Anthony Rose: 'Does David Cameron's 'DIY' manifesto for the Big Society require you to mix your own drinks?'
Saturday 01 May 2010
Election night looms, so it's time to vote for a party – any party, frankly, as long as it involves drinks of celebration and consolation. I couldn't possibly condone getting tanked up for the polling station, however much you might need it, but a Passion Fruit Margarita might help improve on the poor turnout of the last two general elections.
Take a 50ml shot of tequila, an extra dash of triple sec (optional), and a pouch of a passion fruit flavour cocktail mixer such as Funkin. Shake and strain over fresh ice, then stir rapidly, add ice cubes, a lime wedge and two small straws.
Visiting Fuller's Brewery on the campaign trail last month, David Cameron admitted preferring bitter to lager (he may have to get used to the taste) telling us, "I haven't yet found a drink I don't like". He had to bite his lip, though, when talking about his anti-binge-drinking plans. So a pint of Fuller's London Pride then for Dave, whose "DIY" manifesto for the Big Society, form your own police force, etc, requires mixing your own drinks. In which case, bring on "The Politician", a cocktail that starts clean and ends dirty, blending equal parts of vodka, Irish Cream and cream or milk, all shaken in a drink shaker and poured into a tall glass.
It's the Lib Dems who through Roy Jenkins hard-wired claret into the national consciousness and it's easy to imagine that Nick Clegg has equally civilised habits. Whether or not we'll see fairer taxes on wine under the Lib Dems is a moot point, but the price is good enough as it is for us not to have to worry about the tax on the Pauillac cru classé Château Haut-Bages-Libéral, the 2003 vintage of which is a remarkably reasonable £15.42 at Lay & Wheeler (0845 330 1855), the 2004 an equally good £20.10 at Four Walls Wine Co (0124 353 5353).
If you're stuck for ideas, just call up an election vintage. In the blue corner, while Margaret Thatcher's 1987 and John Major's 1992 vintages are past their peak, the better vintages of 1979 and 1983 are still going strong. In the red corner, Tony Blair's 1997 was also pretty mediocre, and its powers are now waning. His 2005, in contrast, is still precocious and the 2005 Réserve de Léoville Barton, £25, Majestic, would make a terrific election night red. Blair's 2001 is drinking very nicely, thank you, the 2001 Château Giscours, £47.23, Berry Bros & Rudd, as delicious as its price tag suggests it should be.
Are you closer to pink than red? For you then, the stylish, summer puddingy Lavenue Rosé NV Champagne, with the advantage of a prudent accounting reduction from £29.99 to £14.99, Marks & Spencer. On a budget, Gordon? Then the strawberry cup sparkler Griffith Park Sparkling Rosé, £6.98, Morrisons, is for you.
For greens, natural wines are the answer, of course, preferably biodynamic, in which case plump for the deliciously vital Fleury Champagne, £28.49, from waitrosewine.com.
For any patriot who wishes to invoke the bulldog spirit, why not bring on a fine British gin such as Plymouth English Gin or Berry Bros No 3 London Dry Gin, for your G&T.
For the losing party leaders, try a "Tower of London": mix 2oz gin, 1.5oz St Germain elderflower liqueur, 2oz green tea, 1oz syrup and 0.5oz sake – shake, add ice, and serve in a highball or Collins glass. A couple of those and anyone will be off their head.
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