Daily Cocktail

Seven more reasons to drink: next week it's National Absinthe Day, the cornflake's birthday and Panic Day among other cocktail-worthy events!

4 March - National Grammar Day


...so today we are drinking a Last Word.

Today is a time, according to the folks behind National Grammar Day and its truly cringeworthy theme song, to, well, march forth.

Because:

"March forth
Grammar is the bomb
March forth
The band is playing our song
March forth
Grammar can't go wrong
March forth
You know it won't take long"

If there's a grammar nazi in your life, today would be a great day to proposition them with a preposition, conjoin them in conjunctions or embrace them in parentheses. Alternatively, of course, you might just want to enjoy a Last Word. We do.

Last Word
Glass
: Martini
Garnish: Lime wedge
Method: SHAKE all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.
1½ shot Bombay Original London dry gin
½ shot Chartreuse Green liqueur
½ shot Luxardo maraschino liqueur
½ shot Freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ shot Chilled mineral water (omit if wet ice)
Comment: Chartreuse devotees will love this balanced, tangy drink. I'm one.
Origin: This vintage classic was first documented in Ted Saucier's 'Bottoms Up' in 1951 where its creation was attributed to the Detroit Athletic Club. It was practically forgotten until championed by the team at Pegu Club, New York City in 2005. The Detroit Athletic Club was established in 1887 by a group of privileged young men who enjoyed amateur athletics. In 1913 a group of the city's prominent automotive and industrial leaders re-established the club and commissioned architect Albert Kahn to design the magnificent six-story Clubhouse. Completed April 1915 and standing at 241 Madison Avenue in Detroit's theatre district, this still houses the exclusive club to this day. Fine dining and living sit alongside the athletics and if you'd like to join you'll need to dig deep into your wallet and also find six existing members willing to nominate you.

5 March - National Absinthe Day


...so today we are drinking a Cajun Nail.

That famous drinker, Oscar Wilde, once wrote that "After the first glass of absinthe you see things as you wish they were. After the second you see them as they are not. Finally you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world."

Ernest Hemingway put it more tautly: "Got tight on absinthe last night and did knife tricks."

Throughout its history, absinthe has been blamed from everything to murders and suicides to poor Vincent Van Gogh's varied troubles - it was banned in most parts of the world by the end of the First World War.

Today, however, with low-thujone absinthes available in the United States, the drinks deities in those parts have dubbed today absinthe day. And who are we to argue?

As devoted fans of the Green Fairy, we are marking today with one of our own creations, a Cajun Nail, a twisted Sazerac with a touch of the old Rusty Nail. Chin chin!

Cajun Nail
Glass
: Old-fashioned
Garnish: Lemon zest twist (discarded)
Method: POUR absinthe into ice-filled glass, TOP with water and leave to stand. Separately STIR bourbon, cognac, sugar and bitters with ice. DISCARD contents of glass (absinthe, water and ice) and STRAIN contents of shaker into absinthe-coated glass.
½ shot La Fée Parisienne (68%) absinthe
1½ shot Gentleman Jack Whiskey
1½ shot Drambuie
3 dash Peychaud's aromatic bitters
3 dash Angostura aromatic bitters Comment: A riff on the classic Sazerac.
Origin: Created in 2010 by Simon Difford at the Cabinet Room, London, England.

6 March - Allen Stanford Was Convicted a Year Ago


...so today we are drinking a Stanley Cocktail.

Remember Sir Allen Stanford? Knight of Antigua, founder of Twenty20 cricket, power player, financier and all-round good egg?

This time last year he was convicted of running one of the biggest Ponzi schemes of all time, taking in more than $7bn in deposits, claiming they were in safe investments, losing the money in risky ones, and using new deposits to pay his old "investors" back.

But, boy did Sir Allen have fun spending it. He maintained a castle in Florida, a yacht off the coast of Antigua, a $100 million fleet of private jets, his own private terminal at Antigua airport, not to mention one wife, a stable of four "outside wives" and the odd girlfriend or two, including the 33-year-old cocktail waitress at whose home he was arrested.

Oh Sir Allen. We deplore your crime, but we have to admire your style. So today we are drinking a Stanley cocktail, one we found in Harry Craddock's Savoy Cocktail Book.

Stanley Cocktail
Glass
: Martini
Garnish: Lemon zest twist
Method: SHAKE all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.
1½ shot Bombay Original London dry gin
1½ shot Bacardi Superior rum
½ shot Freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ shot Pomegranate (grenadine) syrup Comment: Salmon pink and reminiscent of a Daiquiri with a splash of gin.
Origin: Adapted from a recipe in Harry Craddock's 1930 'Savoy Cocktail Book'.

7 March - The Cornflake's Birthday


...so we are drinking a Breakfast Martini.

On this day in 1897, Doctor John Kellogg, a Seventh Day Adventist, served the world's first cornflakes to patients at his Michigan sanitarium, as part of his idea of a healthy diet.

Some of John's other ideas were, perhaps, a little more left field. He considered masturbation ("self-abuse") "a sin against nature [that] has no parallel except in sodomy", wrote extensively on remedies for the activity, and used his sanitarium as a laboratory to help people live well (i.e. without putting their hands down below).

It was not, however, John who brought cornflakes to the wider world, but his brother Will, who had the genius idea of adding sugar and marketing them as a breakfast food. John sued to stop Will's commercialisation of his health food, but he lost and breakfast has never looked back.

