Sadly the legal minds at Elitistreview have reminded me that titles like this are the sort of thing the dreary fun police and their miserable, misanthropic informers pounce upon just in case there is a suggestion that someone might be having a laugh. Consequently, I must point out that anyone below whatever age is required in your country shouldn’t ever even look at a bottle of booze, let alone drink any, because it definitely does not make you big and clever[ref]Have I ever mentioned I’m 190cm tall and studied four degrees, including a doctorate, at Oxford University?[/ref]. So no drinking by anyone underage, by order! Everyone else, read on.
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The local Marks and Spencer here in Winchester has some hilariously childish drinks (pictured left). I could hardly turn down an offer of fizzy pop with silly flavours in real glass bottles, something I haven’t seen since the milkman used to deliver them to my grandparent’s place when I was a much younger elitist and generally drank ginger cordial (10 degrees proof[ref]The old English system of alcohol measurement is one of my favourite bizarrely contrived scales, very different to the US proof scale. 100 degrees English proof being enough alcohol in solution to ignite gunpowder. Brilliant![/ref]) mixed with my pop.
First up I tried the cream soda. It is not amazingly sweet but very strongly flavoured with vanilla. Quite tasty! If you want to get your little ones started early on [link2post id=”1482″]Harvey Wallbangers[/link2post] then a decent slug of this mixed with fresh orange juice would be a perfect junior cocktail.
Rhubarb and Custard tastes so remarkably like the boiled sweets of the same name I keep expecting the roof of my mouth to be lacerated by countless tiny cuts if I keep the stuff in my mouth for too long. Again it is not so very sweet but rather scrummy.
For those who don’t know the sweets they are torpedo-shaped lumps of solid sugar, coloured yellow on one side and red on the other. The red side has an acidic, artificial fruit flavour and the yellow side is sweet. The idea is to suck them (if you chew you risk shattering molars) until all the little bubbles that get incorporated in the sweet as it is made become revealed and yield razor-sharp edges that slash your mouth up. Eating more than 4 makes one’s mouth sore for days.
Alas, I felt these drinks were lacking a touch of complexity and could do with more acidity, so I went to the freezer and liberated my Tanqueray Rangpur gin.
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I only discovered this gem a few days ago and, whilst it is a bit tame at a mere 41.3%, it has a powerful, interesting flavour enhanced by essence of the rare Rangpur limes – so rare that no one I’ve asked has heard of them.
The booze and acidity this added to the Rhubard and Custard worked a treat, you can go for quite a decent shot mixed in without it dominating. A lovely drink for anyone childish in spirit (not chronologically – see above).
Cream Soda needed a very careful hand with the gin, too much and the vanilla flavour got hidden. If I had any to hand I’d test this, but I think Absolut Vanilla vodka might be a better improver for this pop. Still, it perked up my lunchtime’s silliness.
They have a few other childish drinks in M&S; if any merit it then I shall report when they’ve been sampled.
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