The Problem With Class: You Can’t Enjoy Life’s Simple Pleasures Like Konyagi

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Classism is real and should be listed as a mental condition. 

You know the type; snooty, nose-in-the-air fellas that choose brand name over quality. The “where do you shop?” chaps who sneer when you mention the scent you are wearing was bought off a supermarket shelf. Typical to find them yapping away about the new safety features of a 2020 AMG swearing by the brand name. They’ll throw in fun facts about the handcrafted engine and hand-stitched leather seats like they own one. The chaps who’d rather opt for a 2003 model just because Japanese is cheap. I am not taking a hit at anyone because hey, I used to be one. Still recovering. 

If a restaurant did not have high ceilings, well-groomed staff, and a price list that brought tears to the eye I’d look down on them. If a drink did not spot a recognizable brand name, if the whisky did not have its age next to it and if the glass bottle looked like it was blown in a whore house then I would never consider buying it. Those were dark times because I definitely missed out on a lot – but now I am playing catch up. 

Cues in Konyagi. 

There’s nothing sexy about the name. Heck, there’s nothing sexy about the bottle. Staring at it is as interesting as watching a cockroach try get off its back. It is the kind of drink you look at and feel sorry for – you feel an overwhelming need to give it a hug but don’t because you are afraid you might catch lice or bed bugs. If you have a flourishing social media career this is the kind of drink that would make you lose followers.  But that’s just it, no one knows this drink for its bubbly personality. This drink is the kid no one wanted to play with or sit next to in class. The one who everyone thought was secretly ridiculed but always knew what others thought. The one the teacher threatened to sit you next to if you were being a nuisance. You’d be damned if you found it proudly displayed on a liquor store shelf – this drink is invisible and I found out why.

As a matter of fact, now if you come to mines (don’t), you’ll drink Konyagi. Bedded in ice and splashed with lemon-flavored soda. You’ll only get the food if you sign a blood pact to do the dishes. 

Konyagi does not really care what people think. It really does not give a rat’s tail. Where other drinks would be hot under the collar for being ignored Konyagi does not cuddle in its insecurities. As a matter of fact, it sheds that blanket off and freezes in confidence. If drinks could get to self-actualization then Konyagi got there way before anyone else. You either like it or not – it is not the problem, you are. 

So I recently got over the hype of branded drinks, walked over to a liquor store pointed over the popular choices right to the bottom of the shelf almost in a hidden corner, and asked for Konyagi. The chap I bought it from got it out, dusted the bottle and wrapped it in a newspaper almost as if it was a shame to be seen with it. So I brought the social outcast home and decided to give it a chance (though the way I look at it now it gave me the chance). 

First things first, when you are buying a 750ML bottle between 600 & 700 bob there are things you expect when you open it. A pungent smell. Instinctively you twist your nose expecting a whiff of evaporating spirits to attack your nasal cavity. Konyagi doesn’t do that. It actually has a sweet subtle herby scent. Switch this drink into a botanical gin bottle and many people would not know the difference. It surprises you, in a good way, then you really want to know what else the drink has to offer if it has been so kind to your nose. 

The taste is slightly harsh – but that’s expected. It is part of its personality trait. You become harsh when you have to send kids that come to secretly ridicule you because of a dare away. It is a kind of harshness that tingles on your buds for a while. The kind of harshness that’s not temperamental, far from fiery and easily calmed by a few blocks of ice. But to truly appreciate Konyagi and all its quirks splash in a little lemon-flavored soda. It will surprise you. Plus, if you want to have more fun here’s a secret tip: fry up some meat, stir some Ugali on the side, skip the greens and sip before, after, and maybe during. The first thing you will feel wash away will be regret. The fact that you never gave this drink a chance in the first place. Then slowly, the warmth of familiarity will creep in and you’ll be laughing like long lost buddies. 

So, final verdict? For its inexpensive nature, Konyagi is definitely value for money.

As a matter of fact, now if you come to mines (don’t), you’ll drink Konyagi. Bedded in ice and splashed with lemon-flavored soda. You’ll only get the food if you sign a blood pact to do the dishes. 


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