Thursday, January 5, 2017

Like Strawberry Wine

Yesterday's post incorrectly stated that the Basement Bitters brand of bitters was 120 proof. It is actually 92 proof. I verified that off the label of the bottle that has been sitting on my dresser since it was given to me maybe 2 months into my present stretch of sobriety.

David had put the hoodoo on the bottle so that I had taken it to be some kind of snake oil; something that was as bitter as bitter can be, a way to get your "bitter" on, and most likely an elixir, especially to people whose constitutional balance had swung drastically to the sweet, and needed to be remedied.

All of this may be true of the bitters, it makes sense to me, despite my having just pulled the theory out of my ass.

But, I didn't suspect that it was a 92 proof liquid that was causing my nose hairs to bristle when I sniffed the bitters to see how bitter they smelled. I just figured that the concoction was so bitter that it smelled like some strong liquor.

When I think of a bitter food, the outer peel of a cucumber comes to mind, and so does the very outer peel of an orange. These are things that I discard. The cucumber peel would make my salad too bitter, unless used very sparingly..

But, apparently, when a flavor that humans can only tolerate in small proportions is concentrated enough and turned into a potent enough liquor, then you can somehow stomach the result, because it tastes so "medicinal" that it would almost have to have some value in that regard; if even as just through a placebo effect, which, in my case, the bitters  would have been imbued with by David the water jug player through his deportment and the manner in which he had given them to me, the way perhaps a Shaman would give something to a devotee who was at the threshold of the next spiritual level, and thus, ready to "drink the bitters" and then go into a trance and just "let it happen."

*(The closest I can describe the smell of the bitters is: using Bactine® like an inhaler; that medicinal thing).

So, David still had technically given me something that could have thrown me from the wagon, made me melt like the witch from the west, thrown a monkey wrench into my best laid plans and had me hit the skids; bottom out; go from rags to riches; find myself in a ditch one morning not knowing how I got there and why there is a dead mouse in my shirt pocket...92 proof*

Luckily, I read the fine print, like I said, and I believe I had to remove the bottle from the box and read its individual label to find the alcohol content listed.
Every once in a great while you need to drink. For health reasons!

*Another thing is that the bitters come in very small bottles. It wouldn't be much more than maybe 3 or 4 ounces of the 92 proof stuff. But, I've heard of people who couldn't take the wine at Communion, good solid Catholic people as a matter of fact, with the reason being that they wouldn't be able to stop at that thimble full of wine. Even though they ate with it, a wafer.

Nope. They would march straight from the church to, probably a bar. One where they would see at least a few fellow Catholics. And, from there, choose an analogy from above...


alex carter said...

Chances are quite good that those bitters are not bitter at all. Angostaura, a commonly known bitters, is sweet, tasting like a candy cane.

alex carter said...

OK it sounds like this stuff is much more like I'd imagine "bitters" to taste - herbal.

If you're going to make a whole post about it, why not just drink it and have it over with? Or give it to another busker or something?