Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I had not expected to meet George that afternoon because I had not planned to be at the Main Street Bistro bar at 3:30 one day last week. But at the bar I was and I was not alone; two ladies had come to watch the Ranger playoff game together.
Main Street is just that-kind-of-place.
A wine rep was sitting on the stool which very shortly would become George's seat, as it is many afternoons around fourish. She had several bottles lined up, her laptop was propped open displaying what looked like pages of inventory on the screen, and she and the young bartender were giving swirls from each bottle some serious consideration.
Do I have good luck or what? The Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc tasting she graciously shared with me was really good...
The rep left and George arrived. I knew before we were introduced that the man a few seats to my right was George. The picture I had formed in my mind of this stranger was spot-on. He was older, as I'd expect a man who knows his gin to be, and he was wearing a jacket. In a bistro, even on a warm afternoon, an old world gentleman always wears a jacket. I liked him instantly.
Ann and Cindy would like him too, I know they would. They are two dear friends and they are the primary reason I wanted to meet George. You see, they like gin. Boodles, specifically. I'd say Ann leans toward a Friday night gin and tonic, Cindy toward an occasional dry martini.
I've been on a mission to learn about Hendricks gin, thinking my two friends in spite of their devotion to all-things-British, might enjoy this gin from Scotland, if the taste holds up to the great press it gets.
"What makes Hendricks so good? What makes Hendricks different?" I'd been asking the bistro's bartenders. "You should talk to George," they'd say.
As George sipped a martini, we talked gin. He was a wealth of information; he says only because he's been drinking gin for a lot of years. I learned it's made from juniper berries and that many people who can usually drink without difficulty, can't tolerate gin because of their sensitivity to juniper.
Main Street Bistro does not carry Boodles but George assurred me it's similar to Bombay and many other fine gins. Hendricks though, isn't. Fans of Hendricks, really love it, and those who don't, stick to gin like Boodles he said. "It's all about the aromatics," George explained as he asked the bartender to pour me a sample of each gin.
I smelled the Bombay first and immediately recalled the grappa I'd had too much of in Florence. All I could smell was alcohol. Then I smelled the shot of Hendricks. It was fresh! What were those scents; rosemary or pine? A touch of citrus?
A half hour or so passed. George and I continued to chat, a regular whose son is an area chef joined us, the baseball game ended and the ladies left.
I left knowing I like Hendricks gin which it turns out is infused with rose and cucumber. I left knowing I like George. What I didn't know when I said goodbye and walked out of the bistro was which gin George prefers! So one afternoon soon, I'll pop into Main Street Bistro, take a seat at the bar and wait for him to show up.
It's just that-kind-of-place.
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