Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Liquor Cabinet

There are things that I have carried throughout my life as talismen in my mind.

One is the memory of receiving my red shag-cord-veloury (technical term there folks - for I have no idea what that material was called) outfit sent to me by my lovely Grandma Mart one year that I so proudly wore to a friend's place for dinner.  And that instant when I got so brutally deflated by my friend's careless remark regarding my wearing of pyjamas.

I learned several things in that instant.

I learned that Lingerie was not some term regarding fancy clothes, but rather fancy clothes that you wear to bed.

I learned that it is best in life to know a least a little of other languages.

I learned not to trust my innocent delight in things and instead know that I was completely bereft of an inbuilt style trip-switch.

(It wasn't until many, many years later that I learned to not pay as much mind to that flaw - or at least fake not paying as much mind...)

Another is the knowledge that I have two of the most awesome parents in the world (despite somehow slipping me faulty DNA in the style sector).

Another is The Liquor Cabinet.

Not in the traditional boozy sense, either.  More in the mark it has made on my psyche in the geographic location within the home.

My first memory of The Bar, when I was a kid, was this amazing cane one that my parents owned, complete with two swivel stools and one puffy orange stool (that may partially explain then initial development of my love for my favourite colour).

This is not the original set, but rather one found on the internet.  It is apparently originally from this Etsy Site that has such cute things.  Anyhow.  As I was saying.  Similar but not the same.

It had curved corners and a sideways door that hinged down and inside was the most amazingly shaped bottles and pariphenalia - it didn't actually contain that much alcohol, more curios.  It also had very scarred rattan panels as it was the perfet material for our cat Gabby to sharpen his claws against.

It was not about the liquor.  It was never about the liquor.  It was about everything around that part of the house.

It was forbidden territory.  It housed this little fridge with timber veneer and a cool ice cube tray.  It had the good glasses.  It was rumoured to have even hidden Christmas presents.

(Before you read any further, a WARNING - there are images of alcohol coming up.   

Not very good images.  Not very good as in technically, they are crap pictures.

However, if you feel that images of alcohol in general fall into the category of "not very good images", if this offends you or causes you discomfort in any way, I suggest you and I quietly part ways with no malice or regret - I won't hold it against you if you can find it within yourself to accept there are differences in humanity and tomorrow is another day.  I apologise for inadvertently causing you any unintended consequence.

If you are under 18 and/or a child of mine, you are also encouraged to go and talk to your responsible adult about the dangers of looking upon images of such)

In Mum and Dad's dream house, they have a new Liquor Cabinet.

It is worthy of the accolade.

When I was zhushing up Mum and Dad's Dream Home, the Saturday night after children were in bed was dedicated to doing the kitchen and the living room.

It was nearing midnight when I got to that particular corner of the living room that was the new beholder of the status.

I methodically took out all contents, dusted and washed and de-cobwebbed* as I had a plan with the reorganisation.

Come wander with me through the contents...

My first every inebriated status was attained with the assistance of this particular substance.

The one on the right hand side (and as it was my only ever experience of consciously choosing to drink that particular beverage, I have never even contemplated the one on the left). 

Colloquially known as "square bear", this is a standard for any self-respecting bar that caters for the average local or my brother.  I actually get to drive past the factory that makes this most days.  I get to smell it too if the wind is up.

I grew up with my parents sharing the "after work" drink of Scotch and Dry.  As a result, they often receive a surplus of this come Christmas, and occasionally the giver doesn't know that the label of choice is not properly represented in this assortment.  There is only a teeny tiny bottle stolen from some mini-bar representing it.  That is because Dad keeps the real bottle of Johnny Walker in the kitchen, of course.

A winery had the name of one of our favourite horses for a variety.  As a result, several bottles were purchased and/or given to them.

I had to smile - Pottique was a truly beautiful mare.

The local vinyard's sticky offering and a rather dodgy sounding liqueur fit rather neatly inside

The cute box that was taking up space doing nothing but looking pretty.

