The Boston Globe
Creations with libations
By Doug Most
Globe Staff / July 22, 2009
It’s Wednesday night and you just got news your company is cutting back. It’s Thursday night, you’re at a terrific Italian restaurant, but you have no idea what to order. Or maybe it’s Friday, the end of an exhausting week. Not everything calls for a drink, but when the occasion arises, Deirdre Heekin can help. She’s the author of the new memoir, “Libation: A Bitter Alchemy,” and co-owner with her husband of the wonderful restaurant Osteria Pane e Salute in Woodstock, Vt., so when she’s not sipping some tasty concoction, she’s making one.
Q. Do you remember your first sip of wine?
A. I remember my first drink; I was about 4. My parents were drinking their scotch. I said what is this all about? Why do we have cocktail hour? My father very generously, very smartly, said ‘Sure, have some.’ I thought it was the worst thing I ever had. To this day, I am still learning to be a scotch drinker.
Q. When did you first begin to appreciate “libations?”
A. The real appreciation began when we opened our business and became interested in developing our wine list. Also through our time in Italy. They have such an interest in libation that we didn’t have here, including grappa, amaro, rosolio, vermouth.
Q. What was it like tasting things you’d never had?
A. Really curious. Seeing people in little coffee bars in Italy, particularly older gentlemen. At the time we didn’t know they were having amaro. They had a little shot and would stand at the bar in their tweed jacket and look very elegant and distinguished.
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