1 November

The Day Of The Dead


So we are drinking an...


Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) festivities are held on November 1st (All Saints Day) and November 2nd (All Souls Day), a celebration which (almost) seamlessly blends Christian beliefs with activities so firmly pre-Christian the Aztecs would probably recognize them. Traditionally, today honours deceased children and tomorrow honours adults who have passed away.

In Catholicism, it's All Saints Day, or All Hallows, or Hallowmas - Hallowe'en is, of course, the evening before Hallowmas -- a day to commemorate everyone who has died and gone to heaven. In Mexico, families tend to the graves of their ancestors and honour them with offerings. Little sugar skulls replace the real heads the Aztecs might have offered, while flowers, food and drink are also popular.

We are marking today with a Obituario, a riff on the classic Obituary. Still, you may prefer a Oaxaca Old-Fashioned, named for the Mexican city where Día de Muertos is most celebrated. Both cocktails are laced with tequila and mezcal, and while they may not raise the dead, they will certainly lift your spirits. For other fitting cocktails for today, and indeed tomorrow, perhaps check our 20 best Tequila cocktails and our 20 best Mezcal cocktails.

It's also World Vegan Day

Whether you're fully committed to the vegan lifestyle, you partake occasionally or you just fancy trying a vegan dish, today is the perfect day to have one. However, today is not just about eating plant-based foods, it's about raising awareness of the positive impact a vegan lifestyle can have upon the planet, yourself and the animal kingdom.

Veganism in our society today has been steadily rising with millions of people globally now opting for a plant-based lifestyle. This goes beyond not eating or drinking any animal-based products but also includes, for example, using products that haven't been tested on animals and not wearing leather, suede, fur etc.

The Vegan Society was founded in 1944 and 50 years later in 1994, Louise Wallis founded World Vegan Day in celebration. However, veganism dates back further than you may have thought as historians have found evidence that tells us people have been choosing to avoid animal products for over 2,000 years.

Vegan diets have been linked to better health, whilst also helping to reduce loss of animal life and cruelty. Fewer animal products also help to reduce greenhouse gases which is inevitably better for the planet.

Options to celebrate World Vegan Day can include going to a vegan event, experimenting with a new vegan dish at home with friends, or enjoying a Spicy Veggy with us.

It's International Xinomavro Day

The dominant red wine grape variety from the north of Greece steps into the global wine map with its very own day. Xinomavro as a multi-dynamic variety can be found in different types and styles of wines, sometimes classic-rustic and sometimes modern-innovative.

In recent years, the Greek wine industry has made significant efforts and implemented huge improvements in the production of quality wines, so raising the reputation of Greek wines both at home and abroad. As a result, indigenous Greek varietals can be adopted by conscious consumers and true wine connoisseurs worldwide.

Sadly, we don't yet have a delicious cocktail cleverly incorporating Xinomavro into its name so we suggest you fix yourself a Greek Martini to sip on while you read more about the xinomavro grape variety.

The day women joined the Royal Navy

With Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and other countries allowing women in their armies to participate in combat roles, it's odd to think that it was as recently as this day in 1993 that women were allowed into the Royal Navy.

Before then, women had been a part of a separate service, the Women's Royal Naval Service (or "Wrens"), created during the First World War to free up men for combat by having women do... well, cooking, cleaning, telephony and intelligence. During World War II, under the snigger-worthy headline "Free Men for the Fleet", as many as 74,000 women served as Wrens. But it wasn't until 1 November 1993 that the Navy accepted women could do the same jobs and undergo the same training as men, closed the WRNS and integrated women sailors into the Navy.

We're toasting the anniversary of this small gain for women's rights with an Army & Navy cocktail, a classic courtesy of David Embury's 1948 The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.

Sistine Chapel Unveiled

On this day, the Feast of All Saints, in 1512, Pope Julius II inaugurated the Vatican's Sistine Chapel with a solemn Mass and revealed Michelangelo's magnificent artwork.

Michelangelo found the four years of work so hard that he wrote a poem complaining about the "torture" involved. He must therefore have been a glutton for punishment, as he returned over 20 years later to create his iconic Last Judgement. Today, more than five million visitors a year visit the chapel to admire Michelangelo's art, and cardinals still gather there to elect a new pope.

The Angel's Share cocktail that we are drinking tonight in honour of Michelangelo is based on cognac, a spirit from which the angels are said to take their share (through evaporation) as it ages.

The Day Of The Dead image 1 The Day Of The Dead image 2

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