20 May

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It's Levi Jeans' birthday

So we are drinking a...

Cold Whisky Punch

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Fashion history was made today in 1873 when Levi Strauss and his business partner, Jacob Davis, received a patent from the USA patent office giving them exclusive rights to strengthen working men's trousers with metal rivets.

This act, a response to a customer who kept ripping the pockets of his trousers, transformed hard-wearing denim trousers, which had been around for years, into the items we know today as jeans. And it led, inevitably, over the years to a range of fashion statements from snow wash jeans to skinny jeans via the starlet's favourite white denim, the muffin-top and camel-toe abomination known as "jeggings", fluoro colours and, oh dear god, pink jeans on men.

We are raising a toast with a cocktail rather younger than the jean: a Rusty Nail. And, whether you like your jeans blue, black or even, heaven forfend, pink, we recommend you join us. Or you may, like our good friend Jacob Briars, use the excuse to celebrate with a blue drink such as a Gun Metal Blue Cocktail, or his own signature Corpse Reviver No. Blue.

It’s also World Bee Day

Honey bees and bumblebees live collectively. They help pollinate many plants and many foods we eat, from beans to berries to fruits such as apples and pears. Yet, bees are threatened with a global, and somewhat mysterious, decline.

In a world without bees, UK farmers could face costs of £1.8 billion a year to pollinate crops. Our foods could increase in price because production costs rocket and our economy would likely plummet as a result. They’re key to biodiversity. British beekeepers estimate that 85 per cent of Europe’s wildflowers is pollinated by bees. Even livelihoods face an impact, with some 600,000 beekeepers in the EU. And that’s beside the part where bees go extinct.

As global attention falls on bees, and other pollinators for that matter, World Bee Day raises awareness around the growing concern of the bee population decline. And today’s date is no coincidence to coincide with the birth of Anton Janša, an 18th-century painter and beekeeper who established modern beekeeping practises.

There are things you can do to help, including building a bee hotel, avoiding pesticides and buying local honey. We’d also suggest you refer to this expert guide to raw honey and its use in cocktails.

Today, in honour of these small but mighty creatures, we’re toasting a Bee’s Knees, simply with dry gin, honey and lemon juice. Or perhaps, raise a Honey Bee Mine and celebrate our fuzzy friends.

It's the anniversary of the Moore Tornado

This day in 2013, a category five tornado swept through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, killing more than 20 people, including children in their classroom, and injuring almost 400.

Can we blame climate change? Well, climate change does have an impact on tornadoes. But, according to the Climate Change Assessment, where Americans are seeing climate change is in other areas.

Floods, whether caused by torrential rain or, in Alaska, by the sea consuming coastline that is no longer protected by ice, are becoming more common. Drought is an increasing risk. And bushfires are burning faster and longer.

Cheery stuff, all round. And Britain, too, is apparently becoming rainier - or at least the north is. We are lifting our spirits with a Brainstorm (definitely not a rainstorm). Cheers!

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