When my son was about ten years old, he got seriously interested and very proficient in magic tricks, origami and cocktails.
I’m sure those hobbies have come in useful for him, over the years.
I can just picture him now, fashioning a cocktail glass out of my old copies of Wine magazine (for which I used to write), and pouring a Dry Martini into it from thin air.
Not that he ever did this.
It’s all from those days when I used to return home to my young family from food and drink exhibitions and receptions with a selection of cocktail sticks (my son – and daughter – both built up quite a collection) and lots of cocktail books, little paper umbrellas, and recipes.
The trouble was my son kept on at me to buy lots of different booze to mix in his otherwise virgin cocktail shaker.
I told him if I bought all that alcohol it would bankrupt me. And if I was daft enough to drink all the cocktails he would have made from it, I would soon be joining the ethereal spirits looking down on the pair of us.
While most people wouldn’t go to the trouble and expense of mixing a wide selection of alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) drinks, I suspect quite a few wouldn’t exactly say no to a decent cocktail.
And a cruise ship is the perfect place to do your sampling.
Cocktails for two – or two cocktails for one?
Not only do most cruise ships have several bars to choose from, but those floating watering holes are usually presided over by an experienced bartender who is very adept at a) remembering what his/her regular passengers/guests prefer to drink and b) introducing them to his/her speciality liquid novelties.
Daiquiris, Dry Martinis, Caipirinhas.
And decent Bloody Mary’s, which are far too often underrated. There is an art to mixing a good one – I should know for I once a judge at a Bloody Mary competition in London. The worst combo was a BM with tired strips of smoked salmon hanging over the glass…
I also used to enjoy to a Tamahine cooler, named after a character played by Nancy Kwan in the 1964 comedy film, Tamahine, in which she co-starred with Dennis Price.
The barman at the Empire cinema in London’s Leicester Square created this cocktail, and for several years I ordered it in various bars and clubs – having memorised its recipe (dark Navy rum, Dubonnet, slice of orange, dash of soda, crushed ice, or something like this).
Looking back, ordering my own personal cocktail probably made me feel grown up, like my hero, James Bond, who preferred his dry Martinis ice cold, shaken and not stirred.
But then I was just 17 at the time – and shouldn’t have been allowed into those bars in the first place.
What really influenced this choice of fluid combo was that I’d once served Nancy Kwan – albeit not with a cocktail – when I was a junior salesman at Aspreys, the Royal jewellers in New Bond Street.
I bet your lips are watering…mine did, when I watched Ms Kwan on the screen.
But if it’s the booze you’re after, think on this…
Too many cocktails and you could find yourself the subject of:
The Drunkard’s Ode
How well do I remember, ’twas in the late December,
I was walking on the deck quite full of pride,
My heart was all aflutter as I slipped down in the gutter,
And a pig came there and laid down by my side;
And as I lay there in the gutter, all too soused to even mutter,
A lady passing by was heard to say:
‘One may tell a brute that boozes by the company he chooses,’
Hearing this the pig got up and walked away.
- The ice bar cruiseth Imagine cruising in the Caribbean on a sweltering autumn...
- Cruising with the Count Greetings. I am…Dracula. I bid you…welcome. I recently decided...
- Water, water everywhere – some with booze in it W.C. Fields, the classic curmudgeon of film comedy and...
- Cruising goes to the dogs The noblest of all dogs is the hot dog;...