If you’ve ever sipped a Mai Tai or a Zombie, lounged under a palm-thatched roof or marvelled at brightly coloured fake Polynesian statues, then you’ve enjoyed the wonders of Tiki, a cocktail and nightlife genre that would never have been the same without Victor Bergeron.
Foul-mouthed Tiki legend Victor Bergeron was born this day in 1902, the day after his friend Lucius Beebe. Trader Vic, as he became known, was born not on a South Pacific island as he occasionally claimed, but in downtown San Francisco. His business rival Donn Beach (Don the Beachcomber) may, in fact, have invented Tiki, inspired by his wanderings in the exotic South Seas - but it was Vic who took Donn Beach's concept to a new and global level, spawning a style of drink and decor that still catches eyes and palates today.
Let's remember the man today with what is undisputedly one of his own creations, a Gun Club Punch No. 1.
Today is the day that the Nobel prizes are awarded every year - and we've seen some odd choices - from the European Union through to Johannes Fibiger, made a laureate for his discovery that parasitic worms cause cancer (they don't).
But on this day in 1953 came one of the committee's more initially surprising choices - Winston Churchill, as Nobel laureate for literature. Why? Well, his speeches were inspirational, and rank with the greatest rhetoric of all time. His books might be a bit hard going nowadays, but "We shall fight them on the beaches" still rocks crowds today.
Churchill was no slouch in the alcohol consumption stakes, famously remarking "I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me". So we're toasting the great man and all his works with a Churchill Martini, basically neat gin. Feel free to make as Churchill allegedly did, and wave the gin bottle in the direction of France in lieu of vermouth. Cheers!