21 December

The shortest or Longest day


So we are drinking a...


Depending on whether you are reading this in the Northern of Sothern Hemispheres, you are about to endure the shortest day of the year or enjoy the longest day of the year.

In the Northern Hemisphere this is the Winter Solstice (or hibernal solstice), while conversely in the Southern Hemisphere this is Summer Solstice, usually occurring on 21 December, but can occur between 20 and 22 December.

Depressingly for all of us in the Northern Hemisphere, The winter solstice marks the end of autumn and the start of winter. We're marking the change of seasons with a warmingly spirituous Winter Cocktail from Albert Stevens Crockett's 1935 Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book.

Daleks' anniversary

Exterminate!... Exterminate!... British TV's most enduring bad guys, the Daleks, made their debut on this day in 1963.

Those early Daleks, seen in this, their first series, doing battle with the Thals and the Ninth Doctor on their home planet, Skaro, would not unleash their famous cry until the fourth episode - although they did ultimately reveal their celebrated flaw, that vexatious inability to handle stairs.

We are toasting Doctor Who in all its glorious incarnations with a suitably long-lived classic cocktail, The Doctor.

Day 'The Graduate' Was Released

Fed up of schmaltzy Christmas TV? Well, why not download a classic, and mark the anniversary of The Graduate's release, this day in 1967.

It's an early coming-of-age film about Benjamin Braddock, a college graduate played by Dustin Hoffman, being seduced by an older woman 'Mrs Robinson'.

Despite being over five decades old, The Graduate hasn't aged in the slightest, so treat yourself to a night in, mix a Mrs Robinson and enjoy the film.

The anniversary of Cumbrian earthquake

December 2010 was a disorientating day in Blighty. First a total lunar eclipse. Then an earthquake. Admittedly, on the scale of earthquakes, the Cumbria wobble was not a great cause for concern.

Ranking 3.6 on the Richter scale, it injured no one and caused no damage, although it was felt in much of northern England, as well as Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man. Apparently, Britain should expect an earthquake this size about once a year, with bigger quakes about once a decade.

So we are celebrating how lucky us Brits are to have such tame earthquakes with a Goombay Smash, and shaking it vigorously, of course.

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