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After the end of World War II rationing continued until 1954.
Wine was an upper class drink and the nation enjoyed Beers, Stouts, Pale Ale and Cider. Sweet and alcoholic, this was made with Port and a dash of lemon juice – it’s still enjoyed today.
No arty craft beers for us either, thanks, and definitely none of this whiskey business either – we’ve tried all year to like it and it’s just not happening. Instead, we’ll be rummaging through our parents drinks cabinet for something decidedly cheesy. Some of these won’t have seen the light of day since 1989: it’s time. You only have to walk past the likes of Pix, Camino and Pizarro to see a bearded hipster enjoying a fino sherry flight, but I think we can all agree that Harveys Bristol Cream – whilst hailing from Jerez – definitely has a touch of the Nanas about it. One of our favourite childhood memories is being allowed a small sherry with our Nan, and nothing takes us back like a warming glass of Harveys. Either way, a glass or two of this never goes amiss at Christmas, and this year we’ve even got the little coupe Babycham glasses to drink it out of.
We’re thinking sherry, we’re thinking sickly creamy cocktails, we’re thinking cocktail cherries. You can try it chilled in a wine glass, or short with ice and a slice of orange, but we like ours straight up and plenty of it. Until recently, this was definitely a fairly embarrassing drink to own up to enjoying, but everywhere we look there is a non-ironic 70’s pop-up bar serving some delightfully cheesy cocktails, so a Snowball is more than ok. We’ve just about got over the memory of too many of these in the local Vodka Rev’s at uni and this year it might be time to bring it out again for our Christmas eve cocktail party.
In the 70s just after midnight on the given day a race began to ship the wine out all around the world as quickly as possible. There were car or balloon races, even elephant and rickshaw races, to bring the first bottles to Paris, Britain, Belgium and Germany.
Sweet Sherry was popular and Harveys Bristol Cream was a top seller.
The Queen also enjoys Dubonnet – in 2009 The Queen’s love of Dubonnet had staff at Lord’s cricket ground frantically searching for a bottle ahead of her attendance at the Second Ashes Test.
Dubonnet was created in 1846 by the Parisian chemist/wine merchant, Joseph Dubonnet, as a means to make quinine more palatable for the soldiers battling malaria in North Africa, Dubonnet’s mix of fortified wine, a proprietary blend of herbs, spices and peels, and the medicinal quinine is a recipe that has earned it legendary status.
A year later Buckingham Palace ordered a case for its cellars.