This experience got me to start paying attention to what people, especially young people, are drinking in the area of alcoholic beverages and to wonder why they have adopted the current trends. My conclusion is that unlike me and many of my contemporaries, they really don't like the taste of scotch, bourbon, rye or any of the excellent blends of hard liquor which are currently available. They seem to just want to get drunk and either a):not taste anything ( in which case they opt for straight vodka because it has no real strong flavor of it's own), or b): they drink flavored vodka so that they can recall, from their childhood, the experience of drinking cherry Kool-Aid or of eating a Hershey Bar or a strawberry popsicle--but this time with a kick. The well known "Jello Shots" served at Senior Frog's in Cancun are an example of this last. Also, I notice, that the flavored vodkas go well beyond the point of just mimicking fruit juice. For instance, at the home of a young person of my acquaintence the other day I noticed, AND ACTUALLY SAMPLED (an act that in saner times would have won me the Purple Heart) a bottle of Cotton Candy flavored vodka!!!! And it did taste just like cotton candy! But my question is: WHY would you have this stuff in your house? If you want cotton candy, go to the circus! If you want a drink, go somewhere where there are people know how to do that and allow them to instruct you in the sophisticated things in life.
Another classic example of the younger generation's dilemma of wanting to drink alcoholic beverages but actually hating the taste of the drink, is the case of one of my favorite after dinner drinks ( also called a "digestive")---this is Jaeger Meister. Jaeger Meister is a delicious, herbal concoction to which I was introduced in Germany and taught to drink by the natives of that country. It is served in an attractive, stylized shot glass with the Jaeger Logo on it and, as I was taught, one "shoots" the first drink in a toast to the group and then sips all subsequent servings. Moreover the drink is always served (again, where I learned to drink it--a little farming village near Nuremberg) at room temperature so that the flavor can be fully appreciated. Imagine my surprise then the first time I observed members of the "Yuppie" generation partaking of this Germanic libation and doing so in a barbaric fashion. This took place at a wedding reception in California and they were drinking Jaeger Meister out of 8-12 oz WATER TUMBLERS!! Not only that, but it was being served ICE COLD! Now, everyone who knows anything about drinking knows that COLD KILLS TASTE!! Thus, when my friends in Norway discuss the drinking of Scandinavia's signature drink, Aquavit, they always insist that Norwegian Aquavit is to be drunk at room temperature in order to savor it, while it's Danish counterpart must be taken as cold as possible because, as my friend, Odd Nilsen, used to say, "God Forbid, you should have to taste it!!"
So, there you have it. The youngsters want to do adult things like have a cocktail hour, but they don't really like cocktails. So they either dress them up with some sickeningly sweet mixture that makes your teeth itch, or they freeze the taste out of them. In either case, they drink such vast quantities that they rapidly don't care what they are drinking. And that's a shame. Because alcoholic beverages, like everything else in life, are most enjoyable in their purer, unadulterated forms and when they are taken in moderation. So, avoid the Kool-Aid and come up for air frequently when hitting the booze.