Once in a while, a nation’s soul finds its way into the world of the tangible.
Sometimes, especially for those gifted with extreme crafting excellence and even more extreme patience, they turn this collective soul into its people’s alcoholic beverage.
Alcohol has often been seen as an ailment of society more than as a sign of its health. While it is true that there are those who give alcohol a bad rap – those who take it too far and become addicted, obsessed, or even violent because of it. Yet, when taken in blessedly right amounts, these spirits lift ours.
I have always been fascinated with the stories behind the alcohol, and the culture it is expressing. Each alcohol’s taste carries with it the story and journey of a people. Whether it be the Soju, the Sake, the Merlot or Tempranillo, even the San Miguel and the Tsing Tao, every drop on the tongue carries with it the culture, story and land of from which it was grown. And it’s not just the taste, too. Even the bottling, labeling, preservation and method with which it is drank (Sake and Soju traditions, for example).
I can not claim to be an expert on beer, wine or these other beautiful elixirs of life, but what I can do is to enjoin us all to sip it in. To drink the world, its myriads of madness, its legion of joys, and then maybe we can begin to appreciate more of the complexity of life from there. By understanding that although we craft, taste and offer alcohol to one another differently, our souls all yearn to express themselves in what we call, in our sober state, the real world.