⩊ Dutch Courage ⩋

Under the deluge of news you may have missed that this is National Negroni Week.

Count Camilo’s beefed up Americano concoction (add the gin) has become so popular we-in-hospitality now roll out the bunting each year to celebrate it’s subtle, bitter charms. Regular readers of this parish will know we’re no champions of Campari so, our twist has often involved looking back at original recipes to find producers currently doing it closest to the old formulas. But now, in this week of all weeks, comes the un-holy twist. Sub-off on the gin, enter genever.

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Low Holidays

All around the country, pagan-identifying types are tuning bare-breasted towards their nearest haul of ancient stones. The ground around Stone Henge will creak under the weight of flashers and dogging enthusiasts expunging ritual joy at the altar of the saggy boob and wonky dong. The Waitrose at Fleet Service station - positioned perniciously before turning into the tailbacks of the A303 - will see a year’s worth of trade between here and Glastonbury and back again. Pull up the effigies! Burn Farage! Burn BoJO! Just don’t forget the mini Molten Mowbray pork pies.

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Back-bar Boocha

Sweet, sour, booze.

This little triptych of ingredients form the basis for a wealth of cocktails and mixed drinks that have been adored, pored over and modified since such a time that these recipes were recorded. We know the ones: sidecar, daiquiri, margarita; and we know the genres: swizzles, fixes, rickeys. All have been ripped in two and rebuilt with cut bases of spirits, flavoured syrups, botanical enhancements, fire and smoke, alchemy and voodoo. One thing that remains largely untouched however, is one of those three key elements: the sour. Lemon and lime (occasionally grapefruit) sit unchallenged at the heart of all.

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