21 Enero

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It's the anniversary of the last Blitz

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London Gypsy

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On the night of 21 January, 1944, with Germany firmly losing the war and British bombers already flattening German cities, Hitler's forces began Operation Steinbock, the last bombing campaign against Britain.

Unsurprisingly, it didn't go well. Very few of the 447 bombers sent out actually reached London; those that did dropped only 30 tonnes of bombs; and most of the bombers were recalled from duty after Allied forces landed at Anzio in Italy.

Attacks would continue, all the same, into May, and kill around 2,000 civilians. A shocking number, sure, but the bombing of Dresden, in 1945, would kill possibly as many as 100,000 people, while the bombing of Hamburg in 1943 left a million homeless and more than 40,000 dead.

Now that we live in a Europe where this sort of conflict is frankly unimaginable, we're toasting the brave folk of London with a London Gypsy.

It's Lady of Altagracia Day

Altagracia is the patron saint of The Dominican Republic, and is based on an interpretation of the Virgin Mary.

One of the many stories of Altagracia suggests that a portrait of her kept disappearing from a house, only to keep turning up in an orange tree. Another story comes from a book called The Gift of Gracias, and explains how the Lady of Altagracia saved a family's farm through an abundant orange harvest.

Whichever story you prefer, it can generally be agreed that the festival is associated with oranges, so we decided that a Honeysuckle Daiquiri would not only reflect this, but is a delicious cocktail as well. Enjoy!

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