Aug 262013
 

Liquorature Gathering #043 – “Ways Of Sunlight” (Samuel Selvon)ways of sunlight

Date:  August, 2012

Host:  Lance

Whisky:  Crown Royal Black

Rum:  Havana Club, a couple of aged Rum Nation releases and a schwackload more

 

Ok…don’t tell anyone.  I sipped rum this night.  And only rum.  And I actually sort of almost kinda maybe possibly didn’t mind one of ’em.  Repeat that and I can’t be responsible for what happens.  Seriously.  You’ll tarnish my reputation.

This was a rather frustrating eve in which only four of the gang of eight made it out to participate.  Life gets in the way, I get it, but a rather poor showing can be quite heartbreaking, especially when hosting.  Nevertheless, we could have cried into our beers (errr…rum), or we could have turned it into a night to remember.  Obviously, we went with the latter.  Much like the case of the infamous ‘Blood Meridian’ night, this wee crew brought it all to the table and had a heck of a night full of Caribbean dialect, tooth-rottingly sweet libations, and holy-fires-o’-hell cuisine.  In short…our host took things to the authentic nth degree.

Lance, very much in Lance fashion, put together a feisty and fiery little feast for us.  Frivolous alliteration aside, these forays into full-blown fiery ring delight are always a source of anticipation leading up to the big event.  Once we’d all gathered, we dug in ’round the kitchen table for a helluva good meal before retiring to the great outdoors (aka the back deck) for the session itself.

Lance took us on a whirlwind tour of cane juice, putting our tastebuds through the paces, and actually managed to find one that I quite liked.  One I would have actually maybe considered buying, to be honest.  Think it was the Rum Nation Jamaica 25 year old.  Apparently it only takes rum about 25 years or so in the barrel to reach a point where I find it quaffable.  Hey…whatever works.  So long’s we get there in the end, right?

This month we didn’t have a tale to speak of.  We had about a dozen and a half.  Lance’s pick, ‘Ways Of Sunlight’, by Samuel Selvon (at one time a UofC writer-in-residence, interestingly enough), was a neat little collection of tales that took us into a completely new cultural vantage.  Very cool stuff.  While not exactly intellectually groundbreaking or anything, this quirky depiction of Caribbean life was broken into two sections, the first, entitled ‘Trinidad’, provided a peek into days gone by in this poor Southern nation.  The second section, ‘London’, provided a neat counterpoint in transposing character types (and possibly some of the same characters?) from part one into the urban sprawl of London, England.

Quite an enjoyable read, really.  Think Hemingway in the tropics and you’ll be close.

Good pick, Lance.  Thanks for taking us on another journey.  Insightful.  I mean that on more levels than one.

Randoms:  Curt liked a rum (RN 25 Jamaica) … and drank no whisky … wingman duties … what’s your house number? … “oh baby…you gonna have such good mangoes” … Lance brings the spice … four man crew

 

– Curt

 

Aug 232013
 

Liquorature Gathering #033 – “Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban”

Date:  October, 2011

Host – Lance

Whisky:  Smokehead

Rum:  Abuelo 12 Anos, Barbancourt 15 y.o., Havana Club Cuban Barrel Proof

 

Welcome back, Bauer.  He of the hokey hat made a triumphant return to Liquorature after a much maligned absence, and the lads in the collective were glad to have the circle come back together.  The G8 becomes the G9 from here on out.  This is the largest iteration the club has ever boasted and I’d be lyin’ if I didn’t say I had reservations.  Not about kid brother (well…not really a brother, but…) coming back, but simply about the number of voices in the room.  All turned out well however.  Just means a little policin’ every now and then if things get too…errr…rowdy.

As e’er, Lance’s meets are rum nights.  Since we stoop to accommodate his sweet tooth on other club nights with a bottle of rum, so he deigns to condescend to the vices of the more snootily-inclined among us who stick to the malts (ahem…your faithful servant, moi).  Hey…fair for the goose is fair for the gander, no?  ‘Sides…we all know rum makes the mind soft and the *** shrink, right?  (Or is that the other way around?)

On offer this eve?  Abuelo 12 Anos, Barbancourt 15 y.o. and Havana Club Cuban Barrel Proof.  A couple of these juices actually had some of the boys singing praises.  A few of us were still not won over to the Cane Side however.  So…we stuck to the Smokehead.  This single malt, for those not in the know, is an Islay whisky which is marketed so as to obscure its pedigree.  Which distillery produces this?  I have ideas, but mum’s the word.  Actually… ‘yum’s the word.  This stuff ain’t bad at all.

Alas…we like to deceive ourselves into thinking this is a book club and not a drinking club, so…on to the tale…

Lance took a flyer on this one.  The gamble was that this novel (book three of seven in the canon) could and would stand alone.  Risky little endeavor really.  I was a wee bit skeptical, but ‘hm’, said I… ‘we’ll see’.  My cynicism proved unfounded; the truth won out and Sage Surujbally was vindicated.

The story…well…it was ok.  Little better than ok, actually, but it’s a tough thing to disassociate this one work from the whole.  J.K. Rowling’s influence and over-arching literary contributions tend to skew one’s perspective on the actual story at hand.  This in itself made for interesting talking points, I should add.  At the end of the day though, this was no more or less than a fun read and a touchstone that should be considered a point of reference for generations to come.  From the gang…quite a warm reception.

Honored guest this eve, Anatoly, was a welcome addition.

 

Randoms: 1st question…’why do I drink rum?’ … “F*ck War and Peace” … “Going on a hike with Sam Gamgie” … “Mandingo of Borg” … LOTR argument” … Bauer’s return … “Tito Hood” … Goodkind … “Comic Book Guy on Slimfast” … “Quick Quote Quill – with alliteration to spare” … Robert’s book choice announcement: ‘Cleyshot Cliffs’ … “Before you say anything…prepare to shut the f*ck up” … Anatoly sitting in.

 

– Curt