I thought I had found a hard liquor that I actually enjoyed and didn’t give me a ferocious hangover the next day - sake. I’ve been regularly enjoying a hot cup or two (or three) at my favorite Japanese restaurant after a sumptous meal. At 100NT per cup (that’s about $3, and around 3-4 shotglasses full), a good deal, and since I enjoyed it, I picked some rice wine at a local supermarket. Cheapskate I am, I picked up a 600ml bottle for 38NT (that’s 1.14). Ugh. I don't know whether it's because I skimped for the cheap #%! or that I’m drinking it at room temperature (the hot coffee warmth makes the sake down much smoother) or a combination of both, but this tastes - literally - like swallowing salt water. On the positive side, after only a couple of small glasses, this is going straight to my head. It only takes me a couple of cups of hot sake at the Japanese joint to get me well lit. Keep in mind I’m beer, not liquor, drinker, so my tolerance for the hard stuff is pretty low. I think I have discovered the cheapest drunk ever. Who knows what this rotgut is going to make me feel like tomorrow…oh well, it’s only one coca-cola sized bottle, and believe me, this is the last one (most likely ever). Next time I’m splurging wildly and going for the $3 bottle of wine.
“To hell with poverty! / Let’s get drunk on cheap wine!” - the Gang of Four (the U.K. rock’n’roll band, not Jiang Qing & co.).
Actually, I understand why rice wine would be radically cheaper than other wines in Asia, for obvious reasons. Doesn’t make it easier on the palate.