5 July

Today is Bikini Day

So we are drinking a...

Bikini Martini

Bikini Day, an occasion typically marked by B-list celebrities – such as Poonam Pandey, once “the internet's most-downloaded model” or Cindy Margolis, “the Queen of the Internet”. It commemorates - but of course! – the invention of the bikini, which made its debut under its current name courtesy of a vehicle engineer named Louis Réard in 1946 (although it seems at least one other beat him to it).

Réard was responding to a competition to create the world's smallest swimsuit, and the design he created was so daring for the times that he couldn't find a fashion model to wear it. Micheline Bernardini, a nude dancer, eventually did the honours at Paris' Piscine Molitor swimming pool, and the white buttocks exposed by the G-string-backed design would gain her over 50,000 fan letters.

Your goal for today is to get to the closest beach to mark the day with a Bikini Martini, a drink created by Dick Bradsell for an Agent Provocateur swimwear party at the tail-end of last century.

Venezuelan Independence Day

Yesterday was American Independence Day; today it's Venezuelan Independence Day: some two hundred years ago, a group of Venezuelan luminaries, inspired by the American Declaration of Independence, and led by a general who had fought in both the American and French Revolutions, declared independence from Spain.

But it was to take more than a decade before the country finally freed itself from Spanish rule on 5 July 1811, a struggle commemorated in the colours of the flag: yellow for Venezuela's rich land, blue for the ocean that divides it from Spain, and red for the blood of the men who fought for independence.

Today some in Venezuela would probably like to return to Spanish rule, but the day is likely to be marked with substantial military parades, marching bands and ritual, plus offerings to the founding father Simón Bolívar.

We'll be toasting The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and hoping that things soon improve for the people who live there with one of the nation's favourite drinks, that classic, and eminently quaffable combination of rum, lime and cola, the Cuba Libre.

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