Let's have a look at what happens when a sober alcoholic accidentally sips a cocktail. It happened to me. Yes. I met my friend for lunch. When I ordered my drink, I asked the waitress if they had mocktails. She seemed confused for a moment but right before I was going to say something like a Shirley Temple, she said Caesar and I exclaimed yes, because I usually have a VIRGIN Caesar. I stated that I am sober, and my friend said to the waitress that I don't drink.
Well, the waitress brought me a caesar and I smelled it, like I always smell my drinks when I eat at a restaurant or pub. It passed the odor test and I took a sip. It was super spicy and that was all I could tell at first. They made it with tomato juice and (I think) Tabasco sauce in a glass that had been dipped in spice, salt and pepper. I noted there wasn't a pickled veggie in it, like many establishments will have, but other than that, I licked the spice off the glass and had another couple of sips. It tasted fine and not particularly unusual until all of a sudden there was the faintest old familiar taste. Like what I imagined vodka tastes like. I had not had a drink of vodka in almost nine years up until then.
I immediately said to my friend, can you smell vodka in this? I handed her the glass. She took a big whiff and said No, why? does it taste like vodka? I said, well now, maybe not, I did say mocktail. My friend says, you didn't say virgin. You're right, I said. I took another tentative sip, trusting in what I believed was a mocktail. I was very hungry and thirsty. I laughed then. No. I pushed the drink away. There is vodka in there. Just then, the waitress walked by. My friend asked her if there is vodka in my drink. The waitress answered enthusiastically, Yeah! Do you want a double? I laughed and exclaimed No thank you! I'm sober. I haven't drank in eight years! I laughed again and said, Except for that.
The waitress apologized and said she should have known when I said mocktail and my friend said didn't say virgin, I had to agree that I had not specifically said the word virgin. The waitress brought me a pop to drink then. I have to say I was a little shocked at how weak the drink was that I didn't even notice it. Shocked that my sniff test was not a reliable test! But I went on to eat my lunch and my friend and I had a good conversation. At some point, I laughed and told my friend how I had just come from a check-up and insisted to the Dr that I don't drink. Then I promptly drove over and met my friend and drank.
Maybe upon reading this it sounds like I laughed a lot at this but I did and continue to take it seriously. I quit drinking when I knew it was an alcoholic beverage. Come to think of it, the remainder of the drink was on the table the entire meal and I never looked at it again. What little aftertaste there was, just tasted gross and sickly to me, it was not appealing. I remain sober and the urge to drink/get drunk is still removed from me. For that, I am grateful.
Earlier in the day, I had been angry. I had been late to the Dr. There was no parking. It was difficult to get out of the parking lot due to paving. Late in the evening, when everyone is asleep, I have to admit, the incident with the drink was rather humbling. It makes me think of all I would lose had I been failed in this test. But the grace that has kept me off the booze for almost nine years was sufficient to keep me sober for another day.
I am uplifted by this truly amazing and on the other hand rather embarrassing experience. It is a good lesson for me. To remain diligent. To be more fearful of my kryptonite.