5 August

Mantini image

It's International Beer Day

So we are drinking a...


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Celebrated annually on the first Friday of August, International Beer Day (IBD) was conceived in 2007 by Jesse Avshalomov at a bar in Santa Cruz, California and has since become truly international with folk around the world embracing a day that celebrates beer. August was chosen for its summer weather and distance from other beer celebrations.

For most this is just a good excuse to drink more beer but International Beer Day has three declared purposes:
• To enjoy beer whilst gathered with friends.
• To celebrate the fine art of the brewer and those who serve beer.
• To unite the world by celebrating the wonder of beers from all countries of the globe. To quote the organisers, "There aren't a lot of things the whole world agrees on, but enjoying beer is one of them, so let's all raise a pint this August 5th: to Beer, a drink that brings the world together."

In the spirit of cocktail of the day, may we suggest, like us, that you combine a passion for beer and cocktails with a 'beertail' such as a Mantini, a manly, Martini-style cocktail with a hint of the finest British cask-conditioned ale in place of vermouth, and some masculine cooked bacon adorning the olive. Male or female, we reckon you'll enjoy. Alternatively, follows are links to our 10 favourite beertails:

1. Beggar's Banquet
2. Byrrh & Beer on-the-rocks
3. De Beauvoir
4. Gilbey Vintners Punch
5. Huckle My Buff
6. Reality Check
7. Revolutionary Flip
8. Shaky Pete's Ginger Brew
9. Smoky Mocha Spritz
10. Weissen Sour

We are also drinking to Richard Burton

The love of Elizabeth Taylor's life, the most-nominated actor never to have won an Oscar, and the most celebrated British actor never to have been knighted, Richard Burton died on this day in 1984.

The twelfth of thirteen children of an impoverished coal miner, Burton rose from a small Welsh village to a peak of shared celebrity equivalent only to Brangelina today - he was even condemned by the Pope.

Burton once boasted he could drink four pints of vodka during a stage performance, and fended off an assault from Elizabeth Taylor without spilling a drop of his favoured large martini. We are toasting his memory with his beverage of choice, none other than the Vodka Martini.

We are also drinking to peace

At the height of the Cold War, on this day in 1963 the United States, the USSR and Britain made a historic move towards world peace by agreeing the first-ever nuclear test ban treaty. (France, the only other nation then known to have nuclear weapons, refused to sign, as did China, which was about to start testing its new devices.)

The Moscow treaty banned all testing in the air, in the water or, for that matter, in outer space, although it did allow for underground tests. Why the treaty? Well, during the 1950s the fallout from nuclear weapons testing in Siberia and the Pacific islands people were starting to realise that radiation could cause cancers, birth defects and long-term damage, and that uncontrolled testing of nuclear weapons could leave the planet a toxic wasteland.

Within a few months, more than a hundred other nations would sign up to the treaty, an important step to halting the nuclear arms race. Let's raise a toast to our safer world, and the international public pressure that led to the treaty, with a Nuclear Daiquiri, a suitably explosive Daiquiri created in 2005 at London's LAB bar by our much missed friend, Gregor de Gruyther. The similarly styled and Tiki influenced Test Pilot by Trader Vic also seems fitting. Cheers.

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