I think I’d better start with an apology – especially to all friends, family and colleagues north of Hadrian’s Wall. You see in my previous entry I was waxing lyrical about the delights of whiskey (sic) and in particular the wide variety available in the Johnny Walker range: red and black, green and gold, blue and…yes that very special bottle of “White Label.” (see previous entry) Now, you may think the whole blog was out of character coming from a man who, amongst many passions, lists “Gordon’s & Schweppes” as a top favourite. It has been said that Graeme & Gordon’s goes together like a horse and carriage or peaches and cream or even love & marriage. Certainly there has been a long-standing affinity, though I think my personal cellar is down to my last thirteen or fourteen litres stashed away - getting dangerously low.

When I was a young man working with the Daily Mirror in Holborn, I used to go frequently to mass at the famous Anglo-Catholic shrine of St Alban’s Holborn, where the late Fr Peter Priest was the Vicar. After the Sunday High Mass it was customary for the clergy to invite members of the congregation back into the clergy house for liquid refreshment – many of these were theology students from nearby King’s College in The Strand. There was the occasion when a great crowd had gathered in the Vicar’s apartments and he famously proclaimed, “Oh God dear, I don’t complain about the number of bottles of gin you all consume, but about the number of bottles of tonic I’ve got to lug up them stairs!”

Gordon’s gin is, I suppose, the gold standard of this particular elixir, but that’s not to say that other brands aren’t equally as good – or even better. There’s certainly something to be said for the original Plymouth Gin. It has a very distinctive flavour, and some would say that in the hot weather it is the best one to have. However, I have a certain liking for Hendricks. Now this really is different – and in price too! It costs, if memory serves, about £22.- a 70cl bottle compared to the supermarket price for Gordon’s at about £16.- a litre. However, savings can be made, because as you are probably aware, no self-respecting imbiber of the Mother’s Ruin would ever serve a G&T with lemon – but only with lime. With Hendricks you can save on the limes. Hendricks and tonic is served not with citrus, but with a slice of cucumber. No – it’s not a gimmick or a sales ploy. It works and makes the whole G&T experience something quite different, unusual and hugely enjoyable – but at £22.- a bottle – (although one wouldn’t want to appear penny-pinching or tight) – serve only to the most discerning of the gin drinking set, which unfortunately includes just about all of the Anglican clergy and an increasing number of RC priests too, especially with the continuing drift across the Tiber.

But back to Johnny Walker. If you were to read my last entry, you will see that I constantly referred to Scotch whisky as whiskey with an “e.” And as everyone knows it’s Irish with an “e” and Scottish without.

So apologies for my oversight and thanks to cousin Zara (who we look forward to seeing in The Spring) for pointing me in the right direction.

Comments on this entry:

  1. Well as a jock I will forgive you for the wrong spelling as I have Irish blood in me as well. Just catching up with the blog as things have been busy and suddenly realised Grame without a voice must be really strange, not saying you like talking or anything. It is more my name being called from CTL’s office in your unique way I miss. Hope all is well and continuing to improve. Margaret, Margaret! What, came the cry.

    Margaret Reid · Wednesday 31 December, 2008 · #

  2. Are you becominng a traitor to the life giving nectar of G & T? What about the on in the blue bottle?
    We hope all goes wll on Wednesday.
    love Dick and Brenda

    — Dick Bidgood · Thursday 1 January, 2009 · #