Drinks we need

I had a rather late night last night, indeed it dragged into what could be called a somewhat dissolute mid-morning. Consequently, when I hauled myself out of bed bright and early this afternoon I thought I’d make myself one of the brilliant Singatoba Nespresso coffees. It was indeed brilliant, and I felt moderately perked up.

‘Moderately perked up’ is nowhere near good enough, of course, we want ‘charged with dark power’. To achieve this I made myself a couple of heroic gin and tonics. The G&T is a much under-rated drink, it refreshes and invigorates most successfully whilst being easy for even a sleep-deprived and somewhat aching mind to concentrate on mixing the perfect example.

My gin for choice for a top G&T is Tanqueray. Don’t piss about with Tanqueray Ten, it is just not worth the money; I even find it unsatisfying as the basis for a martini. These days there are plenty of flash, designer gins around, some of which are rather good, but I’m a Tanqueray man.

The most consistently impressive G&T’s I’ve had have been in the Basque country. The food and drink culture there is so compelling for the lover of good times and dissolute experiences. When you order a G&T in there they stick a pint glass on the bar, toss in a bit of ice, then start pouring in the Tanqueray (and pleasingly it is almost always Tanqueray). When you feel you’ve got a big enough slug of gin signal them to stop pouring. None of these pissy 25ml shots you get in the UK, they’ll pour as much as you fancy.

Of course, a few of these most excellent G&T’s with lunch will assist in the de rigueur afternoon nap of which the Basques seem to approve. Don’t doze for too long, though, as you’ll want to hit the tapas (locally called pintxos) bars in the late afternoon for some lovely nibbles to keep you going until dinner time, which is traditionally quite late here.

A gin and tonic is clearly preferable to cheap, crap wine. If filth fizzy lager is the only beer on offer G&T’s will beat that too. Just remember when mixing your own that the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

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