Red Stag

gin and tonic alstons

My counsellor told me I'm very cynical and she'd like to help me crack down on the judgemental side of my personality. I was shocked and appalled, I tell you- I love being cynical and judgemental!

Exhibit A: I'm in the pub on a Saturday night and a woman who's at least 35 comes in and asks the barman if he has any Bacardi Breezers. Since this is the drink a 15-year-old girl has at a family barbecue, he tells her no, but there might be some Smirnoff Ice.

She agonises over what she's going to drink and decides on a Cheeky Vimto, which is the drink 17-year-old girls order if they managed to get served at Wetherspoons. The understanding, non-judgemental person my counsellor wants me to be would say, "Leave the poor woman alone! She can drink whatever she wants!"

I am not that person.

red stag glasgow

Being in your thirties and having Bacardi Breezer as your drink of choice is like McDonald's being your favourite restaurant. I don't mean it in a snobby way; I'm just sad that there are so many kinds of alcohol to choose from that people are afraid to try. The Scottish stereotype pretty much holds up- most of us will find the money to drink from somewhere. So if you're going to spend the money, it may as well be on something really tasty!

We all keep things from our relationships and Red Stag has been one of those things for me (along with making soup and finding out I've been putting bread in the toaster the wrong way my whole life). It was a gateway drink, leading me from my routine vodka-with-mixer, to all kinds of bourbon and whiskies, as well as my one true love: gin.

If one of your friends is drinking something you've never had before ask to try a sip. Bar staff are the greatest people in the world (with the patience of saints) and they'll usually let you try-before-you-buy on anything draught. Be a bit more adventurous. Don't eat McDonald's all your life.

alston  blue dress
Lauren Aitchison