10 August

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Magellan heads round the world

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One of the world’s greatest navigators and captains, the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan set out from Seville, Spain, on this day in 1519, in command of five Spanish ships.

His mission was to circumnavigate the globe. Only one of Magellan's ships, the Victoria, would survive the three-year ordeal, along with just 18 of its original crew. Although the expedition completed its mission, Magellan did not make the entire voyage, as he was killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines in a premature attempt to convert the natives to Christianity. In honour of a great explorer, and the epic voyage that bears his name, we are drinking a Navigator: a citrussy gin-based mid-noughties creation by Jamie Terrell with limoncello and pink grapefruit juice.

Today is also Independence Day in Ecuador

On this day in 1830, Ecuador broke away from the confederation of Greater Colombia, which it had joined on gaining freedom from the Spanish. So the people of this equatorial country celebrate their independence today.

As a country, Ecuador is quite crazily diverse. Its landscape runs all the way from the Amazon rainforest to the snowy peaks of the Andes - not to mention the remote Galapagos Islands, whose unique animals, all unafraid of humans, helped Darwin to formulate his Theory of Evolution. With all this diversity, the country is home to over 16,000 different types of plants, and more than 15% of all bird species known on earth. So we'll be celebrating this Latin American nation, and, of course, its independence, with an appropriately named and suitably tropical cocktail, the Jungle Bird, a drink originally from 1970s Malaysia we purloined from Jeff 'Beachbum' Berry's Intoxica.

Today is also Britain's Hottest Day

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

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