But what the hell were we drinking in the ’00s?

But what the hell were we drinking in the ’00s?
But what the hell were we drinking in the ’00s?

Awaiting the results of the Panhellenic, my first adult holiday found me in Paros, not an original destination for those who graduated from High School in 2010 ‒ maybe now the must-visit islands at this age have changed, maybe not, I don’t know . But the place is of little importance, given the euphoria you feel when you live the first summer when you decide where to eat, where to swim and above all what to drink. Even if you don’t want to make even half of the choices you made back then, you definitely remember them.

What I have retained from those August days is that we had taken a load of clothes and some huge suitcases that I have years to use, that we played racquets on the beach, which now blows my mind when I hear them, that we only bathed where the transportation of the island and despite all that we were excited, as I also remember the first adult drinks we drank without the supervision of anyone, neither guardians nor teachers. Five girls, many bags filled with Gordon Space.

For those who haven’t seen it in its glory, it’s a bottled drink, a combination of gin, lemon and ginger with only 5% alcohol, the same as a conventional beer. But we didn’t drink beers, the time had come, we thought, to start the “serious” drinks. We consumed them at home, on the steps we found to hang out in Naoussa, before drinking margaritas in a bar, one each, because we considered them too hard alcohol for us ‒ and they were.

We looked for openers, found out that they can open our bottles at the booth, played nice and kept giving each other money that wasn’t ours, rattled making a sound I’ve heard for years, or so I think.

I certainly won’t forget how lucky we felt choosing to drink something we never asked for again, nevertheless it has made us stories that at least I am still discussing with the following writers, while we meet in bars that know fine drinking and often represent and prove how much strong is the Athenian bar scene, that it has nothing to envy from other cities that are famous for it.

I certainly won’t forget how lucky we felt choosing to drink something we never asked for again, nevertheless it has made us stories that at least I am still discussing with the following writers, while we meet in bars that know fine drinking and often represent and prove how much strong is the Athenian bar scene, that it has nothing to envy from other cities that are famous for it.

And while we try perfect G&Ts (and we also have an opinion on where they serve it properly and where not), margaritas that are deliciously reminiscent of leche de tigre, while we have done a thesis on the negroni and are now giving opportunities to its white variants and those that replace the gin with mezcal or sake, while we sometimes poke fun at ourselves by saying that none of us imagined we’d be the ones documenting where-you-drink-experiences, because some of ours have been linked to drink pairings that we’ll remember for other reasons ‒ only what we were thinking when we made them we can’t take back.

When Maro Paraskeuudi mixed Smirnoff North and “champagne”

Maro Paraskevoudi

Drinks that bring back scary memories of how we used to drink and get drunk in the ’90s’: I think that’s how I could describe our booze choices before we knew what fine drinking was, with all those flashbacks we’re having about the early days. years of our adulthood.

Colored syrups, tons of sugar, bottles with names like “Ursus” and “North”, combinations that now would at least send me to stomach washing, were the norm for some years of our lives.

I don’t know how and why Smirnoff North appeared in bars, a drink that looks like mouthwash and that if you have a little brain you definitely don’t want to drink. Let alone downing an entire bottle of shots with two of your girlfriends, along with “champagne” of dubious quality. The passage to the North took a while – like a holiday in Mykonos, since she didn’t really want to send you away – but my loathing for her will last forever

Caprice, Mykonos, circa 2005. The last thing I remember was the line “let’s go for a relaxing drink after the sea”. I think half an hour was enough to spend money we wouldn’t give now even to eat fresh fish, combining Smirnoff North and very cheap sparkling wine. Something the smile of the bartender, something the complete lack of taste buds and conscience, we drank without a second thought.

The result; To leave the frenzied company and walk aimlessly to get some air or find somewhere to rest, as if I was playing in a video clip of the time, with an eye on infinity, when around me (I thought) everything was developing very quickly.

If there’s one thing I’m glad about, it’s that there were no smartphones on the holidays of my youth, only a photographer showing the films and surely playing some silent judgment ‒ in my case there was no evidence. After that, Smirnoff North went on the list of drinks I never want to see again in my life. I imagine many will identify with me.

