More martini snacks and canapes

I’m just going to leave this here…    What could be easier than olives and cheese-stuffed peppers that you picked up at the shops on the way home? I particularly like the colour contrast of these two. Oh and the taste. You can’t go wrong with the lemony-buttery taste of Nocellara olive flesh, while the soft creamy cheese paired very indulgently with the sweet piccante … Continue reading More martini snacks and canapes

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

Bar Arabica, Borough Market, 2/5

A relatively pleasant martini was let down by bad service and poor value for money.   It wouldn’t take much to perfect their martini but some of the fundamentally poor elements of the restaurant will be more difficult to rectify.    Nestled under a railway arch in Borough Market, I had high hopes for this Levantine restaurant. However, the service wasn’t particularly attentive, the portions … Continue reading Bar Arabica, Borough Market, 2/5

Egyptian Duqqah to accompany a martini

Ground nuts, herbs and spices served with bread and some good quality oil.    I was born in a town in Scotland called Alexandria. It subsequently says Alexandria as my place of birth in my passport, which in turn has led to some interesting questioning by customs and security personnel at various airports I’ve visited in the Middle East. “Are you Egyptian?” “I will be … Continue reading Egyptian Duqqah to accompany a martini

A selection of other people’s martinis

With world martini day approaching (19 June) I thought I would collate a selection of martinis made by other people.    Here is a very elegant martini served in beautiful cut-glass, picture courtesy of Aquavit_1017 on Instagram.    A vodka martini with Tito’s vodka by Mr. Cradle. The following are by the highly creative chef The Juan And Only Chef Sweaty:    Above is his classic martini with lime. … Continue reading A selection of other people’s martinis

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 hot hot Sriracha martini

It’s a thing now. What do Thais and Texans have in common? A penchant for spicy food. I have a good friend, currently in Texas, who recently announced his addiction to Sriracha hot chilli sauce, a fiery concoction from Thailand. A US national and an Arabist, he has a very interesting career and academic background, with some very intriguing (and often hilarious) tales from London … Continue reading The hot hot Sriracha 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