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The Perfect Cocktail For Dry January

January 4th, 2024

Call It The AA . . .

Dry January? If you’re a fan of sado-masochistic self-flagellation but can’t even do that to levels of excess that exceed a month, or — only marginally better — you have aspirations to be single-minded megalomaniac and shun the pleasure and equalizing powers of alcohol, then this is a rare treat for you.

Whilst I personally abstain from abstinence. Like most who enjoy reaching the two martini limit at Dukes, I admire, (and may even confess to welcoming, under the right circumstances) the concept of restraint itself. More so, it’s obvious that one can’t just drink to excess permanently without slipping towards alcoholism.

Here, if Richard E. Grant portrayed the best alcoholic committed to celluloid, despite being allergic to alcohol, it’s appropriate that it was A.A. Gill, a recovering alcoholic, who when teetotal wrote some of the best writing about cocktails, despite the fact that even when a drinker he rarely drank them, claiming as he did in the “Le Caprice” cookbook:

“They, to the professional, are amateur. They’re Friday night, a special occasion, kiddies stuff especially the sweet ones. The addition of sweetness to alcohol shows that you don’t take your drinking seriously.”

“How come a Martini is a cocktail but a gin and tonic isn’t? . . . The difference between a drink and a cocktail is the name. Drinks are named by their constituent parts. Cocktails are named like yachts. All cocktails come with an extra ingredient that the barman doesn’t put in but that in fact you pay extra for but add yourself. It is the dream of what this little complicated glass is going to do for you or more exactly for your sex life because let’s not beat about the bush, cocktails are all about sex. You can use sex to sell anything but the easiest thing to sell with sex is alcohol because sex is so often attained with alcohol.

There is a cocktail that the barmen at Le Caprice mix for me. It’s a tall glass filled with half-and-half dry ginger ale and tonic water, a slice of lemon, ice and two drops of Angostura bitters. It hasn’t got a name but perhaps an AA would be appropriate.”

Stylishly Yours,

Gary Harrison

Gary Harrison lives with his wife, five children and Labrador retriever outside of London. Gary has been helping people live better lives for over twenty years: Professionally, he is a leading expert in the field of home-technology, and has been consulted on by globally renowned figures of finance, business and entertainment for the design of many of the world’s most notable homes, hotels and superyachts. Gary’s personal interest in men’s lifestyle has resulted in his writing and photography being featured by publishing notables such as Matt Hranek, Yolanda Edwards and Michael Williams. He can be regularly found dining at The Wolseley, and drinking at Dukes Bar where he has been known to exceed the two martini limit.

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Edited by Rachel Butler

Photography by Gary Harrison


I realize that some of you may have read the title of this post and thought, “Wait, why does there need to be an argument about wearing a black suit? Aren’t black suits pretty standard? Shouldn’t every guy’s first suit be a black suit?”

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