Before I started working at a radio station, my alcoholic beverage of choice was dark rum.
It was for an interview for a higher position at the station that I was introduced to good tequila and never looked back.
The station manger took me to lunch to interview me, suggested tequila and since I wanted the job, I bravely drank three shots with him during our meal and discussion.
By the time he got the check, I had the job, a buzz and never went back to rum.
So when I walked into Julep tonight to meet a friend for dinner, the last thing I expected was a high end rum tasting.
Unbeknownst to me, once a month Julep's master mixologist does a tasting of one kind or another and I had happened into it.
They were doing a three-course prix fixe menu to accompany the five rums (Oronoco Platinum, Leblon Cachaca, Depaz Blue Cane Agricole, Mt. Gay Extra Old and Gosling's Family Reserve) during the course of the evening.
Was it possible rum was trying to reenter my life at this point?
When my friend arrived, he preferred to go the wine and regular menu route, so, it being half priced bottle night, we ordered the Arrocal Ribera del Duero and were delighted with the Temperanillo's lovely fruit and silky tannins.
We both started with the creamy sweetwater crab soup; he went on to the tempura shrimp and grits while I got the wild-rice encrusted oysters with a roasted shallot tartar sauce and Georgia peach migonette.
Both were wonderful and my oyster portion was enormous (so I shared).
For dessert, we had the chocolate marquise with the rest of the wine.
I had chosen the bar stool directly in front of mixologist Bobby to watch him prepare the three food courses for the rum tasters.
Having seen him turn out amazing- smelling dishes for the rum tasters for hours by this point, it was now time to avail ourselves of his talents.
My friend ordered the Gatsby's Finest (Hendrick's Small Batch Gin, Lillet Blanc, Chartreuse Yellow and Bobby's homemade chili jam), mainly because he had discovered how labor-intensive the chili jam was.
I had a taste only for rum given the evening's focus, so I simply got the Gosling's Family Reserve straight up, which Bobby referred to as "the best rum you will ever taste," so I had to find out.
Considering how many years since I've had rum, I was blown away.
It started out smelling of molasses, then got terribly complex, but never sweet, always dry.
Aged a minimum of ten years in Bermuda (ouch, painful memories there) and a slight burn on the finish, it was like no rum I'd ever had.
The other guests for the tasting were definitely liquor/restaurant geeks and we chatted with most of them throughout the evening.
One, in particular, was wearing the handsomest vintage smoking jacket and corduroy pants I could ever hope to see in Richmond.
As we were leaving, we stopped to speak to him and his date about the rum, the food and his magnificent wardrobe.
As I headed toward the door, my friend lingered for a bit more conversation about the jacket and, inexplicably, their chatting deteriorated almost immediately into the topic of nooners.
Motioning toward my receding back, the jacket-wearer told my friend, "With legs like that, I'd be nailing her for lunch every day."
Just as I got to the door, my quick-thinking friend said, "I know, but I can't. She's my sister."
Final score of the day for the pink tights.