We’ve all been handed a gin cocktail containing enough salad it could qualify as one of our five a day. Exotic fruit, artfully carved and so skilfully arranged it seems a shame to disturb it from its icy slumber, and spices from faraway lands which might once have felt more at home in a chicken tikka masala, but today we have a new enquiry…
What is the single most unwelcome garnish your gin has ever known?
Then tell me I’m lying when I say that unfurling the canvas will inevitably (it’s guaranteed) reveal at least one dead spider and at least three forkytails, earwigs or slaters (they’re all the same creature but somehow they justify more than one name). None of these however will reveal themselves until everything has been unpacked and spread neatly across the immaculate and oh so welcoming inner chamber, and then they drop, one by one, into clothes, bedding and, if you’re lucky enough to have one at this point, your SCOTTISH GIN!!
THEN. The dilemma. Do you:-
- Fish it out lickety-split and flick it out of the tent so it immediately becomes someone else’s problem (i.e. probably lands on them), then pretend nothing ever happened and sip away?
- SCREAM Alerting the entire campsite that a) you have gin and b) you’re a scaredy-trousers. Make a BIG DEAL of pouring said longed-for gin onto the grass which will never thank you for it anyway, and retire sulkily to prepare a replacement?
- SWEAR (all as above, but at least the family next door with the annoying children may think to relocate to a faraway part of the campsite so their precious offspring aren’t subjected to such a gutter-mouth, even though said children probably taught you the word in question anyway)?
Well it’s clear and plain for all to see. Drink your first night camping Gin outdoors. Make that a rule you live by. You’ll thank me for it.
You’re in a place of tropical majesty or better still the Scottish Highlands in July or August.
In that case, your GIN remains IN PERIL.
For some reason so far under-researched by academia, any flying insect whether microscopic in size but mighty of tooth (the Scottish Midge), or clearly-visible-even-to-the-myopic, and whine issuing winged demon (the mosquito), will take the straightest of straight lines to any carefully clutched alcohol in the area, even though it knows it will not survive the encounter. Perhaps, after distributing daily misery as its single raison d’etre, this invertebrate hari kari is a fitting end to a desperate life, but why oh why does it always choose my GIN!
The midge hood is a thing. It does exist and it is generally sufficiently voluminous to slip an elegant copa glass within and enjoy your fabulous Scottish Gin and Tonic, or lemonade, or whatever you fancy, while laughing in the faces of those six leggedy insect foes. (Clearly not all at the same time or you’ll choke, silly).
There’s always an upside and I’m saving it to the end. NONE of your mates will want to be seen with you wearing that ridiculous hat, so THERE’S MORE SCOTTISH GIN FOR YOU.