Tinker, Tailor, Soldier… Drunk

Who would serve a jug or pitcher of martini at a party? Oh wait, only Kim Philby, one of Britain’s most notorious traitors.    I’ve just read a book entitled “a spy among friends” by Ben MacIntyre. It was the first book I’ve read in a long time that I struggled to put down. It documents the story of Harold ‘Kim’ Philby as he worked … Continue reading Tinker, Tailor, Soldier… Drunk

How to make an Old Fashioned Cocktail

This is a slight departure from my normal work, but I’ve got a cold and was craving something less potent and more sweet and fruity than a martini.    Enter the Old Fashioned cocktail.  Apparently emerging in the early 1800s (it might even have evolved towards the late 1700s), this drink is a lot older than a Martini. It also has a reputation for being … Continue reading How to make an Old Fashioned Cocktail

A breakfast gin and tonic in the Middle East

 Flying back from a brief work assignment in Dubai, I decided to have a gin and tonic to help me relax.  I happened to be flying over Iranian airspace at the time, while it was also 7am in London. Thus two rules were very thoroughly broken. However, I think an early drink is acceptable when one is flying. It helped me sleep for … Continue reading A breakfast gin and tonic in the Middle East

The Peruvian Tiger’s Milk Martini (con Leche de Tigre)

I was once accused of being “an evil agent” working for the Chilean government to sabotage the reputation of Peru…  a little unforeseen side effect of my unusual career in the murky world of intelligence. Nonetheless, despite the attempted slander I am a firm fan of Peruvian cuisine and drinking culture. I love Pisco and prefer a Pisco Sour over most other cocktails. Seafood plays … Continue reading The Peruvian Tiger’s Milk Martini (con Leche de Tigre)

The Canadian Martini

Canada is one of Britain’s closest allies. It was only a matter of time before I wrote about the country. Have you ever heard of Five Eyes? It’s an intelligence term. I will let someone else give you the details, or you can read about it here. It’s basically an intelligence-sharing arrangement between five key countries – the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United … Continue reading The Canadian Martini

The man from the Alphabet Agencies

While attending an ‘event’ in a certain Middle Eastern city, I was introduced to a charming gentleman from, shall we say, one of the ‘Alphabet Agencies’. While our discussion covered subjects including politics, diplomacy and turmoil in the region, it settled upon the subject of martinis, of which we are both fond. When one works in the business of ‘international affairs’, a strong martini is … Continue reading The man from the Alphabet Agencies

“Shaken, not stirred”

Whether or not you are a fan of Ian Fleming’s work, you cannot deny the inextricable association of James Bond with martinis. When Mr. Fleming was writing about this complicated anti-hero character it was a time of austerity and post-war reconstruction, when international travel was for the few and parts of the world were rendered out-of-bounds by the Cold War. Part of the appeal of … Continue reading “Shaken, not stirred”