It’s been a very long time since I’ve been to a bar. Last year in July infact. Why? The reason is money. After the two year alcohol ban in bars and hotels in the state that are not 5 star (a fucking stupid decision by the stupid old corrupt asshole who formed the government in Kerala bowing down to pressure from equally corrupt and hypocritical asshole organizations) the hotels and bars have jacked up the prices of alcohol and beer once the current government allowed the ban to be curbed.
As the tax is now higher the bars and hotels have (or rather not have to, they can reduce it quite a bit) chosen to charge you premium money for drinking in their establishments. So why go to bars and pay Rs.200 to Rs.300 for a can or a 650 bottle of Heineken, Carslberg, Touborg or Budweiser when you can go to the Bevco and buy them for Rs.90 to Rs.100 or Rs.130 (for Heineken) and drink it at home in the comfort of wearing you lungi or shorts? That’s what I have been doing for a while.
I go once every two months with my cousin to a Chinese restaurant called Golden Dragon for beers and good food. But yesterday was the first time I have been to a bar in a while. The Blue Rock Resto Bar inside the Olive Downtown hotel is an awesome place that started in December of last year. This is an awesome bar where you can watch some football on their tvs and enjoy a few. But things are expensive.
We had 4 Heinekens which were expensive at Rs.380 but we got one of them free as it was Happy Hours at the time. I am disgusted at the prices but it was the stupid old men in power who made this happen. They steal from the people and can afford to go to expensive bars and enjoy while we want to save money. Anyways, the bar gives you free potato sticks in a bowl that they filled after we finished the first one. We ordered a grilled chicken and veggie platter as the appetizer. It was good but I must admit that I enjoyed the grilled veggies and potato wedges more than the chicken. It came with a small bowl of their bbq sauce or gravy which was awesome.
Later we ordered a fried pizza, which is more like a calzone and though it was not what we were expecting, it was tasty. We were there for almost 3.5 hours after which we were both sleepy and hence left. We also stopped for some donuts at the cafe beneath the bar and then went to our respective homes.
The man behind the most iconic alcoholic beverage of India passed away. Brigadier (retd.) Kapil Mohan, former Chairman and MD of Mohan Meakin Ltd and the man behind the rum Old Monk, passed away on January 6. He was 88 years old.
Old Monk Rum was the very first alcoholic drink that I ever drank, other than beer ofcourse. I was 19 and my much older cousin brother gave me two tall glasses of rum+cokes on ice (or was it rum+coke+lime) and I loved the taste. And ofcourse I got tipsy after the 1st glass. After that first taste, I started drinking rum on a weekly or bi weekly basis and Old Monk was my rum of choice.
The choice of most guys in my age group in Kerala (and it seems a lot other Indians agreed too) was Old Monk rum. Rum was cheaper than most other alcoholic beverages. So many evenings or afternoons spent in a bar drinking 3-4 rum+cokes on ice and deep fried beef. Oh those were the days when drinking out didn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Good memories! Cheers to the life of Brigadier (retd.) Kapil Mohan. Thank you, sir.
I ofcourse love the various frappes I can get from Cafe Coffee Day, Kawaha, Cocoa Tree and the like. I love the Peace Ice Tea from Galitos (always get them when I go there) and the recent one was the Peach & Passion Fruit Ice Tea from Double Roti. Too many shakes to mention here.
I was going through some old photos that I had uploaded in one of my Flickr accounts. My first Flickr account actually. I had uploaded pics from my Motorola Razor and then my Blackberry Curves and Blackberry Bold in it. I spent a good hour going through those pics and they brought a smile to my face. I’ve decided to showcase some of those pics here (though I may have posted them in my old Blogspot blog).
First up is an odd to an iconic beer – the Kingfisher. Granted that they are no longer my first choice when it comes to beer (or second or third or ….6th even) but they are still an icon. I spent many years drinking these beers until we started getting the Carlsbergs, Tuborgs, Millers and Heinekens. Nowadays I only drink Kingfisher if there are no other options left but still, I do value them. Here are two pics I took back in 2006.
Do you remember your first sip of alcohol? Of any kind? This is irrespective of whether you are a drinker now or if you don’t indulge at all.
When I was 15 I drank some whiskey by accident. I had just come back from school and I had changed my clothes as I was going out with an uncle to pick up by dad at the railway station. So I got ready and came down and just before we left, I rushed to the fridge and grabbed a bottle to drink some cold water, opened it and poured some down my throat – only to spit it out!
You see it wasn’t water but whiskey! I felt the burning sensation as it hit my tongue and throat and out came everything. The reason I took that bottle by mistake was we had this rather looking whiskey bottle which had a cork instead of a regular bottle cap. Once the bottle was empty of whiskey my mother had rinsed it out and washed it thoroughly and we used to keep it our fridge filled with water. It was my favourite bottle to drink water from as I rather liked the cork style bottles.
The culprit was my uncle who had come in my home that morning with a brand new bottle of the same distillery. He meant to keep it for my dad but also had a little himself in the afternoon while he was visiting with my mom, his sister. The rest he meant to keep it for dad. And I hadn’t noticed that there were two same bottles in the fridge and picked the one that I saw and got a nasty surprise. And that’s how I had my first taste of alcohol!
In a major move, the Kerala government on Thursday approved the new liquor policy under which all closed down bars in three and four -star hotels would be allowed to reopen. The timing of the bars has been changed from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., while in tourist places it will get an hour’s extension, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. The minimum age to drink liquor has also been raised from 21 years to 23. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, announcing the new policy, said he has full regard for the anti-liquor campaigners but “this is not a feasible and practical solution” and hence they were forced to come out with the new policy. He said toddy will be allowed to be served in star hotels, which was not allowed earlier.
