A very dear friend has been quoted as saying, “Never eat on an empty stomach’. Meaning that one should imbibe in one or two cocktails before sitting down to dinner; at which time one switches from spirits to wine. There is actually much sage advice in this statement. If, after a long day of work, you wait until you sit down to dinner to have an alcoholic beverage, then the effects of the beverage are muted by the dinner. To truly appreciate the magic of a cocktail, one needs to have said cocktail before dinner on an empty stomach. Only then can the effects be felt and appreciated.
And this first cocktail of the day should take place during that magical time of day, the golden hour. That hour before sunset when all the world around you is bathed in a softer light and the noises of the day seem to be hushed by the anticipation of the coming evening. Now this last bit of advise can have some seasonal constraints especially for those at higher latitudes; in the summer the golden hour arrives very late in the evening and in the winter it arrives very early. So some discretion on this point is allowed.
To continue, one should change out of day-time attire and put on something more in the mood of relaxation. Candles should be lit. Seating should take place on a patio, porch, balcony, or relaxed indoor environment. Music should be turned on; television most certainly be turned off and covered up if the comfortable indoor room has one.
While conversation with someone generally adds to the experience, don’t be afraid of drinking alone. There is no shame in it. Shaking off the day’s trials and tribulations or celebrating a triumph does not always need a partner or partners. While conversing about the day’s triumphs, trials, and tribulations is cathartic and informative, also include new topics; a book, a documentary, a philosophical idea, anything out of the norm will do. By adding new conversation topics, the mind has an opportunity to expand while it is relaxing. Plus I always enjoy learning new things.
Enjoying an end of day alcoholic beverage should be an event; cherished and savored. Not plopping down in the Lay-Z-Boy, popping the top of a Schlitz, and turning on ESPN. While this might get some where they need to go, it certainly does not do justice to the spiritual effects of spirits. When the moment, and the company, and the conversation, and the cocktail are all in tune and appreciated, then the true effects of the spirits can be realized.