Monday Night Cocktails.

Don’t mind if I do…

Ah, Monday. Scourge of the weekly worker. It’s a miserable day on the whole and yesterday was no exception. In London it was rain, rain, rain. Not to mention the upward struggle of four days still to slog…

It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom though. In fact, I may have found a solution; something to get you to Tuesday without sinking into a pit of depression.

That’s right, Ogglers: alcohol.

Not just any booze, mind you. I’m talking swanky, fancy, all-singing, all-dancing cocktails.

What better way to overcome the stumbling block of Monday than with a spot of sociable swigging? Of course you should drink responsibly (blah, blah, blah) – and I am aware that alcohol isn’t the answer to all life’s problems – but from time to time it certainly doesn’t hurt.

Last night, to see if we could make our Mondays any better, the Man and I pushed the boat out and paid a visit to Dirty Martini, a plush cocktail joint in a basement at Covent Garden.

I was keen to try a spot of liquid pudding – and so were quite a few others, it seemed (we turned up during Happy Hour, when loads of the drinks were half price). Apparently I’m not the first to cotton on to the wisdom of spoiling yourself on a Monday night…

Ever the soft fruit enthusiast, the Man had a Raspberry Bellini – a bubbly mixture of peach, raspberry puree and champagne (he had planned on a strawberry and rhubarb one but they’d sadly just run out).

Impressed as I had been by Terre a Terre’s version, I had hoped for a Chocolate Martini, but once again the bar missed a key ingredient. Instead I plumped for my first ever Almond Martini.

Enjoying the show as each one was mixed up, it was soon time for us to get tasting.

While the Man’s was perfectly nice and berryish, it was much like Bellinis I’d tried before.

The Almond Martini though: POW!

Gimme more-tini!

Like an almond macaroon on steroids, it was fluffy with egg white, zingy with lemon, punchy with gin, and nutty with amaretto and orgeat syrup (a sweet mixture made with almonds, sugar and rose water).

So excited was I by its gorgeousness, I promptly spilled half of it over my notepad and coat. Darn. At least they now smell pretty tasty, I suppose…

The remaining half was enough to get me to the verge of tipsiness. But being a Hog I still wanted more.

With over fifty cocktails on the menu, it was rather tricky choosing my next move. In the end we both turned to the ‘Signature Cocktails’. For the Hog: a Ginger Haze. For the Homme: a Shanghai Sour.

Some Shanghai Sour Happy Hour Flower Power

Both were rather tasty – mine a mixture of sloe and normal gin, blueberries, lemongrass and ginger; the Man’s a citrus cocktail of orange vodka, mandarin liqueur and lemon.As far as pudding replacements go, this time the Man’s had the edge – it was just like an upmarket jelly, or a filling from one of those Famous Names chocolates you get in your Christmas stocking.

I’d hoped mine would be like a well-spiced pie. But all I could really make out was the sloes.

Sloe well…

Not that that’s a bad thing, of course. It’s just that after the success of Bubbleology last week, I was thinking that liquid puddings might be an adequate substitute for your average cake or bowl of sponge.By the time we left Dirty Martini, however, I decided I might have to tweak that theory.

While drinks like Milkshakes and Bubble Tea might hit the spot after a big heavy meal, alcoholic cocktails – while still delicious when done this well – just give the old Pud-Hog the munchies. What’s more, at £8-£9 a pop, they’re pricier than even the fanciest Chelsea Bun.

Speaking of Chelsea Buns, that’s just what I ate when I got back home (I tell you, I was ravenous). Afterwards, fuelled by sugar and booze, I danced for a good half an hour.

That miserable Monday Feeling? Boogied and boozed to oblivion.

Tuesday, on the other hand…


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