A typical get-together at a bar with friends in Medellín often involves drinking guaro.
That’s the word they use for aguardiente, an anise-flavored liquor prevalent in the country, with varying types in varying regions.
A local club wants to provide a different option.
The Club del Bigote, or Moustache Club, had its second event last week, the Noche de Whiskeys, a night to try a handful of different brands of the brown liquor.
Bar Berlin was full, most of them trying something from a whiskey menu with five different options, each one offering different half-shots of different kinds:
- Primer Piso (First Floor), 20,000 pesos (about $11): Johnnie Walker Black Label, Buchanan’s Deluxe 12 años, Grand Old Parr 12 años and Chivas Regal 12 años
- Segundo Piso, 30,000 pesos (about $16): Johnnie Walker Swing, Buchanan’s Master, the Glenlivet 12 años and Glenfiddich 12 años
- Tercer Piso, 40,000 pesos (about $22): Johnnie Walker Gold Label, Buchanan’s Special Reserve, Old Parr Superior 18 años and Glenfiddich 18 años
- Penthouse, 50,000 pesos (about $27): Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Royal Salute 21 años
- Tour Completo, 120,000 pesos (about $64): everything above
They also gave out fake moustaches on a stick, for people to use in pictures, something everyone seemed to enjoy.
But my favorite part of the night was listening to my friend Brian from Las Vegas, so emphatic with his Spanish, the very little that he knows.
At one point, he was trying to argue that he was correct about something, even though my friend Juan told him he wasn’t. Juan is from Colombia. You could say he speaks Spanish just a little bit better than Brian.
We all agreed, though, that Brian was hilarious when he was saying inappropriate phrases out loud, no doubt a result of all the whiskey he tried, and although it was funny, I think I turned a little red with embarrassment because the waitresses, all of them Colombian, heard him as they walked by.
They had a good sense of humor about it.
I later talked to Jeff, the event organizer, a guy from Central Michigan who moved to Bogotá several years ago before finding Medellín and deciding it’s a better place to live.
He said he hopes to have an event like this each month. The liquor might be different, he said, but the concept would be the same.
By then Brian will be back in the States, unable to repeat his obscenities in Spanish, but he’ll surely be a topic of conversation.