This doesn’t give away anything you didn’t already know was happening. : 😀
“Huhhh…” Hussein made a face to match the rough exclamation, and held the glass back up to the light. It wasn’t quite the obscene yellow it had been before. It was trending more to a buttery hue than the Slivovitz color it had in the first sample he’d tried.
“How old is it again?” he inquired of Detweiler.
“Almost a year. I didn’t mean to suggest it is mature,” he was quick to say. “Singh just gave me three hundred milliliters this time and said he had some friends who wanted to try it. Consider it more of a progress report. I personally am curious how far it will progress, and how fast of course.”
“One hopes they remain his friends,” Hussein said, “and didn’t have any unrealistic expectations.”
“It’s far from anything either of us would serve, even as cheap mix,” Detweiler admitted.
His club, The Fox and Hare, had been serving vodka based drinks from the same lunar source. They’d had a couple month advantage because their owners had a business relationship with the sovereign of central. Hussein was selling the same product from the Quiet retreat now as production increased.
“I’m thinking…just totally guessing, that it may be drinkable as mix at four years,” Hussein said.
“That sound reasonable,” Detweiler agreed. “Though the carryout trade will probably use it as a straight drink then.” They were both already selling bottles of vodka at nearly by the glass prices as take away, but to dinner guests only, not walk-ins.
“Out somewhere from eight to twelve years it may be a decent whiskey,” Hussein decided, “It’s just too early to tell.”
“One good thing is, if it does develop well, young Singh has started another batch,” Detweiler revealed. “He will keep doing that as the storage space is much cheaper on the moon, and the volume of agricultural feed stock is increasing steadily. So if it works out, we do have a decent volume of supply in process. He split this last batch in two however. Half is aging on the same schedule as this first lot, and the other half he’s keeping at seventy degrees to see if it ages more quickly.”
“Now that’s an interesting idea,” Hussein admitted. “If he were doing it in the traditional wooden barrels instead of a sealed system the evaporative losses would just kill you.”
“Undoubtedly, many traditionalists will decry the perversion of a perfected system,” Detweiler predicted. “But we’ll have to do some blind taste tests and see how it stacks up to Earth whiskey. I believe Singh already has some volunteers, but he’s aware we’ll give him a professional report. The amateurs are unlikely to say much negative since they don’t seem to be paying customers.”
“Oh they’ll pay,” Hussein said laughing. “Singh will extract all sorts of business deals and alliances over their thirst. I don’t believe he’s anywhere near the callow youth he projects when he stands up to give idealistic speeches in the Assembly.”
“The odd thing is I think he was rather disconnected, like some brilliant people seem prone to be,” Detweiler revealed, “but the Lewis girl is huge influence. She’s an owner in our club you know, and I see them come in together. She has moderated that side of him quite a bit.”
“I notice you didn’t say a bad influence. She isn’t just enchanted with all his money?”
“No, no. He needed a good grounding in social things, and he treats her as a full partner. I don’t think she’s a plaything anymore than the other one, the queen.” Detweiler said.
“Oh, the Sovereign of Central,” Hussein said. “Don’t call her Queen of the Moon to one of her subjects or you’ll get a big lecture on how she isn’t.”
“I’ll call her anything she wants as long as she sells good vodka,” Detweiler told him.