Check. Out. That. Label.

So good I took it twice.  THIS is how to sell wine!

I remember when we went to Kellermeister.  It was 1986.  I was in the National Rowing Finals and Mum and Dad came down to watch.  We had one day off so we went on a driving tour around the wineries.  I nearly typed winderies, and it was really.

I had actually thought that that was a 27 year old bottle of wine - but guess what?

You can still buy this wine in this packaging - when you are on a winning formula, hey?

Ah, Brown Brothers port.  Honestly, a great accessory for any bar.  Vintage too.  Check out the cork!!

(And look, I got artistic on the angle at that point)

This should go in the "well, its getting late and I am still seeing a WHOLE HEAP of this room that needs your attention" section.

I know for a fact that the Sherry on the right is used in cooking far, far, far more often than drunk, and I can't remember a time in my LIFE when my parents have suggested a snifter of Drambuie - no doubt a present that either reflects a phase that one of their children was going through or a stranger shooting wildly in the dark.

Ah, now these - these are now openly on display in another part of the room altogether - for these are not alcohol receptacles but conversation starters.

The bottle of Pisco Sour is all about the concept rather than the concoction.  It is about my parents travelling to South America and Mum being a tourist and LOVING the shape and history and story that the figurine on the left is telling.

The (empty) bottle of Opera @ Cania is a memory of a picnic and cultural opportunity at a local tourist destination.  They were going to have another this year, but the lack of a major sponsor and poor ticket sales (in a region devastated by flood earlier this year - and that has been pummelled by drought, dairy industry debacles, previous floods and politics) has meant that the risk cannot be borne and it has been cancelled.  I do hope that the stars align that this event does happen again, because there should be more bottles like this.

And, you know, I was powering so frantically that I didn't touch a DROP.  I swear.

(* By the way, is it only me, or does anyone else see these home shows and think "but what about the spider's webs" and marvel at the arachnid repelling-qualities that seem to exist in the homes of the rich?  Daddy-long-legs might be pretty and unable to kill you, but they have a downside that seems unrivalled by the most ferocious of the venomous spidey)

This post has been submitted to the Digital Parents Blog Carnival
Digital Parents Blog Carnival
Hosted this month by Bel and Nic at Mums Take Five


Kelly said...

My father wasn't able to drink, so no cabinet in my childhood home.

I'm afraid the liquor cabinet in MY house amounts to the bottle of tequila sitting on the kitchen counter! That and the fridge on the back porch (where the beer is kept). Even though I do love a good Margarita, I'm pretty much a beer gal.

I enjoyed your "tour" and did recognize a few of the labels. That Sable (which I didn't recognize) is a hoot!

BUSH BABE said...

Great post - I nodded and giggled the whole way though! Am astounded that you discovered a bar set almost EXACTLY like our old one... well done you! And readers, I think a round of applause is in order for midnight liquor cabinet sorting that did NOT involve any swallowing, don't you?

Anonymous said...

What a nice trip through memory lane jeanie ;) You paint such beautiful word pictures!

Debby said...

I thought the artistic angle was achieved after sampling. I love this post. Family story: My grandpa had given up drinking after being backed into a corner by my born-again grannie. So one day, he came to visit my father. After a perfectly ordinary visit, he said, "Don't you have a bottle of panther piss somewhere?" And my father had no clue what he was talking about. Grampa got a bit impatient and agitated, but a couple shots settled him right back down.

jeanie said...

I didn't realise my OWN response to this post and all of your comments went ether-wise!!

Kelly - Tequila on the kitchen bench, eh? I am a very s-l-o-w drinker of whatever I am imbibing, so beer tends to go flat unless shared.

BB - I am very sad that I couldn't find the exact one - remember spinning on the chairs when Mum wasn't looking?

Thank you anonymous - it is my medium of choice.

Debby - Panther Piss? Wow, what sort of hooch did your Dad brew?! (BTW I think you should blog what you sent in the related email)