The Spirits #89: The Bacardí Special
~ 50:50 ~ Something of a Gin Hangover ~ Trademarking Similes ~ A Jacques Brel Playlist ~ The Men Who Jumped ~
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~ THE BACARDÍ SPECIAL ~
25ml white rum
15ml lime juice
Freeze a cocktail glass. Put all the liquids in the shaker. Add two fistfuls of ice. Give it the old shakeroo. Now, strain the liquid, ideally through a fine-mesh strainer, into the frozen cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge. Or don’t! It’s up to you.
Some Bacardí Special Notes:
1) As the name implies, the B.S. is a variation on the Bacardí Cocktail. To make one of those, all you need is 50ml white rum, 15ml lime, 10ml grenadine. As so often, it is the gin that makes it ‘special’.
2) You don’t have to make it with Bacardí. At least, not in your own home. I used Doorly’s 3-year-old and Roku gin, if you really want to know.
3) I was inspired to make this by longtime friend of the Spirits, Adrian Scottow, who suggests adding a dash of Angostura. Thanks Adrian!
🖊️I am Richard Godwin.
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🧑🏫 My 10 RULES FOR MAKING COCKTAILS are here.
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I HAVE something of a gin hangover today, having sunk 4x G&T’s at my friend Joe’s book launch last night. A gin hangover is an interesting thing, pure, floaty, almost ethereal but with a rather guttural undertone. I find my appetite for filth of all kinds has dramatically increased. It is a hangover to be shared, I feel. And infinitely preferable to the beer hangover (queasy, irritable) and the red wine hangover - which depends on the grape, vintage, terroir, etc, but tends towards the existential.
The Bacardí Cocktail is another of those drinks that was on every menu up until the 1950s - and then vanished almost without trace. It’s nothing more than a branded variation on the Daiquiri, with grenadine in place of the sugar. The Bacardí company trademarked it in the 1930s which probably explains why you don’t see it so much these days - it doesn’t offer the scope for variation that your modern moustache so enjoys. Plus, trademarking a cocktail? That’s like trademarking a simile. Still, if you like Daiqiuris, and I like Daiquiris, it’s a great variation. And with the 50:50 gin, it becomes rather an elegant sip.
No time for a playlist this week: I was toying with songs with brandnames in the title, getting as far as Chanel by Frank Ocean before realising that the other example I was thinking of - Nikes - was also by Frank Ocean. Perhaps I will expand on that one another week. In the meantime, please enjoy this personally curated selection of songs by Jacques Brel, apropos of rien. It’s even older than the Belgian football team. Brel is one of my absolute all-time favourites. He truly blew my mind when I first heard him in France - but can be hard to approach for anglophone listeners, since he didn’t really do proper albums in the anglo-saxon tradition, and his output is unevenly distributed on patchy French compilations - which always seem to put his annoying songs first. Here, here, I have stripped out all the kooky variety numbers (Les Bon-Bons, Madeleine) and doubled-down on the moody existential ones (L’Eclusier, Orly) to present a selection that will convert even the most staunch anglophone - and suit any shade of hangover.
Brel Tube is a great place, btw.
THIS PLAYLIST UPDATES AUTOMATICALLY EACH WEEK. The idea is, you download/’like’ it and return to it each week in your Spotify to find a suite of new songs. If there was an old song you’d like to hear again, you’ll find it RIGHT HERE in the massive ongoing archive of past playlists.
CABINET POSTS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED:
🍑 Apricot Brandy
🍫 Crème de Cacao
WHAT I’VE BEEN WRITING
I spoke to a bunch of men who had made radical career changes during the pandemic to see how a midlife shift had worked out for them. (Men’s Health)
I interviewed Dale Vince, head of Ecotricity (the world’s first green energy firm), on the energy crisis, politics, Elon Musk, vegan football, and why we need green populism. (Observer)
WHAT I’VE BEEN READING
I’m sorry: almost exclusively, World Cup match reports.
But also, William MacAskill’s book What We Owe the Future. MacAskill is a young Scottish philosopher associated with longtermism - the belief that we should give far more weight to humans-yet-to-be-born in our moral decision-making. He has attracted a far amount of controversy, as his ideas have been enthusiastically adopted by Sam Bankman-Fried and Elon Musk. You can read James Marriott’s interview with him here and a good profile of him here. But in the meantime, I am continuing in my attempts to grapple with these things at source - before coming to the commentary on them.
Megan Nolan, novelist and for my money the best columnist of the heart to have emerged these past five years, has a new Substack. It’s sure to be good and it’s called (Roulette)
The history of the menu (LRB)
A delightful piece by Alice Lascelles, on what champagnes the sommeliers pair w/ junk food, very much my mood right now. (FT)
As promised, I am going to push beyond the 12-bottle limit. But we’re going to keep it simple for now. Scotch (or Japanese) whisky, fizzy water, maybe some citrus. A tall glass.