Monday, 29 March 2010

Come Gin With Me

Feeling a bit 70s this week. Not in our seventies, as though we ladies are ageing we still have the occasional delight of being asked for our identification when buying gin. It really is the elixir of youth. Under no circumstances tell anyone we have perfected a shifty walk and lack of eye contact as we approach the till.

So in fact back to the 1970s for us. We swung by Trailer Happiness on Thursday for a delicious gin and champagne cocktail amongst nests of tables and graphic printed curtains, but it was Saturday night when we truly went retro.

An Abigail's Party themed dinner. Jumpsuits donned, hair flicked, blue eye shadow applied we hot footed it Kensington way for a supper that began with the Queen Mum's favourite and 70's classic Gin and Dubonnet which our hosts mixed with a dash of bitter lemon. Apparently bitter lemon the mixer of favour in the late 60's early 70's favourite is becoming harder to find, patronise it now before it is too late!

The G&B was accompanied by a delightful array of suburban snacks; a foil hedgehog with cheese and pineapple, twiglets and oh so sophisticated pimento olives in a bowl. Our hosts were most certainly folks of a certain class! We sat down for dinner with a range of Afro wearing gents; sorry boys the question on everyone's lips was were they were more Jackson 5 or Kevin Keegan? Dinner consisted of a melon boat starter, paella, creme caramel and a soundtrack worthy of Studio 54 lit by a lava lamp. A 2am cab ride home, the score was a reassuring 9/10.

When it is our turn to host we're wondering if we can get away without serving food at all.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Stop your sobbing

I've been meaning to finish this entry for some time.  You may recall a certain emotional week for the ladies shortly before Christmas - "the missing week" - during which an astonishing amount of the ladies' favourite was consumed with particular gusto.  At the end of who knows which of these nights this lady stumbled home scribbling an angered, teary blog post on the back of an expired pack of Camel Lights.

Photograph by Sam Perry & Jennifer Smit
As seen on the cover of the excellent 125 Magazine - Issue 6

So why does gin have such a reputation for making our womenfolk cry?  And why, I hear you scream, are you revisiting such nonsense?  Let me explain.

To answer the first question, this myth could be some way explained by gin's popularity amongst the female poor of 18th century London.  'Gin' here, however, describes the bathtub variety produced from the cheapest possible grain and diluted with sugar, fruit, old boots, anything to disguise the abhorrent taste.  As for its female-heavy demographic, well, gin was available to purchase on the street and in corner shops.  Beer, then virtuous by comparison, was confined to ale houses which were of course male-only territories.  Gin thus became associated with good old-fashioned female desperation, not that we know of such things...

Of course, being well-versed in Lady's Eye-water's fabled teary history, this lady isn't one to be fooled by such twaddle.  I know perfectly well, as do my cohorts (here comes the science, brace yourselves) that all types of alcohol are depressants; drugs which slow activity in the brain (we rarely feel such effects thanks to our incalculable intellect / Big Giant Brains) by increasing the production of gamma-amino butyric acid, an amino acid that eventually promotes sleep in the central nervous system.

Why am I revisiting such nonsense?  Well.  It was a normal sort of evening; a private view followed by a delightful dinner with the Ladies of the Lane, where we spoke of important matters such as gin and dresses.  All very lovely as I'm sure you can imagine.  So it was with much surprise that, come 2am this lady found herself storming out of her gentleman friend's abode in tears.  How embarrassing!  How uncouth!  Dear reader, white wine should never precede gin.  Nor should such vast quantities of the aforementioned combination follow a particularly upsetting week.

In any case, our official party line is this: Stick with the science - never, ever drink white wine.