“When evening quickens in the street, comes a pause in the day’s occupation that is known as the cocktail hour.” So said Duncan McRae, quoting cocktail aficionado Bernard de Voto in the splendid grandeur of Brighton’s Angel House, during a talk as part of Brighton Fringe.
In short. Stop working 7 ’til 7, rushing home for dinner at 9pm too tired, too grumpy and with a head too full of work to enjoy it. Stop. Pause. Put down your pens at 6pm and bring back the cocktail hour. A celebration. A highlight in the day to savour a martini or three – responsibly, obviously. Enjoy the company and chatter of some fellow humans before heading home, happy into the night.
Duncan, brand ambassador for Hendrick’s, is a believer in the cocktail hour. Gin-based, of course. And a campaigner for its return. When we were whipped off Brighton’s sunny seafront into Hendrick’s Carnival of Knowledge we were transported into a world where glamour is key and the cocktail is king.
As we learned about de Voto’s philosophies the cocktail hour was in full swing – the troubles of the day were washed away as we supped gin fizz, martinis and rum punch in the Regency lounge. Nibbling delicate canapés of cucumber and roast beef. Chatting happily with our neighbouring tables and making new life-long friends.
As Duncan says: “The Cocktail Hour is the most delightful ritual, and one worth considered cogitation.”
Here, here I say.
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