10 September

Coolman Cocktail image

Britain's hottest day

So we are drinking a...

Coolman Cocktail

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Britain has an unjustified reputation for being cold, wet and rainy. But this day back in 2003 it was hot, very hot. Indeed, it was the hottest day ever.

The temperature soared to 38.1˚C (100.6˚F) in Gravesend, Kent and 38.5˚C (101.3˚F) in nearby Brogdale - the highest recorded since records began back in 1875. The summer of 2003 was particularly hot across Europe with record temperatures also recorded in France, Portugal and Switzerland.

Thing is Britain is clement - never that hot or particularly cold, or even that wet, especially in the south of England. Due to the lack of extremes in temperature we Brits aren't generally well prepared for snow or heat - neither the infrastructure or our homes. Consequently, in that blazing summer of 2003 speed restrictions had to be introduced on the trains to prevent rails buckling, meaning that sweltering commuters had to endure delays of up to an hour without aircon.

All that said we do like a sunny day and in the hope the sun is shining where you are we present a selection of 'cool' cocktails:

Absinthe Cooler
Cider Apple Cooler
Citrus Rum Cooler
The Colonial Cooler
Cool Martini
Cool Orchard
Coolman Cocktail
Desert Cooler
Harvard Cooler
Key West Cooler
Lincoln Club Cooler
Manger Rum Cooler
Passbour Cooler
Remsen Cooler
Saigon Cooler
Shady Grove Cooler
Warsaw Cooler
Watermelon Cooler
Wine cooler

Arnold Palmer's Birthday

Golf legend Arnold Palmer was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, on this day in 1929 - he would go on to become one of the most successful sportsmen of all time, winning over 90 championships, including seven majors and four Masters.

Most famously for cocktail geeks, he donated his name to one of the world's best mocktails - an addictive combo of home-made lemonade and iced tea. No slouch at marketing, Arnold marketed his own version under the brand name Arnold Palmer Tee. For a true, refreshing flavour, mix your own Arnold Palmer at home with freshly brewed breakfast tea and remember this great sportsman who died 26th September 2016, aged 87.

Amex launched in Britain

On this day in 1963, a rather bewildered BBC announced a new-fangled arrival on these shores: an American Express credit card, available to members for an annual fee of three pounds and twelve shillings.

The Bank of England allowed this foreign incursion on condition that folk wouldn't spend more than £75 on any single item abroad. The Beeb observed that "this move by American Express is bound to give a powerful boost to the idea of credit cards in Britain, which have not, so far, spread very far": Diners Club, which beat American Express to the jump, never really penetrated the UK market.

Today, Britons owe around £63.1 billion, or £2,336 per household on them. And, yes, just as banks sold financial products based on sub-prime mortgages, they continue to sell products based on credit card repayments. Call us cynical, but we're marking this particular anniversary with a Rocky Left Bank.

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