These bars were closed two years ago during the previous Congress-led government, which sought to make Kerala a “dry” state with total prohibition on alcoholic drinks by 2023. Only five-star hotels were permitted to serve liquor. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said prohibition has been ineffective around the world because the record shows people go to any extent to get high, even narcotics. His government would rather give priority to abstinence than a blanket ban. “The previous government’s liquor policy was a flop, statistics show. There was no let-up in consumption. Besides, we have to consider the plight of 40,000 employees working in the sector,” he said.
The Congress, which is in the opposition now, rejected the chief minister’s remarks. “Our government closed the outlets in view of the alarming consumption rate. This government removed all restrictions. It is suicidal,” party leader Ramesh Chennithala said. Church organisations too criticised the government’s move, saying it is chasing money at the expense of people’s health. Liquor revenue accounts for around 25% of the Rs 40,000 crore the state earns from various taxes and services.
Yesterday was the final rituals for my uncle who passed away on Monday. As I arrived late from work, I woke up late and after a coffee and a shave and a shower later, I left for Thrikkakara in an Uber. I reached there by 11:30 am and had a light breakfast as some of the other had just finished theirs. After a bunch of prayers and stuff which I never partake in at his house, we took my uncle’s ashes to the river banks of the Periyar where his brothers placed his ashes in a clay pot and dropped it in the waters.
We came back to the house and setup the lunch for everyone. Me and my cousins also served our elders as well and we were grateful for the simple rice and curries as it was almost 3pm by then. We stayed there for a couple of hours more. My uncles wanted to get some drinks in the night and called my cousins and me for a discussion. One of my cousins has a small hall her can hire for the night at his apartment complex and made the arrangements. He also called a local caterer he knows to make fried rice, beef fry, chilli chicken, chicken roast, veggie curry, curd salad and chappatthi for dinner. Plus there was ice cream.
Another two cousins bought Smirnoff vodka and signature whiskey. The caterer also arrange bottles of cold water, soda and lots of Sprite and ice ofcourse. We drank and we ate and we played some dumb charades. It was fun. It was a cool night in a scorching & humid summer. It was what we needed after the emotional week we have had. We had some fun for over 3 hours and then found Ubers to take us back home.
Captain Picard was into Earl Grey tea; mention the Dude and we think: White Russians. What’s your signature beverage — and how did it achieve that status?
And Captain Janeway’s was coffee while James Bond had his vodka martinis. Me? I too like vodkas and my poison is vodka and Sprite on the rocks.
How did it happen? Simple. When I first started drinking, after beer I ventured into rum & coke in my 20s. Well I actually first had it when I was 19 but started more into it in my early 20s. Rum was cheap and it was popular and everyone was drinking it. Well, whoever was into his scotch or brandy. So I drank a lot of Old Monk from age 21 till 28.
When I was about 27 I happened to try some vodka and liked it but it was almost a year later when I settled on vodka and 7up and then Sprite on the rocks as my drink of choice. I would get some at the bar/restaurant below my offices that I worked at the time and order some beef and fried rice on certain nights. It was awesome. Every bar I went to I ordered vodka. I started buying vodka to keep at home as the bars have all closed down due to the ban in effect by our stupid previous state government.
Vodka & Sprite – everyone who knows me well knows cialis pricing
that it’s my drink.
The Knock Out Jab Wheat Ale with light fruity flavours and Cobra Punch Dark Ale a dark ale brewed with dark hops & malts are from the Soi7 Brewery & Pub DLF Cyber Mall in Gurgaon. This are two video reviews I thought I had lost in March – turns out I accidentally saved it in another folder. Here you go, watch the videos.
A nice quiet weekend spent mostly at home. I came back home a little later than my shift on Friday but couldn’t get to sleep for a long time for no reason. I kept waking up as it is. Anyways, I had some quiet time planned for myself as I was alone at home. Saturday morning I woke up at 7 am and drank the first of my two morning coffees and ate a simple sandwich of white bread and cucumbers before showering and getting dressed. I hailed an Uber to take me to Gandhinagar where the self-service BevCo is located.
I also wanted to try the SupplyCo first which is right next door but they seemed to have less stuff than BevCo and also they didn’t have any cans so I went to the BevCo. They didn’t have an beer cans either but I ended up buying 5 650ml bottles of beers – 2 Carslbergs, 2 British Empire (a beer I have never tried before) and a Miller. I also bought a 600ml of Smirnoff’s Apple vodka and went to the counter and paid. My Uber was still waiting for me and he dropped me back home. And it wasn’t a high charge at all so this is what I plan to do going forward once a month.
I was back in my apartment 10 minutes before noon as the drive is not far and I took all of what 10 minutes inside BevCo. I put my beers into the fridge (although I had to keep one on the counter as there wasn’t enough space) and my vodka in a cupboard and changed my clothes. I then ordered a large cheese & bbq chicken pizza from Dominos and had to wait a while as I was out of the guaranteed area for the 30 minutes delivery. The pizza took about an hour by which time I was hungry so I had already bought some snack from the local grocery store / tea shop as I was starving by then. By 1:45 pm I had half my pizza and a beer before watching part of a movie and then fell asleep for an hour.
Evening coffee was followed by EPL football and a beer with the rest of the pizza for dinner. Then I watched some tv show episodes and went to sleep by 1am. Sunday I basically had only buns and coffee.