Some people feel and taste colors. Other people associate feelings with sounds. Me? Well, I drink in music. In this blog series, I pour myself a glass and pair 10 sips to 10 songs. Today, I’m drinking gin and it tastes like tinny synthesizers and sticky lyrics.
Gin is made from the adorable Juniper berry, which is why it tastes as if you accidentally sprayed your mouth with a product from Bath and Body Works. Yet, when it’s properly mixed, whether in a martini or a gimlet, it is quite splendid. It also makes you feel quite British, apparently.
Although it was invented by the Dutch for medicinal purposes, it was the English that perfected its recreational use. My, my how things change.
Speaking of recreation, I’m not a gin drinker at all. If I recall correctly, my first sip of gin happened when I mistook someone’s drink for mine and immediately spit-sprayed it out. Since then I’ve tried gin-based martinis with Tanqueray and I once ordered a Tom Collins made with Bombay Sapphire only because I wanted to drink a character from Rent. And now, for the scientific purposes of this blog series, I set out to a pub (it was just the restaurant bar), where a nice young chap named Jorge prepared a proper gin and tonic made with Beefeater London Dry Gin.
Laid back, with my mind on my pounds and my pounds minding my head, I scribbled notes as I imbibed my first ten sips of gin and later paired them to music that smartly captured what I was tasting and feeling.
Sip 1 – Daffodils by Mark Ronson
When I ordered the gin and tonic, the bartender gave me a nod, like I had given him the secret password. I felt very demure and put together, especially when I asked him for the Beefeater brand gin. When the drink arrived, I brought it up to my nose and immediately wondered why I thought this blog series would be a good idea. Without further delay, I took my first sip and the flavors rushed through my mouth like the forceful bass line of Daffodils.
Sip 2 – Number 1 by Goldfrapp
The taste of gin always confuses me, just like this song. I’m not sure whether to dance to it or sing along with Goldfrapp. If I’m her number one, why does she sound sad about it? Similarly, the second sip was filled with doubt.
Sip 3 – F For You by Disclosure
The third sip was much stronger than the first two. I tasted more of those strange flavors and became perplexed about what exactly I was ingesting. I had to reassure the bartender when he came over to ask me if my drink was okay. Perhaps it was the expression on my face or the fact that I was scribbling forcefully into my little notebook. “It’s delicious, thank you,” I assured him. I lied, of course.
Sip 4 – I’m an Albatroz by AronChupa
By the fourth sip, I felt quite upbeat. The taste didn’t bother me as much as it did before and I couldn’t help but relax, which is rare for me to do at a bar, especially when conducting such a serious experiment like this one. I felt one side of my mouth curl up in mischievousness. If I had a mustache, I would’ve curled the tips up at this point.
Sip 5 – Human by Aquilo
I got a flirty look from across the bar, which charged me up with enough confidence to strike up a conversation with a barfly. This drink is turning out to be my magic feather.
Sip 6 – The Lovecats by The Cure
I looked down at my glass after my sip and stared at it with apologetic eyes. “I’m sorry I didn’t take you seriously before,” I told the gin and tonic, telepathetically. “It’s just that me and vodka, well, we were exploring monogamy, but clearly I’ve been missing out.”
One sip later, I was over gin again. Even with all of the new found love and confidence, like the song says, “I’m not whole” with this drink. I realized that I probably would never order this again, so I decided to enjoy the moment, like a fleeting affair.
But really, by sip number eight I was ready to be done with the experiment.
Sip 9 – Let Me Go by Heaven 17
By the next to last sip, my belongings were already packed neatly on the bar. What went wrong gin? We were doing so well? Now it felt like the morning after, scrambling to find my other shoe without waking you up.
Sip 10 – Millennium by Robbie Williams
I finished the last gulp and looked at the glass one last time as I set it down. Thanks gin, it was nice, but I think I’m going to patch things up with vodka.
Below is a full list of the 10 songs for my 10 sips:
If you missed my music parings for whiskey, click here.