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Friday, January 29, 2010

Mixing it Up at the Reitz: Whisky, Beer and Wine

Who ever said the Reitz Union wasn’t the cool place to be, or the best place to get drunk?? That’s right. Wednesday was night number two of my long-awaited bartending class, a course offered as part of UF’s leisure program.

Each semester, students scramble to secure a spot in this purely for fun, non-credit bartending class, where drinking is pretty much the assignment of the night. The class is offered on Tuesday or Wednesday nights from 7-9 pm in the Reitz Union basement. About 30 students come together to learn some slick bartending skills, how to mix cocktails and of course DRINK (the best part, obviously).

Last week was beer and wine. Our teacher, who goes by the name of Wonton, unveiled more beers than have ever touched the premises of the Reitz Union. Beers from Belgium, Ireland, Germany and Mexico were featured, and we had the opportunity to sample each of them. 

My favorite was Hoegaarden Original White Ale from Belgium. It tasted lighter than Blue Moon, with a crisp flavor. Too bad they don’t offer this in the bars at Midtown.

I wasn’t totally looking forward to last night because I am not a whisky fan, but I decided to be a little adventurous. It isn’t every day that you have the chance to try 45 different whiskeys. I couldn’t pass this up.

I tried the traditional whisky and sour, using Canadian Club Classic 12, a whisky with a similar taste to Crown Royal, but cheaper. Yes...shocking. A whisky better than Crown? Who knew? I have to say this is one of the perks of the class. You learn little secrets like how to save money on liquor, an extremely important fact to college students on a budget.

My favorite drink was the Bourbon Meyer (yes, for Urban Meyer). The Gatortastic recipe called for a shot of any type of whisky (we used Maker’s Mark) and sweet tea. It was delicious, especially if you are not a whisky lover.

As the clock struck 9pm, I was semi-buzzed and ready to rage at Gator City. Next week is going to be interesting because it’s vodka night, which could get kind of rowdy. Stay tuned.

--Brooke Aronoff

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