14 November

National Pickle Day

The Cornichon

So we are drinking...

The Cornichon

In a bit of a pickle? Perfect, because today is National Pickle Day. Celebrated annually on 14th November, this is yet another calendar day that originated in America, we'd guess courtesy of a marketer trying to sell more pickles. However, the humble pickle is indeed worthy of celebration.

In the US and Canada, the word 'pickle' refers to a pickled cucumber, what we Brits call a gherkin. North American readers may be interested to know that 'pickle' in Britain is a vinegary pickled chutney, the best-known brand being Branston Pickle.

Pickles, or indeed gherkins, are a traditional bar snack, predating the cocktail. Indeed, its customary for British pubs to offer large gherkins (what we Brits call 'wallys') as bar snacks. But it is the tiny Cornichon, now often termed a "cocktail gherkin", that tends to grace cocktail bars, so today we are rather appropriately celebrating with a Cornichon Cocktail. We also recommend a Pickle Back or even a Pickle Whack Cocktail.

P. J. O'Rourke's birthday

American libertarian, journalist, author and political satirist, P.J. O'Rourke celebrates his birthday today.

We would like to pay tribute to the great man, who has been married to his second wife since 1995, with some choice excerpts from his Bachelor's Home Companion. "A good bachelor drinks his dessert." "Remember, your body needs 6 to 8 glasses of fluid daily. Straight up or on the rocks." "The only really good vegetable is Tabasco sauce. Put Tabasco sauce in everything." And: "Never serve oysters during a month that has no paycheck in it."

Happy birthday, sir. We are toasting you with a Brainstorm, a long lost bourbon cocktail that includes a few suspiciously European ingredients. Please don't hold it against us.

It's Children's Day in India

While much of the world celebrates Children's Day in June, India has chosen today to honour its youth. Why? Well, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, was born on this day in 1889.

After fighting for Indian independence under Gandhi, Nehru ruled India from its establishment as its own nation in 1947 until his death in 1964. Indian children remember him today as Chacha Nehru (Uncle Nehru) and praise his lifelong passion and work for the welfare, education and development of children and young people. Toast Nehru and India's future with an Indian Rose.

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