Afternoon Inquisition

AI: What’s your poison?

beer pareidoliaI’ve attended a plethora of Skeptics in the Pub (SitP) events recently. These are a brilliant way to meet your local skeptics and enjoy some entertaining conversations, not to mention quenching your thirst.

I usually grab my “usual”, which usually changes. I like a nice Sonoma red (blasphemy for an Aussie!), a cider, or if I’m feeling decadent, a butterscotch schnapps.

Do you like a good old fashioned beer, a girlie drink or the hard stuff? Do you prefer a coffee, an infusion of organic chamomile with honey and lemon, or a glass of milk for our teetotalling Mormon friends?

What’s your poison?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.

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  1. A good imported beer before dinner, usually Scottish, Irish, or British, followed by a good wine, usually French or Italian, followed by one or another of a range of delectable cocktails.

    On Friday’s and sometimes also Saturdays.

    All other days are teetotalities.

  2. No alcohol for me, some unpleasant family history there so I don’t drink (cook with wine but the residual alcohol in a dish is small).

    In the cold dark Maine winter nothing is better than a mug of hot cocoa with some cinnamon or peppermint.

  3. I am a fan of complex beers, especially leaning toward microbrews and imports. Whisk(e)y, especially those from Isley, is my hard liquor of choice.

  4. I save it for special occasions, but I’m basically a bourbon man. Either straight or in one of the classic cocktails (Manhattan or Old Fashioned).

    For everyday drinking, I prefer either a good quality beer (e.g. Harpoon or craft stuff) when I’m out or red wine — typically Portuguese, Douro and Dão being my favourite regions — for drinking at home with food.

  5. Oh, and I have a fondness for absinthe, as well, although I save it for even more special occasions than my bourbon. ;)

  6. If it’s beer, I like pretty much any good ale or lager (except for IPAs). I especially LOVE LOVE LOVE stouts and to a lesser extent porters.

    If it’s liquor, hand me a gin and tonic.

    Don’t usually drink wine, but a decent cabernet sauvignon will do in a pinch.

  7. I’m a hard liquor grrl — I just don’t like beer or wine, although I do like a good cider. Mainly I do mixed cocktails, unless it involves tequila. I am, of course, a huge fan of the Official Skepchick Drink, the Buzzed Aldrin.

  8. I like beer you can’t see through. Can’t stand the megabrews like Bud, Coors, etc. Like to try new microbrews, even nanobrews.

  9. @SicPreFix: Indeed I do. There seem to be several variant spellings, and I picked the wrong one.

    My first single-malt experience was basic 10 y.o. Laphroaig, and have been hooked on the peaty goodness ever since. The Lagavulin 16 is something I save for special occasions, the bottle gathering a bit of dust between tastings. Ardbeg is also a favorite.

    Islay malts leave me with one hell of a hangover, unfortunately, but are so worth it.

  10. Diet Coke or, sometimes, Diet Dr. Pepper. Never had an alcoholic drink in my life. Go ahead and tell my how righteous I am. I’ll just blush modestly.

  11. Laphroaig and Auchentoshan for strong stuff. Erdinger Weissbrau (Dunkel by preference) at the pub

  12. @mdstillman:

    Yes, right: Islay. My bad.

    Laphroig 10 is wonderful ten year old for sure. And Ardbeg too. Do you get the over-proof one, or the regular proof?

    Have you tried Bowmore Darkest? Quite interesting, and very different from to the others we’ve mentioned here. Very much like smoking a big Cuban cigar.

  13. Daytime: Starbucks Venti Espresso Light b.d.
    Afternoon Tea Time: a thimble of mead or elysium black muscat
    Evening and beyond: a light champagne or Sailor Jerry’s n’ diet coke.
    …until the alcomahol makes my inside voice go away then it’s whatever makes it from my glass to my mouth.

  14. @SicPreFix: I generally purchase the regular, as the cask strength isn’t easy to find.

    Thanks for the tip on the Bowmore. I’ve sampled many of their malts and will add this one to my must-try list.

  15. @tempestbrewer: My kind of girl! I adore stouts and pretty much everything else beerwise except IPAs and Bud/Coors/horsepiss.

    I lurve me some gin and tonics too, although I do think they make me prone to making attempts at reconquering the Glorious British Empire. But really, could there ever be a better drink? When served with a lime it prevents scurvy, malaria, and gets me drunk. It is victory in a glass.

