Thursday, April 2, 2015

I Like Drinking

I like drinking. 
A lot. 

I grew up in a completely dry household. 
My parents, 
for various reasons from religious views to family history, 
never allowed alcohol into the house. 
And therefore as an innocent child I thought all drinking was "wrong." 
Then I became a "rebellious" (haha) teenager and discovered the joy of a good buzz. 
And I also discovered that the alcohol ads were true: you can drink responsibly! 

Ever since my "discovery," I've enjoyed drinking. 
I can settle in with a bottle glass of wine on a Friday night, 
several beers at a ball game, 
a great cocktail at a restaurant, 
and any other number of alcoholic beverages that appear in front of me. 

Becoming a mother obviously put a damper on my drinking. 
I'm not complaining, mind you; I'm just stating facts. 

Obviously, my drinking went down to almost zero while pregnant. 
I say almost because I did have the occasional 4 oz glass of wine in my third trimester, 
all of which was approved by my OBGYN and supplemented by my own personal research. 

Post-pregnancy, there was this whole thing called nursing
And while studies will debate back and forth about the impact of nursing while drunk, 
in general I didn't find it in my - or Aaron's - best interest to drink a lot. 

End nursing. 
Drinking time? 
Oh wait, now I've got to do this "lose the baby weight thing." 
(Because eating for 3 when you're nursing 1 doesn't equate to any weightloss, ahem) 
Oddly enough, drinking isn't a great facilitator of weight loss. 
Or at least for me it isn't. 
Which is terribly disappointing. 
Because if a bottle of wine could make me lose weight, 
I'd have my own vineyard in a heartbeat. 

And let's not forget hangovers
Hangovers as a mother are basically the equivalent of stepping on a Lego barefoot. 
First of all, I feel like the most white trash mother ever. 
Secondly, no matter what, toddlers and hangovers do NOT coexist well. 
So needless to say, 
in Aaron's 2 years of existence, 
I can count the number of hangovers I've had on one hand. 

Now that I've droned on about my trials and tribulations, 
let me walk through some of my favorites. 

I once met a mom who actually preferred beer to wine and my jaw just dropped
I see wine as "Mommy Juice." 
And I have the wine glass to prove it. 

The irony in this photo is that Aaron never took a pacifier. 

I like my beers light and/or wheat. 
Back in our dating days, 
Adam and I partook in a Crappy Beer Taste Test with friends. 
And I'm proud to say that I correctly identified the most beer. 
I also confirmed - blindly - that Bud Light is my favorite, 
and Coors and Keystone were my least. 

I also have my favorites outside of the mass-produced beers. 
Ommegang's Three Philosophers is one of my favorites, 

as well as Victory's Golden Monkey. 
Oddly enough, I gravitate towards beers that are either mostly water 
(I like Michelob Ultra... I know, I know) 
or have abnormally high ABVs (like Golden Monkey). 
Apparently middle ground is not my thing with beer. 

Liquor and Other Mixed Drinks 

Fun fact: I always spell it "liqour" 
because I am part of a generation that relies too much on spellcheck. 

For the most part, mixed drinks are best made by a professional. 
But there are a select few I can whip up at home. 

Dark and Stormy - Bottle of Ginger Brew with Gosling Dark Rum and Lime Juice 

Margarita - Tequila, Triple Sec, and Lime Juice 
(one instance where I prefer my homemade version because I don't care for the slushy ice part of the restaurant margaritas) 

And Spiked Hot Cocoa - Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix with Van Gogh's Dutch Caramel Vodka 

You can rest assured that 100% of my snowdays included this at some point. 

Cooking with Alcohol 

I don't believe cooking with alcohol counts as drinking 
since 99% of the alcohol evaporates, 
unless of course you put it in something that doesn't bake or cook... 
like icing. 

Spiced Rum Cupcakes - These are to die for. Especially when I throw in a few extra Tbs of rum into the icing.  MmmmMmmMmmm. 

Penne Alla Vodka (not the correct name, per Ina Garten)
This was a favorite discovered BEFORE pinterest. 
(Hard to remember those days!)
I use Sky Vodka because it's the perfect balance of not-too-pricey with good flavor. 
Aka: it's better than Smirnoff but about the same cost. 

Drunken Noodles - I find this especially fun to cook because I get to drink all the rest of the wine. 

Whiskey Cake
I leave this for last because Whiskey Cake holds so many special memories for me. 

As I said, I grew up in a dry house. 
There was no alcohol. 
Except there was a huge bottle of Jack Daniels tucked away in the basement for this whiskey cake.  My mom has made this for as long as I can remember. The funny part? My mom never bought her own whiskey. 
I believe it was my uncle who actually bought it for her. 

When I was in college, 
in that I'm-actively-drinking-but-not-quite-21 stage, 
I receive a phone call from my mom. 
I even remember where I was, walking in between classes on a sunny day. 

She WHISPERS: "Emily, I'm at the liquor store." 
Me: "Um... ok?" 
(Still whispering): "Where do I find whiskey?" 

Here I have a conundrum. 
I'm not 21. 
I should not know what the inside of a liquor store looks like, right? 

"Mom, is this a test?" 
(Still whispering): "No, just tell me where it is." 

"Seriously, am I going to get in trouble?" 
(Still whispering): "No!  Just tell me!"

I concede and guide her to the whiskey section. 

"Ok, now look on the middle top shelves and you'll find Jack Daniels..." 
"Hey, but there's a better deal. Bankers Club has a bigger jug for half the price." 
(for those who don't know, Bankers Club is the type of whiskey sold by the handle on the bottom shelf) 

Well, she didn't listen. 
And ever since, her whiskey cake never tasted the same. 
So when I finally put on my domestic goddess gloves, 
I dubbed myself the maker of the whiskey cake. 
And I use Jack Daniels. 
Because, of course. 

** Added later ** 
Shortly after posting this, 
I saw a post on Momma's Gone City talking about 
living mindfully, especially in regards to how we present alcohol to our children, 
and that April is Alcohol Responsibility Month. 
Well, didn't I just time that perfectly? 


  1. So on the opposite end of the spectrum, my dad is a recovering alcoholic (became sober when I was 12), so I have never really been comfortable with drinking. I do occasionally have a margarita, but I'm a total lightweight, so a few sips is all it takes to get me tipsy! Brian, on the other hand, is a big fan of all things beer and scotch/whiskey. Neither of us enjoy wine- I don't even like it at communion, ha!

  2. So where's the link to this whiskey cake recipe?