Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What is a Fireball Hot Chocolate?

Inquiring minds want to know, what IS a fireball hot chocolate? It's very good is what it is! You get Fireball Whiskey - it is kind of a cinnamon flavoured whiskey and SO good even if you don't like whiskey. Make yourself a hot chocolate and put an ounce of Fireball in it, ooh la la! That'll warm up the old insides let me tell you! 

Just to clarify, I don't drink much (not enough actually), I don't have a drinking problem (unless being an hour away from the liquor store is a problem) and as much as I am tempted to buy cheap American booze (much less than 1/2 the price across the border) I am just not willing to lose my Nexus card and be declined entrance to the USA to smuggle in a little wine. (I say cheap American booze since the beer is less than 1/2 the price but it is also 1/2 the alcohol too and doesn't taste great - give me my Alexander Keith from Halifax any day!) The wine however is the same stuff I buy here. A nice 750ml bottle of Australian Yellowtail wine is 17.50 a bottle in Canada and 7.97 in the good old US of A. I have to wonder what they pay in Australia... $4?

Anything wrong with this picture? Is the purpose to simply prevent us Canadians from having drinking problems and getting fat or to make money for the government coffers? I am thinking for the government coffers and I will tell you why! One day I called the Canadian Customs office to find out how much I would pay when I came back to Canada after being in the US for an hour to shop, if I purchased alcohol. The general gist was the beer was going to be almost double to buy and the wine would be about $10 more and spirits, well I didn't even ask. 

Len and I had his son, Ken coming to visit and we thought let's just buy American beer. Although the charges were fairly high it was still closer to our house (20 minutes away) and would ultimately work out to be about the same price. We bought an 18 pack beer, 12 pack beer and a litre of wine. It came to $37 in the US. We came to the border and declared it, since I thought we would only be paying about another $20 on it based on the quote I had earlier that day. The border guard looked at us and said ok come on in to pay the duty. Well, here's the rub! 1) you pay more to exchange the money to US in the first place 2) then you come to Canada and pay the duty, Oh and the tax, OH and apparently New Brunswick felt it was not getting enough of a kick back so the province added another 18% to the total. 

This left us with paying $39 Canadian on our $37 American booze that was watery and had less alcohol. Good deal? I should say NOT! Did we ever do it again? Nope! However, the three standard questions you are asked as you cross the border are: Did you purchase any alcohol? Tobacco? Or firearms today? So the border guard who served us and took our money that day, now looks at us and when we answer no, he always says "Guess you learned your lesson, eh?" Yup! Although I guess it depends on what the lesson was.... Don't buy American alcohol? Or don't claim it? 

Better go now, that Fireball is calling my name!

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