  16. I’m an ice tea and water guy at home.

    As mdstillman said, I too am a “fan of complex beers” and “microbrews.” If I want water , I’ll drink water, not Budweiser.

    If I’m going to drink liquor, rum is my preference.

    Finally, if I desire to have wine with dinner I prefer to let my waiter decide. Though I have learned a little about wine over the years, I still like to take their suggestion … unless I’m in a Red Lobster Restaurant.

  17. I will not touch beer. Too much of what is wrong with US culture and psychology is wound up in unwarranted admiration of it. We make our beer into the Elixir of Adulthood and oh by the way it sucks.

    I drink wine or good (really, really good) bourbon. Or a martini made with decent gin.

  18. I never really understood the issues people have with macrobrewed beers; they just aren’t intended for the same audience and purpose that heavier beers are. I generally don’t evaluate positively drinks that are so bitter I’d rather spit them out, and I’m not sure why I should expect others to be different.

    That said, there’s nothing quite like a nice glass of Guinness once in a while.

    Although my favorite drink is Hermanhoff cherry table wine; grown here in Missouri, even if the winery did get bought out by Miller.

  19. @LOLkate: Oh, good point! The G&T is kind of my summer drink. Let the proles have their modish mojitos and pour me a nice, tall glass of quinine and juniper. ;)

  20. I’ll usually just have a Cherry Coke/Pepsi when I go out to a bar (which is really Coke/Pepsi with Grenadine/cherry juice in it) but about once a month or so I might have a fruity mixed drink. I don’t like beer, wine, or any other straight liquors, but I’ll try a sip of just about anything.

  21. Two favourite cocktails (sorry, no Tang):

    The Blood Orange (I think this is my own invention):

    1. Slightly less than one part Black Seal rum (any really good black rum will do).
    2. Slightly more than one part of Grand Marnier.
    3. Two to four shakes of Angostura bitters.
    4. Shake in a cocktail shaker with lots of ice.
    5. Strain and serve with a sliver of orange peel.

    The Flora McDonald:

    1. Two parts dry vermouth (Noilly Prat if you can get it).
    2. One part Drambuie.
    3. One part dry gin (Gordon’s or Beefeaters is probably best, Tanqeray is a bit too juniperish).
    4. Shake in a cocktail shaker with lots of ice.
    5. Strain and serve with a slice of orange.

  22. @Joshua: Have you tried Q Tonic yet? It’s made with agave and natural quinine and is not as harsh as cheap tonic water. The only downside is that it runs about $7 for a four-pack of eight-ounce bottles.

    My new favorite G&T is 3oz Hendrick’s gin, 4oz Q Tonic, and the juice of half an organic lime. Rub the rim of the glass with the lime peel and enjoy. Repeat as desired.

  23. @mdstillman: I’ve got a jug of Hendrick’s in my freezer. Packs a powerful wallop of gin-ginny flavour it does.

    No good with a Flora, but it makes a grand G&T for sure.

    I’ve never heard of Q Tonic. I’ll have a look around and see if anyone carries it around here.

  24. I’m a teetotaler, so it’s amazing how well I hang with the Boston Skeptics crew!

    Generally I just end up getting a boring old Coke when I’m out and about here.

    However, I’m known for being a huge pain and attempting to get hot tea at some point at nearly every bar or restaurant I’ve gone to. I’ve got an Earl Grey problem :-P

  25. Good red wine is a perfect accompaniment to music and cooking. I have a bar (laboratory) in my basement, and often conduct extensive “research” therein. Classic cocktails are my favorites; good booze, fresh ingredients, careful craftsmanship. It is 104 deg. F. outside right now, so it is mint julep time. Here is a great video on how to make a mint julep.
    mint julep

  26. I’m kind of limited since I’m underage (20) without my own fake ID (but several friends with one), but Vodka is my drink of choice. Hate the cheap beer some of my friends drink, I take straight shots of cheap vodka better than cheap beer.

    For just sitting around watching football on a weekend afternoon, not wanting to get really drunk, I like some Triple Sec in cola or lemon-lime pop.

    Also once I’m drunk Jager and Redbull is the most delicious drink ever. Sober not so much.

  27. Non-alcohol drinker as well.

    That said, nothing beats hitting the self-serve fountain at a fast food place and whipping up a serving of swamp water. I’ve also heard it called a suicide in some parts of the states.

    Root beer, Orange Soda and Diet Coke is my usual choice, but I’ll occasionally add some Sprite in if I’m not planning to sleep for the next 12 hours.

