Cocktails for The People: Ms RS of Southend

Recently, a letter flooded in to our offices from our old correspondent Ms RS of Southend on Sea. Good of her to write, we thought, and though we cannot reproduce her words in their entirety, here at least is an extract which coveys the gist of what she means:

Ere, Cocktailmeister (surely “dear”?- ed) some of us have had enough of all your poncey manhattans and martinis and all that posh booze they knock back at the Savoy, and that. What about the ones wot the average geezah or bird in the street likes? Eh?

We take your point, Ms RS. There is indeed a market, and a very lively one for the sort, of bright, primary colours and strong booze cocktails which can hit you harder than a builder in Butlins. These drinks can be found anywhere that the English, or some of them, are at play from Felixstowe to Faliraki or from Manchester to Magaluf. Here then is a selection, to give our foreign readers a view of England and its culture at its very most typical. Not working, but on holiday.

Piña Colada

The go-to order for every gaggle of eighteen-year old females in the local town disco, because it’s the only one they’ve heard of at that tender age. That funny Spanish n with the squiggle adds to the air of sophisticated connoiseurship. Basically it’s just fruit juice with lashings of alcohol. Here is a minimalist recipe from Hamlyns Ultimate Cocktail Book, but be warned-they will come a lot more powerful than this in Benidorm

1 measure white rum, 2 measures coconut cream 2 measures pineapple juice . Mix in a shaker with ice and decorate with a cocktail cherry

Sex on the Beach The ultimate aspiration of almost everyone who went on an 18-30 holiday in the nineteen eighties. We mean the drink of course. We dug the recipe from the BBC Food website. Basically it’s Peach Schnapps, vodka and Orange juice, but you can judge for yourself by clicking the link below. It makes us think of the characteristically Spanish ñaca -ñaca sound of castanets on Thursday Flamenco night at the hotel.

Planters Punch Again chosen for its tropical holiday feel and primary colours, the remains of several of these can be found on midnight pavements wherever you find le tout anglaise. Various measures of dark rum may be mixed with lemon and orange juices, dashes of angostura bitters and some actual sugar! After shaking, the ice cubes are left with the tincture, which is then garnished with lumps of banana, pineapple and whatever other exotic remains the bartender found in the local flea market. For many, must on their first night on the town

So, Leigh-on Sea, this is where I want to be, as the old song has it. (surely some mistake?-ed) Thank you Ms RS and may you and all your friends injoy a glorious night out on the lash!

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