We raised a glass

We wandered down the pub, unusual for a Wednesday night, but wander we did. We drifted into talking about pubs, the Dolphin where we were enjoying our beverages, and other pubs we have known and loved, other drinks we have drunk, and the history of our family and pubs. Tonight I was drinking wine, and son and husband were drinking beer.

We talked for a while about cocktails – son has friends who work in a cocktail bar, and he sometimes helps out from time to time. I have never been very interested in cocktails, but as I wrote recently, have been converted by a visit to the bar where son and friends work. As usual when talking about pubs, I drifted back to talking about the Portland Arms in Cambridge, which my grandparents had, and how a favoured tipple for Sunday lunchtime regulars was sherry and gin. I’d enjoyed this just a couple of times with family as an aperitif, until I was visiting a friend’s parents and his father was pouring a pre-Sunday lunch drink and asking what I might like, discovered I had once tried the sherry/gin combo. It was a favourite of his too… unfortunately, his idea of a measure was somewhat different from what I had enjoyed before and I became somewhat overwhelmed by what he gave me and the rest is an embarrassing blur.

Back to the pub, back to tonight. We talked a great deal about cocktails, my son so much more knowledgeable than I am, but I remembered my dad enjoying the very occasional pink gin, Angostura bitters and gin, and occasionally I did too. Being a more frequent visitor tothe cocktail world, my son had much to say about the bitters, and the different cocktails they performed in. We talked about the trends in pubs, bars, drinks and drinking – our repertoire is rather small compared to the world of drinks currently available to people my son’s age!

Finally, we raised a glass to a very dear friend, the nearest thing to a grandparent my children remember, whose funeral we will attend tomorrow. He was a regular regular of the Dolphin and supped many a pint in the local pub. We remember him fondly, and won’t visit the Dolphin in future without thinking of him.

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