Hearing in paired: Aguardiente

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 aguardiente and it tastes like a rapid fire snare drum and a hard-edged guitar.

IMG_7268Why in God’s name am I drinking 10 sips of the infamous Colombian anise-based, firewater known as aguardiente? Because I’m training for a friend’s bachelorette party.

With the same fervor that thirty-somethings train for marathons (or sport injuries related to training for marathons), I am fully committed to increasing my tolerance of high-pitched squeals (the kind that happen during male stripper performances) and alcohol. Being the Samantha Jones of the group is a heavy responsibility, which is why I turned to the toughest trainer I could find, Aguardiente Cristal. Now, before I transform into a fire-breathing dragon for this experiment, some background on Colombia’s national drink…

Colombian aguardiente, affectionately called guaro, is derived from sugarcane and flavored with anise. Its alcohol content can start at 29 percent and reach upwards of 60. However, when it makes contact with your mouth, it’s closer to Premium 93 Octane gasoline. Cristal, the brand I drink, is the largest selling Aguardiente in the U.S. It is made with molasses from Colombia’s sugarcane fields, mixed with anise and alcohol. Then, after being transported, delivered and purchased it is placed in my mouth, where the powerful black licorice-taste will remain for seven days.

Without further ado, here are my 10 sips of aguardiente, each paired to songs that capture the essence of firewater.

Sip 1 – Break Stuff by Limp Bizkit This song opens with two ominous chords that sound like the guitar version of the theme from Jaws – perfectly capturing may stare into the clear liquid before my first sip. After I swallowed the liquid version of a great white shark, I screamed/grunted and sounded just like Fred Durst. Then my body shook out of anger, I imagined. I also mused about “accidentally” breaking the bottle. Would I have to continue with the experiment if I did?

Sip 2 – Steady As She Goes by The Raconteurs Deep breaths, precede the next sip. The first sip paved the way for the second one, but just like this mean guitar riff, it is a terribly jagged pill to swallow.

Sip 3 – Sour Cherry by The Kills This song opens with “Shout when you wanna get off the ride,” which was exactly what happened next. It was after my third sip when I shouted, “Oh my God, I think I’m going to die.”

Sip 4 – Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra) by The Vaccines After my fourth sip, I exhaled fire out of my nose. I’m pretty sure I lit a candle from across the room. I can pinpoint that the fire was coming from the pit of my stomach, because it felt like I had eaten a ThermaCare Heat Wrap for dinner.

Sip 5 – Mrs. Robinson by The Lemonheads A sloppy walk from the kitchen to the bathroom (more sloppy than usual), confirmed that the potent alcohol was now coursing through my veins. And it was alright. The jumpy bass of this punk cover of Mrs. Robinson is the perfect match to this sip: happy, messy and sweet.

Sip 6 – All Day And All Of The Night by The Kinks It was at this sip, infamous number six, when I became obsessed with dancing. “Take me out,” became the mantra. Never mind that it’s cold and still early, I was overwhelmed with the urge to put on make-up and leather leggings.

Sip 7 – My Sharona by The Knack After my seventh sip, I raided my closet looking for a Sofia Vergara-like outfit. This was difficult as I kept bobbing all around the house with a terrible attack of adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Was it the sugar? Was it the alcohol? Was it that no amount of cover up would hide my bright red face?

Sip 8 – Waiting for the End by Linkin Park During my burst of energy, I thought it would be a good idea to brush my teeth. This was obviously a horrifying mistake, like Linkin Park’s attempt at a soaring ballad, which I discovered during my eighth sip. Now I really wanted this whole experiment over.

Sip 9 – R U Mine? by Arctic Monkeys I took my ninth sip quickly after my eighth. And with the same intensity of the masterful drumming in this song, I felt a pang in my stomach. No pain, no gain, right?

Sip 10 – I’m a Rockstar, Watch My Videos, Buy My Records, Make Me Famous by superGARAGE A few minutes after my tenth sip, I had fallen (on the couch) and there was no getting up. Half-dressed and with nowhere to go, my drinking supervisor informed me that the entire house smelled like licorice, to which I replied, “good,” for no reason. Then, without prompting, I also informed her that I was just sitting down for a second and that I was going to continue getting ready shortly. She appropriately responded by bringing me a glass of water with a heaping side of stink eye. It all felt very rock ‘n’ roll at the moment.

Not so much the next morning.

Below is a full list of the 10 songs for my 10 sips:

Click if you missed my music parings for whiskeygin, vodkabeer, tequilawine and/or brandy.

Week 3 of the #WorldCup: I’m never going to dance again

The 2014 FIFA World Cup turned 3 weeks old, and while no one was bit this week, I feel like I’ve been chewed up and spat out by each and every one of my favorite teams.

Here’s a recap of my un-favorite things this week:

1. U.S.A. 

The red, white and blue lost to Belgium 1-2, mainly because we only had one person on our team, which happened to be Secretary of Defense, Tim Howard.

From cnn.com
From cnn.com


2. Mexico

Sadly, El Tri also lost 1-2 to the Netherlands. It was a long shot. I mean, they were playing against a team that is arguably the undeclared World Cup champion, as well as paid-off referees and a racist Dutch airline.

From ibtimes.com
From ibtimes.com


3. Chile

After 120 minutes of play that rendered Brazil and Chile tied at 1-1, a series of cruel and agonizing penalty kicks gave the win to the host country, and ripped La Roja‘s position as “Most Unlikely to Succeed,” (a position now solely held by Costa Rica).

From Brazil-Soccer.Reuters.com
From brazil-soccer.reuters.com


4. Colombia

And, as if it wasn’t enough to crush one Cinderella story, Brazil bitch-slapped Snow White in a resounding defeat of Colombia, 1-2. Sadly, Los Cafeteros are never going to dance again…at least not in this World Cup.


Missed last week?


Week 2 of the #WorldCup: Losers are Winners

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is now two weeks old, but I’m no where nearer to being an expert. As a matter of fact, the only team I was certain would advance was embarrassingly sent home with a bitten player. So, again, the only thing I know about this sport is that I know nothing.

Here’s a recap of my favorite things this week:

1. Biters

I mean, seriously. Why even bite around the bush? The biggest story this week was that an Uruguayan player came out as a vampire.


Maybe Luis Suarez was as distraught as I was that Italy bit the dust. At which point, I can’t blame him.



2. Tears

There was a poignant moment in the Colombia vs. Japan game when the replacement goalie came on the field to become the oldest player in World Cup history, but more importantly, to redeem himself after a heartbreaking loss in the 90’s.


3. Dumped

Half of Europe is on a plane home, and the other half is on their way to Brazil.

Courtesy of The Independent.
Courtesy of The Independent.

Although Spain, England, Portugal, and Italy have all been eliminated, their fans can temporarily cheer for Greece. That’s right, the Ivory Coast lost to Greece after a successful penalty kick in the dying minutes of their match. All because of a “foul” called on this play:

At least they are lucky.


4. Love/Hate

Cristiano Ronaldo taketh and giveth World Cup hopes. His fancy haircut scored a goal that secured the United States’ spot in the knock-out round.


5. This week’s winner is…

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! Despite the rhetoric of failing forward or losing to win, what this team has been able to accomplish is pretty impressive, against very daunting odds.


Read last week’s recap here.