Saturday 16 May 2020

A Discovery

It has been widely remarked that retail sales of booze have risen sharply under lockdown. This is hardly surprising: if there are no pubs and restaurants to drink in, home will have to do. Me, I've been tidying things up by drinking the remnants left in various bottles – our glass recycling must be raising eyebrows among the bin men. Also, addressing the current situation, I have been pursuing my researches into the prophylactic effects of alcohol. Not any old alcohol, but only certain forms: good whisky obviously fends off disease, as does, I'm pretty sure, pastis (especially M. Bardouin's elixir) and very probably Benedictine. And I once killed a flu stone dead with two glasses of grappa. What else? I think the wonderful world of bitters looks promising, but it's hard to find anything very interesting in that line, so my researches have been limited – until, that is, I found this Vermut Lustau rosé winking at me seductively from the bottom shelf in my local (but not local enough) Waitrose.
  Lustau vermouths are made in Jerez from a variety of sherries (already fortified, so no raw alcohol added) plus a range of fine botanicals – in the case of the rosé, chamomile, nutmeg, vanilla, cardamom and the all important wormwood. The result is something vastly better than your standard vermouth: a lovely mix of bitter and sweet, fruity and herbal, spicy and floral – the works. It's a pleasure to drink on its own with ice and a slice of orange or, to make it go further, a good squirt of soda. Highly recommended. Salud!


  1. whisky defintely kills colds!! and yes a dodgy tummy on holiday seems to be quickly fixed with whatever the local pastis/ouzo/hierbas type drink is.

    Lovely healthy booze! :D

  2. Well Nige, I have several strategies for accelerating time, even here in La La Land, where time often stands still. We have a spin-dryer which, in this climate, we hardly ever use, but if I decide to give it a 'service' I can kill a good hour, which might have been spent counting the slats on the window-shutters. To do a 'proper job' I don't just remove the fluff from the sieve on the dryer door, but also from the grills on the machine itself. Alternatively, I can just relax in a chair and pick a licor. Perhaps one of the obscure herbal mixtures I have discovered since coming to live here; Pacharan for instance. Anise based,it is made (in Navarra mostly)by soaking sloe fruits from the blackthorn shub - and at 25% vol. a pleasant evening can be spent finishing a bottle, without the need for Fernet-Branca in the morning. Another tip - Licor 43 or Cuarenta y Tres, a golden, herby, whisky-type concoction, with honey overtones. 31% vol. Spaniards don't like to get drunk - at least in public.

  3. Thanks for the tips, Mm. I've had Pacharan – a gift from my daughter after a Spanish trip – and loved it. Must get a bottle online, and try Licor 43 while I'm at it. All in the cause of science. Salud!