Babis Doukas once asked for Drambuie Cream at a consommé bar

Babis Doukas
Babis Doukas

“Dram buidheach.” This particular Gaelic phrase translates to “the drink that satisfies” and is what gave Drambuie its name, at least its creators claim, as my Gaelic isn’t yet up to the point where I can judge for myself.

The spirit in question, somewhere between whiskey and liqueur, was also my first personal “satisfying drink”, in an initial, but rather serious acquaintance with the sport, already in my teenage years. At the turn of the millennium, you see, booze starred in TV commercial breaks, “responsible drinking” could be considered anything from funny to derisive in places like Aetoloakarnania where I grew up, and no one was going to block access to alcohol to a minor. Probably because, always talking about the same geographical area, he would receive threats to his physical integrity.

I’m joking obviously, and to be clear, these stereotypes have changed since then, as has the sale of alcohol to under-eighteens.

Anyway, the feel of Scotch whiskey along with hints of spices and herbs, plus the addition of honey, warmed my palate and psyche from the early stages of my near-adult life. And this led me to look for more and more evidence about the under-explored planet Drambuie, which provoked my palette and curiosity. Somewhere around there, Drambuie Cream entered my life. What exactly is it or, more correctly, was it?

A version of the aforementioned drink with the addition of cream. Kind of like a Baileys whiskey you know. Gradually, for some unexplained reasons, I started to like it more and more, so much so that it replaced the plain version, while surprisingly you could find it in several cafes/bars in the countryside.

The peak of my relationship with Drambuie Cream, however, was when I ordered it from the kind of business that still thrives in many parts of the venerable Greek region ‒ yet another unusual choice in the context of exploring the world in the middle of its second decade of life. signatory. “Drumboy cream is finished” was the answer I received from the sympathetic employee with the heavy Eastern-European accent behind the bar and somewhere there I began to understand (among other things) that not all hours are the same.

The Drambuie Cream did not eventually hit the market, fading quietly, washing up both on the Isle of Skye and on the beaches on the west coast of Greece. But he will always live in our hearts. Or not.

Vassilis Kouroumihakis remembers that the picturesque Venetian harbor of Chania once had an abundance of Ursus Roter

Vassilis Kouroumihakis
Vassilis Kouroumihakis

Let’s start by breaking open doors, no one can really be proud of the aesthetic imprint they left in their adolescence and early adulthood. This blanket admission exonerates all the bad, very bad choices we once made.

And all of us who came of age during the glorious years of the 2004 Olympics and the Euros are even luckier, because not even the older ones feel any sincere nostalgia for the aesthetic choices of the time, especially in the food/drink part. Having emerged clean from the pool of Siloam, completely freed from our sins, we can take a self-deprecating look back at that time.

Being the last generation with no 24/7 internet access, no social media, the main influence on our lifestyle was advertising. We’re of course talking about good glossy magazine advertising and prime time television, where liquor advertising had been reduced to a higher art form ‒ the ’00s were the golden age of the Greek Don Draper.

That’s how we met Ursus Roter, the surprise from Iceland. Especially for the province and the island where the writer grew up, the relatively small phase difference with which Ursus Roter entered our cellars compared to the corresponding Athenian ones was another confirmation of the success of the Second Community Support Framework. The distance of Greece from Europe was annihilated, as was the distance of Chania from Athens.

As a product it checked all the boxes to become our favorite drink. In addition to the relentless advertising and unrelenting FOMO it engendered, it had a low alcohol content and a sweet taste, prerequisites for virgins in the sport.

Of course these two features also produced the quietest hangover ever, but that’s another story. Its ruby ​​color gave a playful tone to our glass, mainly giving us the illusion that we were drinking something very different from the usual.

We didn’t want to drink the same drinks as our parents and the combination of vodka and juice from various red fruits seemed like something very young in our eyes. Luckily we left the Ursus Roter behind us before the internet found out that what we were drinking was nothing more than a bottled version of the Cape Codder, the long drink with vodka and cranberry juice, the unofficial drink of midlife WASPs. Ultimately the illusions of our youth can become very self-deprecating in their denial.

*Whatever age you are, enjoy responsibly, don’t forget.

The article is in Greek

Tags: hell drinking #00s

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