15 May

National Chocolate Chip Day

Death By Chocolate

So we are drinking a...

Death By Chocolate

Someone, somewhere, quite randomly we're sure, decided that today is National Chocolate Chip Day.

We're not going to research the veracity of the day too closely because we don't want to blow this opportunity to raid the freezer for the chocolate ice-cream and drink a completely guilt-free Death by Chocolate.

Happy birthday, Las Vegas!

The city of Las Vegas was born this day in 1905, and what better way to celebrate this party city than with a cocktail created in honour of its most famous denizens, the Rat Pack?

Because, until the gangsters made the town, and the Rat Pack moved in to sing, drink and party, Las Vegas was nothing much but a little backwater in the desert.

According to legend, it was Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart's wife, who coined the name, exclaiming, after the gang returned from Vegas, "You look like a goddamn rat pack!" Who were the Rat Pack? The ever-changing cast of members included David Niven, Bogart himself, Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. But for most of us the Rat Pack will forever mean Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Junior, the inspiration for Wayne Collins' Rat Pack Manhattan.

It's Tenzing Norgay's birthday

This day in 1914 - or possibly slightly later in the month - Tenzing Norgay was born in a remote Tibetan valley. He would go on to become one of the world's great climbers, and a hero to his adopted country, Nepal, after completing the first ascent of Everest with Edmund Hillary.

Probably reflecting the racial politics of the time, Hillary got a knighthood for the ascent, while Norgay only got a medal. This, despite the fact that Norgay had climbed with almost every expedition that had got anywhere near the summit of Everest.

We're toasting Tenzing Norgay, his successors, like Apa Sherpa, who has summited Everest 21 times, and the many unsung Nepalese who have died climbing Everest, with a Mountain Man.

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