2 April

National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

Clover Club (House-Made)

So we are drinking a...

Clover Club (House-Made)

April 2nd is officially "National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day" and if you're American you'll be well aware of this culinary delight – after all the "average American will have eaten over 2,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the time they graduate from high school."

For fellow Brits and others, "jelly" is the American name for jam/conserve and in America, this is popularly liberally spread with peanut butter as a sandwich filling. So much so, that during World War II peanut butter and jelly were part of American soldiers' rations.

This is unquestionably a tasty combo but there is much debate over whether crunchy or smooth peanut butter is best, and what jam to use: raspberry, strawberry, blackberry etc. While you ponder that, perhaps also contemplate a Peanut Butter & Jelly Shot. Yup, we've made such a cocktail but thankfully is doesn't contain peanut butter. We did try it as an ingredient in an Utterly Butterly, but concluded it's better in a sarnie.

While the use of peanut butter in a cocktail is questionable, jam can be delicious as illustrated by the Velvet Revolver, House-made Clover Club, and Cosmonaut cocktails.

Fairy Tale King's birthday

No childhood would be complete without the fairy stories of Hans Christian Andersen, born today in 1805 in Odense, Denmark.

Creator of The Little Match Girl, The Little Mermaid and The Princess and the Pea, he also wrote The Snow Queen, which was the inspiration for Disney's smash hit Frozen. Andersen based his story of The Ugly Duckling on his own experiences of growing up tall, gawky and just that little bit different.

While we remember him for his fairy tales, he wrote poems, plays, novels and travelogues on the side. Let's toast Denmark's most famous son with a Baltic Spring Punch, a floral creation named for the sea by which his country sits, along with, of course, Copenhagen's iconic Little Mermaid statue.

It's also Alec Guinness' birthday

Use the force, Luke! One of the best-known British actors of the twentieth century, and a unique talent, Alec Guinness was born this day in 1914. And is almost certainly spinning in his grave even now at the thought that the role he is best known for is Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars. But there was more to him than that.

He won an Oscar for his role in The Bridge on the River Kwai - and was nominated for a screenwriting Oscar, as well. He appeared in Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and A Passage to India - and taught an 8-year-old Emma Thompson the facts of life.

A complex man, scarred by a difficult childhood, Guinness wasn't a flawless human. But his acting was, and is, amazing - and so we're toasting him with a Stout Fellow, created by Matthew Coates using the dark nectar that bears his name.

Emmeline Pankhurst was sentenced this day

On this day in 1913, the suffragette leader, Emmeline Pankhurst, was sentenced to three years penal servitude for inciting her followers to bomb a house being built for the Prime Minister.

The judge remarked on Mrs P's "shameful lack of decorum" as she took to the stand with some impressive feminist oratory that even moved the all-male jury to ask the judge to impose a light sentence on her. The bombing was part of a campaign of non-lethal direct action, from attacking politicians to breaking windows and slashing paintings, in pursuit of votes for women.

In fact, women would not get the vote in Britain until they'd proved their worth by doing men's jobs in factories while the chaps got killed in the trenches during World War I. But at least Mrs Pankhurst lived to see it. And we're toasting this brave rabble-rouser with an aptly named Bitter Lady.

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