  28. Dry Beefeater martinis (plain olive please, hold the cheese), single malt scotch, Redbreast Irish whiskey, Founders Breakfast Stout, and Malört. Mmmm, delicious Malört.

  29. I tend to be strictly a beer guy. My standard would be Bass Ale, but other frequent selections include Dead Guy Ale, Arrogant Bastard, and Smithwick’s.

    The local Bluegrass Brewing Company generally has some good offerings that I have occasionally, and when I travel I try to find local creations if they’re available.

  30. Being a simple Southerner, I like good ol’ Jack ‘n’ Coke – or straight-up Gentleman Jack’s, if I feel like living the good life for a few minutes.

  31. I’ll usually have a cider or a nice Belgian white. Woodchuck is my favorite but I’ll have a Hornsby if ya got it. Blue Moon is good. Indiana Amber is very nice. Crown and Coke if I want something manlier.

  32. First off, I’m stealing that image for user pics.

    Second, I usually like a red beer or darker, or something made with whiskey (jameson’s & ginger ale is nice), or even just on the rocks.

  33. hmmm…so many choices that it depends on the occasion. I love an amaretto sour, or a pomegranate cider anytime.

    Although there are few things better than a glass of sangria or some sake if with the right company.

  34. A local ciderworks makes the best dry English-style cider I’ve ever had, but only a few pubs serve it. I’ll typically take whatever they’ve got on tap in that case, usually Strongbow or Rock Creek. Failing that, a nice IPA or honey lager will do.
    With dinner, I prefer Shiraz or Pinot Noir, but really I’ll try anything made from grapes. Wine is my major weakness.
    Preferred hard liquor is rum; I don’t drink a lot of cocktails but Irish cream on ice is a good fallback.

  35. A dry martini up with olives, gin and tonic, a mojito, irish whisky neat, single malt scotch neat, bourbon or rye with seltzer, a screwdriver, pinot noir, malbec, cabernet sauviogn, claret, fat tire, rolling rock, shiner bock, becks, apple cider, st. pauli’s girl, absinthe, anchor steam, sierra nevada, iron city, chianti, chardoney, pinot grigio, black coffee, espresso, earl grey, peppermint tea, cranberry juice, orange juice, club soda with lemon, milk or water.

    Or if you’re buying, anything you want.

  36. First choice is my hard cider, Strongbow. If they have other ciders I’ll try them, but Strongbow is my favorite.

    No cider? Fine, I’ll order a Hefeweizen. If all else fails I’ll get a Screwdriver.

  37. I’m with @Tempestbrewer and @LOLkate – beers of most types, and just love a stout (specially in winter). Also a gin and tonic in the summer. Pink preferred!

    I do enjoy a Scottish or Irish whisk(e)y too – on ice in summer, neat in winter.

    Mulled wine/gluwein another favourite in winter.

  38. Beer or tequila. Almost nothing else. I will take almost anything over a macrobrew, but my faves are various wheats (Belgian and American over German), pale ales and porters/stouts (basically the same thing).

    I am also amused that I’m reading and responding to this while I wait for my latest batch to boil. :)

  39. Clearly I’m a beer guy. The darker, more complex and flavorful, the better. I had to turn to amateur homebrewing to get beers dark enough. I’m currently waiting for a Russian Imperial/Coffee/Bourbon Barrel Stout to bottle ferment. Judging by the pre-bottled sample, it should be the darkest, tastiest beer I’ve had yet.

  40. Despite being Irish, Czech, and Swedish…I can’t stand the taste of alcohol. Uggg. Nor coffee nor tea. So it’s pepsi for me (or coke, can’t really tell them apart).

    On rare occasions I’ll pass a flask of peach snopps at Civil War re-enactments.

    I’m going to be driving my platoon mates crazy at basic training, as I’ll probably be the only one old enough to buy beer, and I don’t :)

  41. Hemlock if I can get it, but cyanide will work in a pinch. And arsenic, of course, is good for when you want it to look like a long, painful illness. But I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the endogenous neurotoxins. Nothing says “intelligent design” like a naturally occurring metabolic product and neurotransmitter that can, in sufficient quantities, convince your brainmeats to commit suicide én masse.

  42. World of Warcraft, oh wait, you meant alcohol.. mostly whisky (Bourbons, blended, and more recently scotches) and beer.

