12 Deciembre

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It's Ol' Blue Eyes birthday

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Jersey Sour

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Frank Sinatra, born today in 1915, sang in the musical On the Town, “I want to wake up, in a city that never sleeps/And find I’m king of the hill/Top of the heap.”

He was from New Jersey but didn't let that hold him back. One of the most enduring musical icons of all time, and a successful actor too, Sinatra married Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow and dated Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Judy Garland. At the heart of the Rat Pack, a group of celebrities that made iconic their slouchy, suit-clad Vegas cool, Sinatra counted Humphrey Bogart and John F. Kennedy among his friends and partied as hard as he sang.

The Jersey Sour, a timelessly classy blend of Calvados and citrus, is enough to make anyone feel "top of the heap".

It's also National Cocoa Day

For no particular reason that we are aware of, our American friends have declared 13th December to be "National Cocoa Day". It's a time of year when those of us in the northern hemisphere are already enduring colder weather, so it's an appropriate time to enjoy the warming effects of a cup of hot chocolate (or "hot cocoa" in America).

Made using hot skimmed (1%) or semi-skimmed (2%) milk and cocoa powder, which is free of cocoa butter, this warming drink has a healthy fat and calorie count. However, it tastes better when indulgently rich and made with full fat milk, cocoa power, ground chocolate and brown sugar, served topped with whipped cream and a bar of Cadbury Flake chocolate.

Alternatively, may we suggest an equally indulgent chocolaty drink of the alcoholic variety. Garnished with a couple of segments of the similarly named triangular chocolate bar, our Toblerone Cocktail is named after the Swiss chocolate maker, Theodor Tobler.

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