15 April

The band played on

A Sinking Cocktail

So we are drinking an...

A Sinking Cocktail

Early this day in 1912, the RMS Titanic passenger liner sank beneath the sub-zero waters of the Atlantic and spiralled almost 4,000 metres (12,500 feet) down to the silty, pitch-black sea floor.

More than 1500 people would die, either sinking with the ship or freezing to death in the icy waters around her. Of all the tales of heroism from that night - John Jacob Astor, who sent his pregnant young wife to the lifeboats but stayed behind himself, to the Captain who went down with his ship, to John Edward Hart, who went down into the depths of the ship to rescue Third Class passengers, it's the band that stands out. To prevent panic among the hundreds facing certain death, and a potentially lethal storming of the lifeboats, they stood on the deck and played calming, jaunty tunes. Their bravery and composure, despite knowing they would go down with the ship, most likely saved hundreds of lives.

We are raising a glass to the band and other brave folk, and remembering the "unsinkable ship" with a Sinking Cocktail. We are also remembering the iceberg that caused the disaster with an Iced Sake Martini, which includes icewine made from frozen grapes.

Leonardo Da Vinci's Birthday

Today we raise our glass to Leonardo di ser Piero Da Vinci, arguably the single most talented person ever to have lived. Artist, architect, scientist, mathematician, writer, inventor and mapmaker, Leonardo was the illegitimate son of a peasant woman, born in Vinci, Tuscany, on this day in 1452.

Many centuries before such things were achievable, Leonardo had the idea for a helicopter, a tank, a form of solar power and a submarine. He pioneered anatomy, researched physics and was one of the most talented painters and sculptors of his era.

He was also not only left-handed but a vegetarian, and almost certainly gay into the bargain. So, wherever you are today, think of this extraordinary man and drink to him with a Da Vinci Code.

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