Drinking Houston means great beer, spirits and wine procured at Premium Draught and Spec’s. And the great Islay pour I first experienced at Warren’s Inn in Old Market Square downtown, remains the great dram I pour in my library. Ah, Laphroaig! Especially the Cask Strength.
Drinking Houston with books has been a mainstay for me throughout my years in Bayou City especially with a briny and peaty classic paired with Samuel Beckett, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich and James Wright. Though my favorite Laphroaig pairing with a book remains the 10 year old with the exquisite and dug-down-deep-in-the-world poetry of Robin Robertson in his collected Sailing the Forest.
Woodford Reserve also pairs well with the brilliantly labyrinthine worlds of Jorge Luis Borges.
When I sit down in the library on particular nights and relive the thrill of Sherlock Holmes, in the paperback edition my mother read as I rested in her womb waiting for the world of drinking, I like to pair a Taylor Fladgate Port and AJ Fernandez San Lotano Maduro cigar. Ah, the curling smoke, ah the dark red glass of raisins and brown bread, ah the speckled band.
Drinking Houston inhales and exhales beer, great Texas-brewed beer such as divine glasses from Adelbert’s Brewery and their “Blackberry Barrel of Love” paired with heroes, death, grace, and the gods.
With a Brazilian wife, besides Swedish, trips to Rio frequently occur, and with those voyages top-shelf bottles of Cachaça appear in the house to immediately pair with Machado de Assis, Elizabeth Bishop and Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès.
Which brings us to the last note in Drinking Houston, where I tip my cap to the wonderful world of tequila and mezcal, two amazing distillations from the agave plant and certainly a great reason to live in the world of its making and drinking, and an offerings on their own to read. Look at the literature on the Mezcal Vago bottle.
And so goodbye to Houston with Lightnin’ Hopkins‘ “Baby, Please Don’t Go.” Au revoir!