Before I recount the tale of my first time, let me first provide a little back-story. You may not be aware of this, but I was born and raised in Eastern Europe: the land of accordions, iron curtains, and vodka. The Double E is also a land that doesn’t simultaneously glorify and vilify drinking like America has a tendency to do. In the old country, enthusing is a part of normal day-to-day life. It’s simply in our blood. And as such I feel I should have some leeway when it comes to that pesky BAC limit—but I digress. Sure we have our problems with overly enthusiastic relatives and dangerously inebriated soccer hooligans, but there isn’t a big social stigma against drinking itself, and certainly not against enthusing at “disturbingly young” ages. I don’t remember there being an official drinking age, and if there was, it was certainly never enforced.
Asking me to recall my first time trying an alcoholic beverage is like me asking you to recall your first birthday party. I was simply too young to remember the very first time that the sweet nectar-of-the-gods touched my lips. I do recall my father/priest/grandma/doctor letting me try some of whatever they were drinking on multiple occasions in my extreme youth, so let’s just say it first happened when I was 4 and wrap up this part of the flashback.