We are raising a glass to William Kellogg with the sort of concoction that would have his brother spinning in his grave, a Breakfast Martini.

Breakfast Martini
Glass
: Martini
Garnish: Orange zest twist & slice of toast on rim
Method: STIR marmalade with gin in base of shaker until it dissolves. Add other ingredients, SHAKE with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.
1 spoon Orange marmalade (fine sliced)
2 shot Bombay Original London dry gin
½ shot Cointreau triple sec
½ shot Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Comment: The success or failure of this tangy drink is partly reliant on the quality of marmalade used.
Origin: Created in the late 1990s by Salvatore Calabrese at the Library Bar, London, England. It is very similar to the 'Marmalade Cocktai' created in the 1920s by Harry Craddock and published in his 1930 'The Savoy Cocktail Book', or you could describe the Breakfast Martini as being White Lady with marmalade in it.

Salvatore came up with the idea for this drink after his wife insisted he have breakfast one morning and served up toast and marmalade. He took the jar to work with him and this contemporary classic was the result. This drink was the inspiration for the many variations on the preserve (jam/marmalade) theme that have followed in the decade since Salvatore stopped for 'proper' breakfast rather than just his usual swift espresso.

8 March - 35 Years of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


...so today we are drinking an Adam & Eve.

If you know that the answer to the great question of Life, the Universe and Everything is "42", then you'll be pleased to know that today is the day The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was born.

Yes, the creation that brought you Marvin the Paranoid Android, Vogon poetry and the Infinite Improbability Drive, not to mention "the best drink in existence", the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, made its debut on Radio 4 on 8 March 1978.

It has since spawned five books by Douglas Adams, others by his literary inheritors, one film, a TV series, several radio shows, countless stage productions and, of course, Towel Day.

The very first episode set the tone for what was to come in subsequent iterations. Arthur Dent's house was about to be destroyed to make way for a bypass, when it emerged that all Earth was to be destroyed to make way for an interplanetary bypass: interstellar hitchhiking and poetry torture ensued.

In honour of Douglas Adams, a fantastic writer who died too young, we are drinking an Adam & Eve. Do join us.

Adam & Eve
Glass
: Old-fashioned
Garnish: Lemon zest twist
Method: SHAKE all ingredients with ice and strain into ice filled glass.
2 shot Maker's Mark bourbon
½ shot Galliano L'Autentico liqueur
¼ shot Monin Pure Cane sugar syrup (65°brix, 2:1 sugar/water)
3 dash Angostura aromatic bitters
Comment: Lovers of the Sazerac will appreciate this herbal, bourbon-laced concoction.

9 March - Panic Day


...so today we are drinking a Serendipity #2.

If the very sight of a "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster makes you vaguely stabby, then today is almost certainly for you. It's a chance to let out all the stress and panic that afflicts us in our daily lives.

Ya know. So you might want to spend the day in bed, pacing the street muttering quietly, or, for that matter, yelling, "I can't take the stress any more!"

Or you might choose to spend it irritating the hell out of others by recommending that they "breathe" (one piece of advice that's hard not to take), or that exercise will help.

We, personally, recommend channeling calm for a little while, and going in quest of serenity.

Can't find serenity? Serendipity might find you, especially if you join us in our drink of the day, the Serendipity #2, our take on a Colin Field original, based on that most serene of spirits, Calvados.

Serendipity #2
Glass
: Old-fashioned
Garnish: Mint sprig
Method: Lightly MUDDLE mint (just to bruise) in base of shaker. Add calvados and apple juice, SHAKE with ice and strain into ice-filled glass. TOP with champagne.
7 fresh Mint leaves
1½ shot Boulard Grand Solage calvados
3 shot Pressed apple juice
Top up with Perrier Jouet brut champagne
Comment: Spirity, minty apple invigorated by a splash of champagne.
Origin: My adaptation of one of Colin Field's drinks. He created it on 31 December 1994 in the Hemingway Bar of the Paris Ritz for Jean-Louis Constanza: upon tasting it, Jean-Louis exclaimed, "Serendipity".

10 March - Mother's Day


...so today we are drinking a Mother Rum.

Yes, it is that time of year again - Mother's Day, AKA Mothering Sunday, or the fourth Sunday in Lent - in the UK that is (America celebrates this on the second Sunday in May).

Which means it's time to buy flowers. If it's before 3pm, you might be in with a chance of ordering some online. If your ma is local, there may well be a great little florist round the corner - probably one that also sells sandwiches, cigs and petrol, not to mention ye olde Ferrero Rocher should the flowers be looking a little bit tired by now.

And, even if your ma is not local and the florists are shut, there is still time to put in a quick call and save the day. Because, however late it comes, it really is the thought that counts. Or even the afterthought.

All done? Why not mark this special day and raise a toast to mothers everywhere with a fine old-fashioned cocktail, Mother Rum? Creator Milo Rodriguez describes it as "warm and comforting, just like the drinks my mother made." Aww...

Mother Rum
Glass
: Old-fashioned
Garnish: Cinnamon stick
Method: STIR all ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled glass.
2 shot Bacardi 8 year old aged rum
¼ shot Bols Cacao White
¼ shot Maple syrup
Comment: To quote Milo, this drink is 'warm and comforting, just like the drinks my mother made.'
Origin: Created in 2006 by Milo Rodriguez at Crazy Bear, London, England.

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