The World’s best drinks

We’ve all dug deep for various monstrous recollections of the worst drinks but which are your favourite? I’m not looking for an essay about coffee or DRC or a rare Macallan.

My offering is Cointreau mixed with grapefruit juice as a long drink on ice. Sadly I cannot drink them now as the grapefruit is not a good mix with my statins but I used to really enjoy them. The juice helped to dampen the sweetness of the Cointreau
 
Rare Tea Company RAF English Breakfast in Hawksmoor Guildhall when they open at 7am sharp, while waiting for Short Rib Bubble & Squeak, Fried Eggs with HP Gravy. I used to work around the corner and was a short walk from Moorgate. Started off drinking black filter but switched to tea and never looked back.

There is something really satisfying about a well made tea and is a rare event to find an enjoyable cup outside home.

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On our first (very hot) day in China, we all went into a dingy supermarket and chose a cold drink from the fridge - none familiar to us, so all a punt. I chose a calamansi-juice-based drink - calamansi is a type of lime. Wow. Quite possibly the nicest soft drink I've ever had - slightly sweet, slightly tart and with this gorgeous not-quite-lime flavour. Ridiculously refreshing. For the rest of our month or so travelling around China, the girls and I (for some strange reason, my partner isn't a fan) sought it out wherever we went - but it had to be cold. Thus was born our never-ending search for "cold calamansi". Sadly, I haven't been able to find a source outside China.

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Geordie’s post has reminded me. A recent significant August birthday for my mother and me was celebrated with a family trip to Barcelona. In August. On a hellishly hot day with no wind we decided to walk from our apartment in Eixample to the beach in Barceloneta, inexplicably via La Boqueria. It was nightmarish, loud, and incredibly hot and busy. My daughter was desperate to get some water so pushed through to the rear and found a grubby bar with full ashtrays and a sticky table outside. It was in the shade and in a gentle breeze. I ordered the bottled water and had a glass of Amstel. I don’t like lager and actively avoid it. That was an ice cold in Alex moment.
 
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Back when I visited Syria for archaeology before the war I would drink a ton of mint lemonade there. Marvelously refreshing on a hot summer day. Good quality oolong tea is also one the best treats I know of.
 
Hine Early Landed Cognac 1960.
in 1980's we used to eat occasionally but regularly at a restaurant (Edelweiss) within walking distance, in Parkstone. It had an extensive, superb wine list with mainly mature wines, plenty back to the early '60s. We trawled the list for bargains, usually New World from the '70s. One evening I mentioned I'd yet to see anything from my year of birth. The restaurateur, Alan, served gratis the remnants of the bottle - a generously large measure. It remains the finest drink I have consumed. 'Perfection'.
 
Full fat coca cola with the fizz level just right. Or fully flat cherry cola with a hangover. Liquid joy. Really cold water, night water. Full sugar orange high juice. Mezzo mix, a German official coca cola product that's a 50/50 mix of coke and fanta, really refreshing. Full sugar lemon San Pellegrino. I could go on all day!
 
Full fat coca cola with the fizz level just right. Or fully flat cherry cola with a hangover. Liquid joy. Really cold water, night water. Full sugar orange high juice. Mezzo mix, a German official coca cola product that's a 50/50 mix of coke and fanta, really refreshing. Full sugar lemon San Pellegrino. I could go on all day!
Nothing there to suit the diabetic:)
 
When one is truly, truly thirsty there is nothing to touch a great cask beer. I will never forget the Young's special at evening opening time on a warm summer day in 1980 at The Hope in Norwood, simply stunningly irresistible. Five pints slipped down as though nothing in the space of an hour or so and though I did rather fall through the front door when I got home(I'm not at all sure on reflection that my friend should have dropped me off in his motor car) it's an experience I would repeat in a moment if I could.
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
If we trying to name drinks other than wine, and I'll choose to exclude the obvious coffee and tea, then a really good Cognac is really the only spirit I drink so I'd name that, while acknowledging malt whisky can probably reach higher heights - but I haven't yet acquired a taste for it. Well grow me a beard and move me to Shoreditch, but I do love a Negroni. Context can be everything of course: two very large Aperol spritz supped in a sun-lit square in Verona, in glasses the size of goldfish bowls and each containing quarter of a ton of ice, stick in my memory. And great beer, of course.
 
Hine Early Landed Cognac 1960.
in 1980's we used to eat occasionally but regularly at a restaurant (Edelweiss) within walking distance, in Parkstone. It had an extensive, superb wine list with mainly mature wines, plenty back to the early '60s. We trawled the list for bargains, usually New World from the '70s. One evening I mentioned I'd yet to see anything from my year of birth. The restaurateur, Alan, served gratis the remnants of the bottle - a generously large measure. It remains the finest drink I have consumed. 'Perfection'.
I had a bottle of this, Mark. Have to agree, never tasted a better spirit.
 
+1 for blood orange juice.

+1 again.

Also, apricot juice of quality Italian or French brand, with a high proportion of pulp. Reminds me of going to see family in Italy as a child and stuck with me, and with them: the last time I saw my grandmother before she died she gave me a glass of apricot juice. I was 32 years old.

Other top drawer (shelf?) fruit juice experiences:-
- A glass of single vineyard(!) gewurz grape juice at Chez Panisse, when we were on honeymoon. One of the nicest things I have ever put in my mouth. Thank goodness it was never made into wine.
- Fresh guava juice when we lived in the Caribbean in 2016-2017.
 
On our first (very hot) day in China, we all went into a dingy supermarket and chose a cold drink from the fridge - none familiar to us, so all a punt. I chose a calamansi-juice-based drink - calamansi is a type of lime. Wow. Quite possibly the nicest soft drink I've ever had - slightly sweet, slightly tart and with this gorgeous not-quite-lime flavour. Ridiculously refreshing. For the rest of our month or so travelling around China, the girls and I (for some strange reason, my partner isn't a fan) sought it out wherever we went - but it had to be cold. Thus was born our never-ending search for "cold calamansi". Sadly, I haven't been able to find a source outside China.

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Phil's version may be acceptable, don't know if sweetened or not though: Calamansi Juice Drink 250ml
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
A vote here for mint tea. A Gunners has its moments - ginger beer, ginger ale and bitters, lots of ice. And we should not ignore the Breakfast Bloody Mary.

Actually, a cracking cafe in Auckland (sigh - this time last year...) did a marvellous breakfast bellini with proper peach pulp and it was indeed wondrous on holiday with a long day of gentle nothingness ahead!
 
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