I’ve become one of those people who simply cannot pack lightly. Gone are the days of throwing a few pairs of pants and a t-shirt in a bag and heading out of the door to wherever adventure takes me. Now I am more likely to have a separate suitcase for the “essentials” I cannot leave behind; knives and spare knitting needles, stashes of favourite herbs and salt, six different lip balms and two hand creams, enough hair grips to hold together the Eiffel tower and don’t forget the cast iron griddle pan. Want a perfectly cooked steak on the move, I’m your gal. Just don’t ask to brush your teeth afterwards as I’m still capable of leaving the house, travelling thousands of miles and only then realising I haven’t packed the toothpaste.
Which brings me to this little collection of things that has recently been added to my weekend-getaway repertoire. My mixology kit.
This weekend we’re off to a boutique hotel nearby for a bit of respite from the everyday thanks to friends of ours who rather than choose a conventional wedding gift guessed rightly that the thing we would need most in the first winter of our marriage would be a break from housework and the mundane. Now I’m pretty sure that this hotel has lots of luxury built in, and I know there is a pub with excellent food within staggering distance, and yet tomorrow night whilst getting ready nothing will go down better than a perfectly mixed Manhattan (and we all know how I feel about those!)
As a result I’ve devised a kit to guarantee an impeccable aperitif. Not pictured is my house-blend vermouth (which I’ll talk about another time), or the rye whiskey. However, I have decanted a small amount of brandied cherries, made sure we have bitters, glass stirrers – because frankly if you’re going to pack a cocktail kit you might as well go the whole hog – and the ounce measure. Even I drew the line at popping the digital scales in. I may live to regret that of course.
So, we’re set up for the perfect weekend away.
It’s just occurred to me that it’s quite possible that despite my careful preparations we could be sipping our libations from little plastic hotel cups. A posh hotel wouldn’t do that to a girl would they?
I’m just going to grab those glasses…