16 October

The Last Word cocktail image

It's National Liqueur Day

So we are drinking a...

The Last Word cocktail

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Of all the unofficial “National Holidays to emerge from the USA, National Liqueur Day is surely one of the highlights of the calendar.

We owe much to monks and the ancient monasteries of Europe for the origins of liqueurs and the processes still used to make them. It is with this in mind that today we are enjoying a Last Word, a boozy cocktail with a generous slug of both Chartreuse and Maraschino liqueurs - two of the most noble liqueurs in the bartenders' arsenal.

World Food Day

For more than 30 years, today has been World Food Day. Why? Because 870 million people around the world do not have enough to eat, and more than three million under-fives will die of malnutrition this year. And sadly, it is the world's poorest that are being hit hardest by climate change.

World Food Day is a day to consider issues including: genetically modifying crops so that they must be grown from bought seed, flying strawberries and asparagus from Kenya to the UK, clearing swathes of the Amazon rainforest to farm beef, fishing entire species into extinction, or turning land into desert through overgrazing.

Today, the UN would like us to think about sustainable food systems and how by changing daily habits and making simple decisions, we can all make a difference. We'll be pondering this over a Breakfast Club cocktail.

Oscar Wilde's Birthday

Son of a knighted surgeon and his artistic wife, Oscar Wilde was born on this day in 1854 in Dublin, Ireland. He'd go on to craft novels, plays and poems and ultimately scandalise the world.

Mr. Wilde was also something of a fan of absinthe. He observed that "Absinthe has a wonderful colour, green. A glass of absinthe is as poetical as anything in the world." He also described the intoxicating effects of the green fairy. After a first stage of ordinary drunkenness, Wilde says, you enter the first stage of hallucination, where you see "monstrous and cruel things", and then the second "where you see things that you want to see".

We are toasting one of history's greatest wits with a Martini Special, a grown-up Martini with an absinthe edge that we borrowed from Harry Craddock's 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. Or, you may consider a Dorian Gray, named for Oscar Wilde's most notorious literary creation, more appropriate.

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