The journey to Uncle Val

Past experience has taught me to avoid clear liquors at all costs. Being able to consume mass amounts of something and blacking out is not my idea of an enjoyable night out … anymore. But being that I am a paleo eater, and subscribe to the Robb Wolf version of the diet (His book the Paleo Solution can be found here), he suggest sticking with clear liquors if you must drink. Note I said suggests, he does not endorse drinking, he simply answers the question most would ask anyway, how do I have a cocktail in the least unhealthy way. That answer revolves around clear liquors. So here is how I broke it down.

Vodka, even so called “good” vodkas taste like rubbing alcohol to me, even when you mix them with anything and everything you can find. Not to mention anything that will mask the taste is littered with refined sugar, and god knows what else really defeats the purpose of enjoying a finely crafted liquor. Considering what some people call top shelf vodka like Grey Goose can cost upwards of $30 a bottle, why would anyone want to mix it with anything?¬†And don’t get me started on the plethora of ridiculously flavored vodkas now available, cotton candy? whipped cream? bubble gum? Seriously who comes up with this crap? What jackass designs and markets shit that only high school girls would want to drink? If nothing else, remember that 15 will get you 20, I’m looking at you Pinnacle.

So with Vodka out, 100% pure agave tequila is next on the list. Unfortunately too many bad nights, and subsequently following mornings preclude me from ingesting this horrid substance. Just the smell turns my stomach, and while I can still enjoy a margarita every now and then, that unearths the same issue that all mixers do, extra calories most notably from refined sugars. And honestly once you’ve made a few and have a good solid buzz going, its too much work to keep making them, especially if they are frozen.

So left with limited options, I went with something I’ve actually never even tried before, Gin. I’ve always thought of gin as an old man drink (or as my wife’s grand mother calls them “young foggies”). But I decided to give it a go none the less. I began my journey with a bottle of Tagueray Rangpur, which is a non-dry gin with hints of citrus. While it wasn’t bad as an introduction to gin, which I mixed with tonic and a slice of lime, I set out to find something more refined. I tried the usual names, regular Tangueray, Bombay Saphire, and so on. But one day while on a random trip to the liquor store I came across Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin, which was oddly placed on an upper shelf and nearly completely covered by some hanging crap like bottle openers and beer coozies. It’s simplistic and dare I say “old school” bottle and labeling caught my eye even though I’m not really one for packaging, I perform substance over form. I was officially sold when I read the first line of the lower label “Uncle Val has no patients, for those that have no patients” … clearly a man cut from the same cloth as I. Given the price is roughly the same as a bottle of Grey Goose, I decided to give it a go.


The difference was immediately obvious that this was in another league, I won’t claim to be an expert on gin, or any liquor for that matter ,even after 20 plus years of consuming them. But I know quality and craftsmanship when I taste it. The more I drink Uncle Val’s, the less tonic I need to mix with it, which is either a sign of a great liquor, or alcoholism. I prefer the former, especially because I have roughly 2 – 3 drinks a week tops.

So after that long ass ridiculous story, go get some Uncle Val’s and drink it. I guess I could have led off with that, but shit what fun would that be?