beware of gauls bearing bottles

Oh, a little bit from thursday that I missed. An important lesson: if a Frenchman offers you a sip of somethine called “Gentiane”, and notes cheerfully in passing that the reason it’s being poured from a bottle that claims to be chablis is because it’s from an illegal distillery somewhere near his home village?

Run as fast as you can in the other direction.

The stifled laughter from my coworkers as I poured myself just enough to cover the bottom of the shot glass was enough to give me pause. Caution appeared to be indicated. I merely touched the tip of my tongue to the pooling clear liquid, and suddenly my entire head was suffused with horror. The high notes were gasoline, ammonia, stomach acids and isopropyl. Other, slowly developing aromas spoke of industrial solvents, chemical spills and newly laid asphalt. Swallowing started a fast burn down my throat, coupled with the constricting feeling of swallowing soap. A few seconds later, I burped. Words at this point fail.

I have sampled some foul liquors in my life. I’ve sipped snake liquor in Vietnam. I’ve had Maotai repeatedly. A former employer made an initiation rite of drinking Riga Black Balsam (AKA Latvian Pine Tar). I’ve been force-fed shots of Fernet by Doctor Hal himself. I regularly enjoy Laphroaig. Nothing, nothing had prepared me for this.

You win, scary French liquor. You completely win. I surrender the field, and we shall never do battle again.

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