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Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy -Frank Sinatra

teleport to Tehran

Farangi Girl Cocktail

Or, What to Serve Your Book Group When They are Coming to Dinner After Reading a Powerfully Evocative Memoir of a Childhood Spent Between 1960’s Iran and Florida…

Reading is one of the few preserves of mindful engagement in this modern info-saturated world.  It’s a solitary pursuit, one devoid of sound and with few, if any pictures.  Reading liberates the reader to construct a fanciful universe in the mind’s eye, scaffolded by personal experience, and gently engineered by a skilled author-architect.
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smoky caramel pear nirvana in a glass

Pear-allel Universe

or What kind of Hospitality Gift is That?

I was hosting a lavish barbecue on the first sunny Saturday in a while when one of the guests turned up at the door bearing an ordinary tin of pears.  I tried to look pleasantly surprised and grateful, as good hosts do when presented with a gift, but my furrowed brow betrayed me.  “You said you like a challenge, so how about a cocktail with these?” were her innocent words.

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4 bottles high x 40 metres long

Tesco Value Wine

My desire to be even-handed in seeking value wines from a variety of sources found me blinking at the 40+ metres of wine-laden shelves in my nearest Tesco Extra.  I actually like food shopping at Tesco for that wide-aisled, 10 varieties of cornflakes feeling.  But their selection of wine was truly mind-boggling.  My criteria was under £7 and no obvious Tesco labelling.

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margaritaville welcomes you....

Welcome to Margaritaville

Or Where’s My Lost Shaker of Salt?*

Running in the park with the dog this morning,  I was cheered by the sight of countless tiny wild daisies raising their little heads up through the deep green grass.  Having just returned from a week in Spain, the language was still riffling through my head.  Daisy is Margarita in Spanish.  The rare confluence of English sunshine, cheerful wildflowers, and guests coming for dinner had me hankering after making juicy Margaritas for cocktail hour.

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A proper drink at the right time---one mixed with care and skill and served in the true spirit of hospitality---is better than any other made thing at giving us the illusion, at least, that we're getting what we want from life. ---David Wondrich

Thanks Dad!

Why I Started This Blog

Or Thanks, Dad!

Every Sunday lunch since I was about six years old, my father poured me, my brother and my sister a couple of “fingers” of fine wine in old shrimp cocktail glasses. He would show us on a globe where the wine was from, what it was called, and what made it different to last Sunday’s wine. I have an indelible memory of that early education in wine, before my palate became corrupted with coffee, junk food, and hot sauce.
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only dregs left after a jolly cocktail session...


When life gives you rhubarb vodka, make a cocktail…

One day in the doldrums of late winter, my friend Julia appeared at my door with a bottle of vodka. Not just any vodka, this was Chase Rhubarb Vodka, distilled from potatoes in Herefordshire, England.  A limited edition, it came complete with its own cheery little Union Jack bow tie.  As she pressed it into my hands, she said “I’m curious to see what you can do with this”.

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Green Envy

Daytime cocktails- The Green Envy

Green Envy

Lovely lunch party on a promising spring day. What to drink during the daytime? You have some cocktail-phobic friends coming so you don’t want anything too strong, but the occasion calls for something more festive than the usual Pinot Grigio. Try gently easing your friends into cocktails by starting with sparkling wine-based concoctions. I have never met anyone who didn’t like this on first sip. It’s crisp, refreshing, unusual and not too sweet. The resulting alcohol content is actually the same as that of the sparkling wine you choose to use.

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Image 05-05-2013 at 17.18