Friday 4 September 2009

Cocktail Hour

We've got a friend staying just now who's partial to a gin and tonic at the back of six. I'm not averse to a G&T myself but we don't keep it in the house so both vital ingredients plus limes (far better than lemon according to friend) were high on the list for a visit to Santa Cruz today (even though it's not a "second Friday" but it gave the sun-drying tomatoes an extra trip out).

The tonic (Schweppes, of course - what was the 70s advertising slogan? "Pssst! You know who.") was quickly sourced, as were the limes, but what about gin? Now I have expatiated previously on the merits of keenly priced beverages (see for example here and here) but wait till I tell you about the gin we found on the shelves of Supermercado Braga (pastries, car repairs and wood cutting also undertaken on moderate terms).

J G Kinsey Gin brewed in - of all places - Motherwell (Scotland) and retailing at - wait for it - €4.72 a 70cl bottle. That's right - €4.72 which at today's exchange rate is £4.10! That's my kind of gin. We scooped both bottles off the shelf - what a shame there weren't more: I reckon I could probably make a profit exporting the bottles individually wrapped in eiderdowns. And despite fears that it would probably be neat drain cleaner and give us all strokes before sundown, it made a very decent decent G&T and I'm still here to type this message.

By the way, they've started to strip the paint off the church in preparation for redoing it for next weekend's annual festa - wonder why there were so many empty Kinsey's Gin bottles lying around the cemetery?


Sarah said...

There was me thinking I'd bring a bottle of Duty Free Gordons - but at your prices, why bother? Might be a good idea to start stocking up now for my arrival! PS I like cucumber in mine.

Kathie said...

Gin is not exactly an unknown commodity in the Azores. In fact, G&Ts are the mother's milk of Peter Café Sport in Horta on Faial. Perhaps you can divine, from the label's shape, the brand in photo #4 at:

Sarah said...

I'm stopping in Horta on the way to Flores and would love to visit Peter Café Sport. How far is it from the airport? I only have 1 hour.

Neil King said...

It's about 15-20 mins drive from the airport so you'd be pushing it if you've only got an hour.

Neil King said...

Kathie - I don't recognise the brand of gin but note the Compal box behind - they're still very much on the go as a brand of fruit juice.

Kathie said...

Baby Chou, maybe on a subsequent trip to Flores you can stop off for a day or 2 on Faial, hire a driver to take you 'round on a half-day tour of the major sights (old caldeira, 51-year-old Capelinhos volcano, view of Horta from Monte Guia, etc.), inspect the sailor paintings on the Marina pavement and walls -- then repair to Peter's for your G&T homage and to buy the obligatory shirt next-door! I enjoy lodging at the Estalagem Santa Cruz (historic waterfront fort that's a lovely pensão nowadays) -- but, chacun à son goût!

Kathie said...

P.S. to Baby Chou re Faial:

You don't need a guide to view the sailor paintings left along the Marina (though it might sound like it from my hastily typed post). Just take a leisurely amble along harbor.

A couple other sights worth seeing in Horta are the new (April '08) Public Library (with a gallery space on the ground floor) -- and the Faial Botanical Garden, which exclusively features indigenous and endemic plants (as opposed to introduced species such as hydrangeas). Unfortunately, when I tried just now to find the garden's URL, Google issued the ominous warning, "This site may harm your computer," so I prudently opted against opening it. However, there's always this, and in English to boot!

If the hyperlink doesn't work when you click on it, copy & paste each line into your search window: