couple of lagers! This is the best thing is to refresh yourself. On the other hand, various sophisticated IPAs with their perfect hop aroma and intense taste are another dimension. The key ingredient here is, of course, hops. Finally, British ales, like Old Speckled Hen, are, again, one more story to tell about beer. 

As to my choice #2, I’d go for Californian Zinfandel. I am not a great expert in the world of wine but I enjoy dry red wines with hints of sweetness, like Zinfandel, or Shiraz. So let’s drink red wines from California or Australia!

Finally, whisky (or, like the Irish put it, whiskey). I would include bourbon in this category, too, though I understand differences in ingredients and the whole production process. I’d go for Jameson for a simple story, Maker’s Mark would be my choice to feel some character, and Glenmorangie 10 y.o. is to enjoy a special moment. 

My Favorite Three Drinks! 

Photograph of Dean Lewis

First, lest there remains any doubt, I have little interest in good taste or the trappings of stylish things. I drive a three-cylinder car and my dog is overweight. I have never owned a pair of hundred-dollar tennis shoes and I don’t listen to great, sophisticated Jazz. 

But I do have some good attributes, like I’ve never seen that show with Kim Kardashian. And I’m still an embarrassment to my daughter, Brittany. (I’ll file that under good things.) If I think of something else, I’ll add it here.

Captain Morgan Rum

I’m a drink agnostic: I don’t get too excited about fine wine or a great Kentucky Bourbon. It’s not that I’ve never been exposed to these things, it just I don’t care. Let me give you an example. Great wines come in bottles with corks, right? But we all know that oxygen is bad for wine. So why not put the very best wines in cardboard boxes with air-tight, plastic bags? And why does bourbon come with those plastic balls in the top of the bottle? You can never get your straw down in there.

And now, I’m supposed to tell you what my favorite drinks are – but after the above maybe you shouldn’t put too much thought into my recommendations. You can be damn sure water didn’t make the list. I read somewhere that tea is the most popular drink on the planet. I like tea… although Mrs. B seems to have an opinion on what I call tea. I’ve never had tea with milk in it. 

So my favorite three drinks:

  1. Jim Beam, I like it more than Jack Daniels (it’s smoother);
  2. Millers, better than Efes (beer from Istanbul);
  3. Captain Jack Spiced, that’s good… although being a typical Yank, I put it in coke.

And whatever you do, never drink the water from my swimming pool. Don’t ask.