15 March

Espresso Martini Day

Espresso Martini

So we are drinking an...

Espresso Martini

Somebody somewhere has ordained March 15th "Espresso Martini Day" but we suspect this date was chosen due to its previous lack of notable celebrations calling for a particular cocktail, rather than any link between the date and Dick Bradsell's much imbibed "wake her up, and f@@k her up" Martini.

Dick originally created this cocktail in 1993 as the more appropriately named Vodka Espresso before the 1990s fashion for Neo-Martinis led him to reinvent the decerning drinker's answer to a Vodka-Redbull as the Espresso Martini. By 1998 it had been renamed again, the Pharmaceutical Stimulant, but it was as the Espresso Martini that his creation became one of the world's most popular cocktails.

Dick was a good friend and valued contributor and we've searched for a reason why the 15th March should be Espresso Martini day rather than say 4th May, Dick's birthday, but to no avail. [Please set us straight if we've missed the bleeding obvious!]

No matter, any day is a good day to enjoy an Espresso Martini, or for that matter a Vodka Espresso, or even a Pharmaceutical Stimulant. Or, ponder which of our selection of the 20 best Espresso Martinis to try.

It's also Selfridges' birthday

On this very day in 1909, Selfridges opened on London's Oxford Street. It's still the second largest shop in the UK at 50,000 m2 (only beaten by Harrods).

Ever since Wisconsin-born H. Gordon Selfridge opened the store, his aim was to make shopping a fun experience rather than a chore. From displaying the monoplane that Louis Bleriot used to make the first cross-Channel flight to its stunning window displays, it's always an experience.

The London flagship store now has other branches, including Exchange Square in Manchester, and Birmingham's Bull Ring. The entire chain was bought by Canadian, Galen Weston, in 2003 for £628 million. This proved a good investment for the Weston family when they sold Selfridges to a Thai retailer and an Austrian property company for an estimated £4bn ($5.36bn) in December 2021.

The store's early history was dramatised in ITV's 2013 television series Mr Selfridge. The store also has a successful online incarnation, so it's fair to say that despite being over a century old, Selfridges is still buzzing... which is why we thought that a London Cosmopolitan would be a great drink to toast its birthday.

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