I’ve always had the collector gene in my body and have been collecting one or the other thing as long as I can remember. My first collection was dog pictures, lol. I’ve been great at collecting movie and music memorabilia over the years, from select Star Trek figures to heavy metal t-shirts. Last year I got a short spleen with minerals and collected 50 of them, but then stopped, because: where to put all this beautiful, but essentially useless stuff? I am well aware of the curse of collecting. You gather stuff you don’t really need or wear. I have around a hundred heavy metal band and festival shirts and I wear maybe twenty of them.
This year, having to stay home all the time I was (subconsciously mostly) looking for something new to collect with the premise of “it shall not last” or “how can I avoid cluttering my apartment with more useless stuff” and now I found it! lol. Alcohol! lol.
I already made myself a small bar two, three years ago, mostly filled with port wine.
Who knows me knows that I hate beer… it’s bitter and it stinks! Sorry, beer lovers. I have a sweet tooth and thus port wine and also cocktails have always been my preferred choice of drink. So, welcome to the new spleen – cocktail mixing!
For every collection there is an initial investment necessary and then a continuous investment, lol. The past few weeks, I have bought quite a number bottles at different liquor shops in order to not raise any suspicions! lol. This is the hunting part of the collector. The joy of hunting for that particular item (bottle). They don’t have e.g. Heering Cherry in store A but in B. Store C is the best place for item X, store D for item Z, oh that’s fun! Lol Our poor ancestors had to do hunting and gathering in order to survive, how lucky are we that we can do it for the joy of it.
There were also quite some bottles I actually already had. I bought a nice bottle of vodka in Vladivostok in March 2019, it just sat there, never opened. I bought a few miniature (100ml) bottles of sugar cane schnapps from Amami. I tried one of them, but the stuff is not the nicest alcohol in the world by itself and the other four mini bottles just sat there since 2017 unopened. I bought a bottle of Southern Comfort a year ago and it just sat there, unopened. But now I bought a cocktail mixing set with shaker, muddler etc. It came with a small cocktail book and thus started the hunting for ingredients.
Cocktail making is also very educational! Until a few weeks ago I didn’t know what a “dash of bitters” is. Neither did I know what is a dash (in a cocktail), nor did I have any clue about bitters. Now I have a bottle of Angostura aromatic bitters made in Trinidad and Tobago and know how to dash my cocktails with it, lol. Until a few weeks ago I had never heard of a Hawthorne strainer before or knew how to use it, now I do, lol. I now know that Cointreau and curaçao are actually the same thing – orange peel liquor, as is blue curaçao.
Luckily many liquors can be found in small bottles in Japan, which reduces the amount of initial investment 😉 I have now collected some 40 different alcohols and am finally making good use of the ice cube making machine in my fridge 😉 With all the soft drink stuff to mix it with there are hundreds of variations possible. Neat! So I shall aim at becoming a hobby mixologist and mix and stir like some good old alchemist (alchemy! Hagen Patterson – To Mix and to Stir).
And worry not, I’m a big girl. There will never be more than one cocktail per day. It may sound odd, but this is not about alcohol at all. It’s about taste experiences, the fun of mixing and discovering new stuff and collecting things. Of course I also started my recipe collection as well. Who knows, if the spleen sticks and I become a real mixologist, I can publish a cocktail book or make a cocktail website? Hahaha. We shall see. Cheers for now.