  43. Amaretto sour’s are my favorite, but I’ll drink pretty much anything. Except absinthe (sorry Joshua, that stuff was just nasty)

  44. I have developed a fondness for Kahlua and cognac on ice. I also love red wine, mostly merlots (some of my favourites are from Australia) but I’ll basically try any red that’s put in front of me.

  45. My usual is Coopers Stout. Dark and rich and it doesn’t have to be chilled to near freezing before one can enjoy it. Sometimes, I prefer the reds. A good Barossa shiraz, for example. Don’t go much for spirits, but occasionally something like a Papa Doble or pink gin :p

  46. I had the most wonderful white wine in London a couple months ago. It tasted like sweet fresh plants; what cut grass would taste like if it was wine-ified. Sounds odd, but it was delicious.

  47. I can’t drink much alcohol these days since I’m on antidepressants, but I enjoyed dark beers before the meds. Not enough of a connoisseur to be more specific than that.

    For a nonalcoholic drink I like to make a sort-of virgin Mary of tomato juice, tabasco, and a bit of vinegar for bite.

  48. I love red wine, but it dyes my teeth and tongue and gums when I drink it! I’ve decided that I will be drinking white wine only at my wedding (and not much of that either; there’s nothing tackier than a drunk bride apparently)

    Cocktail-wise, I love sweet colourful girly drinks. Cosmos are my current fave. If I’m in the mood for something more bitter I also quite enjoy gin and tonics.

  49. I’m easy to please with drinks. I’m fond of things with a background, though. Classic cocktails appeal to me, like an old fashioned or a gin and tonic. Local beers appeal to me, as Oregon has plenty to offer. Bourbon and rye are nice. But I don’t say no to much. I buy cheap beer once in awhile, usually PBR. Free beer is especially tasty.

  50. Beer or wine, usually. I like a beer with real flavor, something chewy. My fave brew these days is Hale’s Red Menace. I’ve become pretty good at picking wines, though I find a lot of it is just guesswork. I seem to make good guesses.

  51. Oh, and every once in a great while, when I go out to Anthony’s Fish Grotto with the family, I get a little wild… and have a Shirley Temple!

  52. @killyosaur42:

    World of Warcraft, oh wait, you meant alcohol.. .

    Hah, that gave me a good laugh.

    Nonalcoholic: I’m a big fan of tea, anything green or black. Lately I’ve been having a lot of iced green tea.

    Alcoholic: I mainly prefer beer. I have never had a type of wine that I’ve liked, but maybe I’ve never had a good one.

    Was there ever a thread on the health effects of drinking alcohol, particularly since it is practically sanctioned as the default group activity of the skepchick meetups?

  53. We generally don’t drink beer (my husband not at all, and I only when it’s “beer-drinking hot” -which is generally over 85°), which is kind of a pain at some parties and open bars. I was poor and in college once, so I can still stomach it from time to time, but normally we just stick with the hard stuff. My husband will drink Long Island Ice Teas, as long as they’re well-made, or Captain & Coke -as long as it’s Coke. Pepsi does nothing for an alcoholic beverage.
    My favorites are Sex on the Beach, Fuzzy Logic, and Red, or Blue. The last two are vodka, sour mix, some sort of lemon-lime soda (I use Zevia), and then either Razzmatazz or Blue Curacao on top.

  54. With the family history, I rarely drink alcohol at all. If I do, it’s one beer o top of an entire meal. Otherwise, it’s potentially too dangerous. That makes me the perfect designated driver, though.

    I do have the German taste for beer, especially dark beers.

    I usually go with soda, flavored water, etc.

  55. for happy hour with the work people i like a good stout, porter, scotish ale, or possibly a lager. i can’t drink IPAs. if i have one i won’t be able to drink much of anything afterwards. this includes water. seriously i have to slowly sip a glass of water after an IPA or i’ll get “sick”. something in it does not agree with my stomach in the least.

    if i’m out for the evening (beer tends to make me full), or at a place with a good selection i’ll have a hendrick’s martini, or a gin & tonic, possibly a white russian (if i feel like having people call me The Dude all night.

  56. Most alcohol makes me sleepy and causes the night to end too soon, except for Gin. I’ll usually have a G&T or with bitter lemon. Maybe a glass of port. After that I tend to just have lemonade.

  57. Whiskey! Knob Creek is my favorite, and I also like Maker’s Mark, but I am too poor for that so I settle for Jack Daniels. I usually just shoot jack because mixed drinks tend to give me tummy aches.

