4 June

National Cognac Day

Carlton Banks

So we are drinking a...

Carlton Banks

Our friends in America have designated today National Cognac Day. Hoorah! But why? No one seems to know. But no matter, it's as good a reason as any to enjoy some cognac – if indeed you need a reason.

Carlton Banks, one of our favourite cognac cocktails to emerge from America in recent years seems an appropriate choice to celebrate this auspicious day. However, we understand that one cognac cocktail may not be enough, so we present over 600 cognac cocktails for you to choose from, and if you're indecisive, we've narrowed this down to our 20 best cognac cocktails.

It's also National Hug Your Cat Day

For no explicable reason, today has been designated National Hug Your Cat Day and is billed as being "an opportunity to give back to all the cats in the world." As if cat lovers need a reason to pour more affection on their pussies!

We'll be making sure our very own fluff monsters, Buck (he's ginger and Bucks have ginger ale or ginger beer) and Embury (named after the David Embury, the all-time best cocktail writer), are suitably pampered. Meanwhile we'll contemplate an altogether meaner cat with a Lion's Tail from the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book or you may prefer a Red Lion from the same book.

Today's the anniversary of Emily Davison's brave stand

Emily Wilding Davison bravely stepped out on to the racecourse in front of King George V's horse, Anmer, at Britain's Epsom Derby on this day in 1913 to draw his and the country's attention to the women's suffrage cause.

It's thought that her intention was to attach a sash to the bridle of his mount but sadly she was hit by the horse and sustained injuries that resulted in her death four days later. Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of London for her funeral, and her coffin was accompanied by thousands of suffragettes. The jockey who hit her would remain "haunted" by her face. He went on to kill himself in his early 70s.

Emily was a fierce campaigner and by the time she sprang to fame, on this day in 1913, she had been jailed on nine occasions, force-fed 49 times and sentenced to hard labour - all for her militant belief in women's rights.

In general, the Edwardian public showed more sympathy for the horse than for Miss Davison. But today she's a feminist icon. We're toasting this brave lady, with an Aunt Emily, a classic, fruity cocktail-based on gin and calvados.

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