There were some old photo albums in the living room that I hadn't put back in the hall closet last time we were visiting my mom. But to put them back I had to make room. I did this by pulling out some old boxes that had alcohol in them. Old champagne, tawny port, vermouth. I'm not a drinker. I drink a beer now and then and I like a good glass of wine, but I never really got into hard liquor. Well, all the Mekhong - a common Thai whiskey - that was forced on me when I was a Peace Corps volunteer so many years ago, when I would, to be culturally open, say yes to anything, probably cured me of wanting hard liquor.
I started googling how long champagne and the other bottles are good for. The answers I found online suggest things are still drinkable but not in their prime.
From For The Love Of Port:
How long do I cellar Vintage and other styles of port?
Vintage Ports typically need at least 15 years to start reaching maturity. The top Vintage Ports can easily last 30-100+ years if stored properly.
Late Bottle Vintage Ports that are filtered are not meant to be aged. So there is no reason to do so. Unfiltered LBV’s generally will start showing their best at around 10+ years of age. Generally, they are not designed to be aged beyond 20 years, with a few exceptions.
Tawny Port with an Indication of Age is not meant to age in bottle. This type of Port group is usually best when consumed closer to the date of bottling.
This all led to another cabinet that was full of a wide variety of bottles. I offered my mom a couple of sips of the Vandermint. And she seemed to really enjoy it. The fragrance lingered most of the night around the dining room table. I found this description at This Next:
"Few things are as obscure and good as Vandermint: the chocolate and mint liqueur from Holland. You might not take milk glass-like bottle seriously but the contents will surpise and likely amaze. Unlike its lesser mint & chocolate counterparts this elixir is smooth, rich, creamy and alluring - all without being milky, syrupy sweet or heavy in any way. Dont be fooled, this is a serious drink with refined taste. If you want alcohol steeped candy, look elsewhere. A few sips and you'll be solving the world's problems from your sofa throne in no time at all."
After reading that, I guess I better try some before I go to bed tonight.
When I looked up the Peter Heering Liqueur, I learned this history about the Singapore Sling (which I'd known about, and I think actually have had one in my younger days.) From Heering.com:
The Singapore Sling was created at Raffles Hotel at the turn-of-the-century by Hainanese-Chinese bartender mr Ngiam Tong Boon. Till today, in the Hotel’s museum, visitors may view the safe in which Mr Ngiam locked away his precious recipe books, as well as the Sling recipe hastily jotted down on a bar-chit in 1936 by a visitor to the Hotel who asked the waiter for it. Mr Ngiam Tong Boon concocted the very first coctail to achieve global fame by mixing 30 ml gin, 15 ml Heering Cherry Liqueur, 120 ml pineapple juice, 15 ml lime juice, 7.5 ml Cointreau, 7.5 ml Dom Benedictine, 10 ml Grenadine and a dash of Angostura Bitters. Shaken not stirred, served on ice in a cocktail glass.
Somewhere I have a slide of the Raffles Hotel from 1968 or 69, and a more recent one - it didn't look at all the same - from when I visited my son in 2008.
One more thing. Does anyone have any idea what this item is for. I've photoshopped two views into this one image. One of the excuses I've used to get my mom to allow me to go through the stuff in the closets now, is so that she can explain things. But she didn't know what this was either.