From Honey Lemon Tea to Single Malt

A few days ago, while I was sorting through my digital life, that spreads from Google Drive and Dropbox to the various social media profiles and my many blogs, I decided that it’s time to completely retire a couple of my less successful attempts at blogging from my younger days.

Le Café Matinal had the shortest lifespan of all my blogs, an attempt at transitioning from my first blog which was really a personal diary on blogspot, to a more mature style. With just a handful of posts, it doesn’t seem worth keeping alive, and so I bid adieu to it over the weekend. One post from Le Café Matinal, however, snagged my attention. Written in memory of shared drinks with Papa, it brought back many memories, especially a few days before his death anniversary.

I have since discovered a whole world of flavoured teas, with a new favourite every year, and now enjoy a glass of single malt, as much as I enjoy the Drambuie that led to that post, but the emotions remain unchanged. It seemed apt for me to re-publish the post today, in fond memory of those early mornings with Papa.

16/01/10 From Honey Lemon Tea to Honey flavoured Scotch Whisky

They say a son’s first drink should be with his father. I do not know if my brother’s first drink was with my father, but my first drink definitely was with my father. The very first forbidden sip of Rémy Martin stolen from my father’s glass, as my mother frowned disapprovingly at him, went down my throat like a shot of fire. Not sure if I liked that burning sensation, I stayed away from liqueurs for a long time after that…

Years later, awake at an unearthly hour of 4 am to study for some exams, despite a sore throat, I found myself presented with a mug of a warm honey golden liquid. I stared at it suspiciously. “Drink up, it will soothe your throat,” said Papa. The liquid flowed down my throat soothing my throat as Papa had said, and spreading a delicious warmth through my system. I was hooked. For years after that, if my father and I were both awake at the break of dawn, who ever woke up second, brewed and served the other some steaming honey lemon tea.

As time passed, my childhood dislike for alcohol slowly faded, and I took my first timorous step towards appreciating liqueurs and wines. One winter evening, I found myself coughing and wondering how I’d study the next morning, when Papa placed a goblet of a warm honey golden liquid in front of me. “Drink up, it will soothe your throat.” My mind raced back to that morning years ago, and without a moment’s hesitation I picked up the goblet and took a large swallow. The most delicious warm liquid raced down my throat leaving behind a fiery trial, as my mind took a leap back several years down the line to my first sip of Rémy Martin. Years later, Rémy Martin remains a favourite (even if last resort) home remedy for a sore throat, even if my companion is no more.

Last year, chatting late into the night with a friend and reminiscing about how I developed a taste for liqueurs like Tia Maria, I remembered a bottle of Drambuie lying forgotten at the back of our bar. Dropping the conversation mid-way I raced to retrieve the bottle which was covered with a fine film of dust, so long had it been lying ignored. Uncorking the bottle, we poured ourselves a glass each of the scotch whisky liqueur made with malt whiskey, heather honey and a secret blend of herbs. I closed my eyes as a shot of molten fire slid down my throat, the hints of honey, anise and nutmeg mingling with the stronger taste of fine scotch whiskey filled my senses. Undoubtedly the best liqueur I’d had till date. As I took my second sip, I mentally toasted Papa and wondered what he would have said if it had been with him that I had my first sip of Drambuie.

From Honey Lemon Tea to Honey Flavoured Scotch Whisky…this one’s for you Papa!


One thought on “From Honey Lemon Tea to Single Malt

  1. This is a lovely piece and i’m glad you’ve shared it here. It’s emotional and ‘heady’ and i was there with you tasting of Rémy Martin. What delightful progress you’ve made since Geets….:)

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