JUST as November has become Movember – the ritual month in which every male is expected to don a moustache in order to prove they are inferior to Burt Reynolds – January is fast becoming “Dry January” or Dryathlon: 31 days of repenting the sin of having enjoyed ourselves a little too much in December.
Let’s call a pint a pint; all things considered, alcohol isn’t good for your health. Despite the claims that one spirit or the other, taken in moderation, reduces the risk of cancer, heart attacks or athlete’s foot, if we’re honest with ourselves we know that we would all probably live longer, healthier lives if we were teetotal.
But just like a good party, nobody defines the good life solely by how long the guests hang around for; otherwise we would only leave the house to run. Consciously or not, we balance other preferences against health and longevity. This is why a lot of people will fail to stick to their New Year’s resolution – they actually prefer the life they usually live over the one they think they want.
Alcohol is one of life’s indulgent pleasures – like eating in Michelin-starred restaurants, smoking cigars and being served cocktails by attractive women dressed as rabbits. Actually, the last of these leaves me confused – as much as I like attractive women, I prefer rabbits on my plate or in Watership Down.
Whatever your view on being served by women dressed as rabbits, there is no doubting that Salvatore’s Bar at the Playboy Club has some of the best cocktails in the city. The reason is simple enough: “Maestro” Salvatore Calabrese is one of the finest bartenders in the world.
Many consider the Breakfast Martini to be Salvatore’s greatest invention. I think the Spicy Fifty just pips it to the post. The Spicy Fifty has everything: boasting the balance of a trapeze artist (sweet and sour), the delicacy of a prima ballerina assoluta (vanilla and elderflower) and the punch of a heavyweight boxer (chilli). It is a cocktail for all seasons.
And now you can enjoy one without further torturing your credit card: Salvatore’s Bar at the Playboy Club has now launched 5 O’Clocktails. For two months, members and non-members will get two-for-one on cocktails from Monday to Thursday between 5pm-7pm.
Your New Year’s resolution should have probably been to drink better cocktails in 2014. It’s never too late to start.
THE SPICY FIFTY
■ 50ml Stolichnaya vanilla vodka
■ 15ml Elderflower cordial
■ 15ml Fresh lime juice
■ 10ml Honey syrup
■ 2 thin Slices of red chilli
• Place ingredients into a shaker filled with ice, shake well
• Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
• Garnish with a small red eye chilli