These white Zambians are bad, bad people. They are the ones who, on the last day of 2000, introduced me to the most dangerous legal thing I've ever ingested, namely the VCR cocktail – vodka, champagne and Red Bull (often referred to simply as liquid cocaine). It was the same bad Zambian lot who introduced me to something equally hazardous last week – the Nicolashka.
We were having dinner in the wilds of Powys, and had eventually got to the cheese course. Along with the stilton and the Harlech and the pecorino we were scooping out a monstrously ripe vacherin when Jake suddenly went very quiet. Now, Jake is a worldly man who has lived all over Africa and the Far East, and having been a bush tour guide and hunter for many years, has eaten his fair share of dubious delights. He wasn't about to be thwarted by a smelly French cheese. But it wasn't the taste, and it wasn't the smell ... it was what the smell reminded him of.
Initially he wouldn't say why he was so disturbed, but after being pestered by yours truly for 15 minutes he relented.
"It's the smell of a dead human," he said, without any sarcasm or jocularity. "It's what a person smells like when they've been dead a few hours," he continued, before tailing off. Jake should know: he's stumbled across three "stinkers" in his time.
And so, as if to banish any thoughts of smelly dead men, Jake introduced us to the Nicolashka, the most dangerous cocktail you will drink this year. You pour vodka into a shot glass (Jake insisted on Grey Goose) and sprinkle freshly ground coffee and some sugar on a slice of lemon. You then suck the lemon for as long as you can before draining the vodka in one gulp. Then you open your eyes, try not to fall over, and see if you can recognise anyone round the table.
We managed several rounds, by which time I started to wonder whether my life had actually progressed in any way since I drank VCRs with Jake, back in 2000. And while I was obviously unable to rationalise with any great sense of objectivity, at least I knew something I didn't an hour previously. Namely that vacherin is the cheese of the dead.
Dylan Jones is the editor of 'GQ'Reuse content