Gin, Gin, Glorious Gin

by Elias Blum

For me, gin is always a summer drink. A dog-watch cricket on the Wardroom lawn drink.

I wouldn’t thank you for a gin and tonic on a cold dark northern winter’s night. I want a mellow dark ale, with a balanced sweetness and a faint scent of porridge and caramel – and a steak and chips, please.

But sit me down in the late afternoon, beneath the shady awnings or the swirling ceiling fans in some tropical ex-colonial clime, and I will ask the turbaned bowing bar steward to bring me a gin and tonic every time.

I like it not too strong, over ice (if clean ice is available) and with a very large squeeze of fresh lime. Preferably with a good book (something by Sir Ivor Jennings or S. A. de Smith) and an interesting menu of deliciously spicy local dishes to choose from.

Under such conditions one sweats the calories out.  That’s my excuse.

Anyway, all this to say that yesterday I found out that I’m being sent back to Burma in a few weeks. Not a country I particularly like, but it does have its compensations. As long as the hotel has aircon and a steady supply of Bombay Sapphire, I’ll probably be ok.