It looks like another year has slipped by while I was busy killing brain cells and writing about it here. However, the cells that remain managed to hold onto a few things, which I present below in convenient list format...
What I've Learned in my Fifth Year of Boozeblogging
~ Bartending is really peopletending.
~ I don't particularly care which celebrity was spotted drinking a particular brand of vodka on some red carpet somewhere...but it's nice of all those liquor brand reps to email me about it anyway.
~ If you see a bottle of Chartreuse in a bar, rest assured that at least a third of it will be consumed by the staff.
~ Stuff like Twitter and Facebook are a fun way to keep in touch, but hanging out with your booze nerd buddies in person beats it hands down. (I actually learned this several years ago, but it bears repeating)
~ I drink Red Stag the way Cookie Monster eats cookies.
~ You can make a shot luge out of tofu.
~ If you set up a makeshift office in the Hotel Monteleone lobby, passersby will give you free samples of liquor. (Note: this may only apply during Tales of the Cocktail)
~ There is a real old-school thrill to buying locally-brewed beer in returnable bottles.
~ When people discover you write about cocktails, they will do things like describe in only the vaguest terms a drink they once had in 1994 at a dive bar in rural Ohio and expect you to immediately tell them its name and complete ingredient list.
~ People sitting three feet away from of a row of taps will ask, "What do you have on draft?"
~ Martin Cate recently commented that he doesn't drink out of pineapples at home ... but I'm not sure I believe him.
~ There is no shame in being on a first-name basis with the staff at your local liquor store.
~ Likewise, there is no shame in your 4-year-old son being on a first-name basis with the staff at your local liquor store.
~ How many bitters do I need? ALL OF THEM.
~ Rumors of the PLCB's imminent demise emerge every few years like clockwork. I'm not holding my breath.
~ Pittsburgh's cocktail scene continues to thrive and expand. If you claim there is nowhere to get a good drink in the 'Burgh, you simply aren't looking.
~ Still no consensus on how "orgeat" is pronounced.
~ I told a person from Australia where the good bars in Seattle and Portland are. I've never met the Australian person, and I've never been to Portland or Seattle. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that the internet was designed to help people drink more efficiently.
~ It appears not nearly as many people hate gin as they did five years ago.
~ Amari are the booze nerd equivalent of Pokémon.
~ You can never go wrong packaging alcohol in a skull-shaped container.
~ When I make them for myself, I violate almost every rule regarding the proper construction of a Martini.
~ If you own an ice crusher, it's a pretty good bet we can be pals.
~ It's not a bad deal having both a vodka and a whiskey distillery a short drive from your home.
~ For the fifth year running, I have to say that my fellow boozebloggers are some of the most friendly, generous, and all-around fun people I know. There's a hell of a lot more of them now than there were 5 years ago, and I hope they'll all still be around next year.