Having passed on the recipes for assorted dirty pop, the ideal drink for the second-day munter, there’s a new one.
Victorian literacy rates were much lower than in the present day, so there was a neeed to have visual clues for important instructions. Also, really really important warnings needed to be glaring so that they cut through any daydreaming and mindfog. Hence, in the apothecary’s dispensary and the chemist’s shop, substances that were poisonous were stored in blue bottles.
The blue bottle has recently returned to public notice. The advent of cruelly strong and chemically dubious white cider (has it really ever been near an apple?) has given the adolescent experimenter, the street drinker, and all others interested in the best price per millilitre, a new favourite.
I used to wonder why it is sold in blue bottles. This is not one brand after all, it is a synchronicitous industry standard. Then it hit me; this is a folk-memory. It harks back to the Victorian glass bottles. It says ‘Warning! Poison! Unfit for human consumption!’.
And yet, as with the cheeky vimto that makes blue WKD into something not just drinkable but actually pleasant, it is possible to perform alcoholic alchemy.
Cheap and boozy ginger punch
6 litres of ginger beer
4 litres of strong white cider
1 litre-ish of really crap whisky
slices of orange and lemon
Combine ingredients, ladle into glasses and drink. Repeat until there’s none left.
As is essential for the second-day dirty pop, it has novelty, it is unchallenging, not bitter and packs a bit of a woof. Clocking in at around 6% alcohol, it’s ideal for staving off sobriety without getting you too splattered.
And,as with the Alcoholic Dr Pepper, it is cheap to buy so you can afford to get it in for everyone, refreshing not only your inebriation but also the team's bonds.