    Newcastle beer from the tap is my faaaavorite beer, but too much beer also gives me a tummy ache so I don’t drink it much any more, except a glass with dinner or something.

    Red wine, just for the buzz not the taste.

    A good, strong margarita always makes me happy (but it’s acidic and gives me heart burn like cuh-razy).

  58. @marilove: If you like Knob Creek and Maker’s Mark, try Woodford Reserve. It’s about the same price (maybe a couple of bucks per bottle more), but well worth it. The vanilla-y flavour comes through a bit more than the others, and it really adds a lot to the experience.

  59. @Joshua: Next time I have a few bucks, I will! Jack generally costs about $18 on sale, so that’s usually what I grab (I like it, but oooh boy does it have a bite! and anything cheaper makes me gag).

    I’ve been recommended Woodford Reserve before…I will definitely have to try it.

    Mmmm now I want whiskey.

  60. non-alcoholic: dark coffee, diet coke, or hot tea if it’s freezing outside.

    alcoholic: rum and diet coke, shiner bock (texas brewed and delicious), dos equis, pretty much any hard liquor as long as it’s not by itself, and I love beer, but I’m very snobby on what I’ll drink. It either has to be Mexican or dark. Oh! and I’ll pretty much do an Irish Car Bomb at anytime of the day regardless of how inappropriate it might be.

  61. @killyosaur42: LOL! my guild has DNWF (drunk naked wow friday), i’ve bought special stemless wine glasses for this, much less risk of an accident.
    I’m generally a red wine and good beer girl. Super lovin’ on the wheat beers, barley wines, and wood aged sour ales. My favorite of all time is a local brew no one here has ever heard of called La Folie, made my New Belgium (the makers of fat tire). Living in the “Napa Valley” of beer has made me a beer snob, but even the New Belgium employees admit, havinga Budweiser brewery in town helps out, they help the local breweries get deals on bottles. Who knew? On a hot day, there’s not much better than a good IPA (O’dells IPA is my fav) or a glass of Sangria.

  62. I rarely drink, but when I do it is always liquor or mixed drinks. I hate the taste of beer, so I usually go with rum & Coke, or shots of rum at a bar. If it’s at a party, it’s shots of whatever liquor is available, or a combination of whichever liquor is available and whichever sweet mixer is available, whether it’s coke, club soda, or fruit punch.

  63. @Jessica: If there’s nothing tackier than a drunk bride, then i’m really really glad we threw classy out the window a LONG time ago :) Wedding with barbeque, local beer and video games FTW.

  64. I forgot to mention my love for a really dry, bitter red wine. And hard ciders. And Blue Moon. And I just dicovered that I’m an alcoholic…

  65. Hello Karen,

    For me, it’s Glenmorangie or Bushmills with cool water.

    We actually double blind taste test whiskeys side by side and we always keep coming back to those two. They’re not the most exclusive or expensive. But, they are the ones I like the most.

    As for beer, we live in Belgium. It simply would not do to settle on only one.

  66. I like wet martinis made with vodka, olives. I also enjoy a good scotch, straight up with a glass of water. Whiskey and brandy on the rocks are also favorites.

    Beer is great and I’ll try any kind once. I prefer reds or browns though.

  67. I like to keep things simple, pretty much just one thing in a glass at a time. I like to sip on a good Whiskey, occasionally a Scotch. Tequilla is okay in a margarita but I’d rather just have a shot of Hornitos. To me a perfect vodka martini requires as much vermouth as you get by holding the glass and just thinking about vermouth. Other than that I like simple beers for the most part, a crisp lager, or a pilsner. I do also really enjoy a Bamberg Rauchbier, but never drink more than one at a time, or everything will taste like smoked Gouda for a couple days.

  68. @marilove: I agree with Joshua, Woodford Reserve is fantastic.

    I’m a whiskey drinker with no particular favorites but I have been drinking Bushmill’s lately as that’s what my partner prefers. I prefer it neat, though a single ice cube has been known to appear in my whiskey when the weather’s warm.

    I would drink a lot more tequila if I had anyone to drink it with.

    Not much of a mixed drink fan but I do like G&T’s and tequila-heavy margaritas.

    I like dry and spicy red wines. And beer is awesome from stouts to pale ales as long as it’s flavorful.

  69. I prefer Eliott Ness – a crafty beer brewed by the Great Lakes Brewery in Cleveland, OH.


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