Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Benedictine est...

qui venit in a half-litre bottle.

HWSNBN returned from Foreign Parts on Friday, bringing with him bags full of good cheer. Having expected to dislike having him back in the house (I really enjoyed having it to myself), I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun he was being. Apparently he missed me. When he said he had an Indian one night and an Italian the next, apparently he was talking about the food...*

Additionally, he brought the largest bottle of Benedictine I have ever owned. No half-litre bottles for me this time; I have the full litre.

Dave the Organist once told me about his first experience with Benedictine. At a very tender age (under 20), having been told how wonderful it tasted, he managed to procure a bottle for himself. He was alone and so did not have to share it, but had nobody on whom to lean for guidance. He poured himself a mugful,** and gulped down a mouthful. Apparently, this was not an enjoyable experience; it took him rather a long time to stop coughing. I don't think it dampened his enthusiasm for it, though.

My first experience with Benedictine will have been at the hands of my parents. My mother was more wise than Dave, and advised us only to have a small sip. (My brother, Robert, did not listen to this, and suffered similar consequences to those of Dave. We laughed at him.) Oh, how I loved it. When I was about 14, we visited the Palais Benedictine, in France, where the stuff is made. I enjoyed that. It is not often one has the opportunity to experience whole rooms perfumed with Benedictine, nor to marvel at how assiduously the monks guard their copyright. At the end of the tour, the Parents were given a glass of Benedictine each, and Mother allowed us to take a sip (Father did not).

Until recently, Benedictine has been a jealously guarded treat, as bottles have run out far too quickly. I do hope that this abundance of Benedictine does not lead to me disliking it, as it did back in my third year of university. I shall have to continue rationing it. When the smaller bottle is gone (I need to make space in my cocktail cabinet - it's getting a little desperate).

To conclude, HWSNBN is great, as is Benedictine.

Tomorrow: yes, I am crazy. What are you going to do about it?

*Sorry - that was a bit of a cheap joke, and didn't really fit in there.

**The mind boggles. He must have been a little the worse for wear afterwards.

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