Pink Gin is a forgotten cocktail, worthy of resurrection, in my judicious opinion, not simply because of the quantity of men I have seduced whilst under its influence, but the elegantness of it all.. It was a fashionable tipple in the 1930s and the unofficial cocktail of the Royal Navy, reminscent of smart cocktail parties, cigarette holders and the stiff upper lip. Some quarters even claimed it a cure for seasickness and hiccups, and it's considered by aficionados as a typical British drink.
It's a 3-minute, simple tipple to make: swirl a few drops of Angostura Bitters around a cocktail glass, add some crushed ice and a squintingly generous slug of Plymouth Gin, top up with iced water and carefully shaved lemon rind (the citrus oils subtly complement the flavour). Optionally, you can burn the Bitters with a lit match prior to adding the Gin to create a smokey flavour-spike. The finished cocktail has a lovely, lusty, pink colour.
The only problem I had this Saturday morning was locating a bottle of Angostura Bitters. It is a dark red extract of gentian and spices, first made in the 1820s on the Venezuelan coast, but nowadays produced in Trinidad and Tobago. They didn't sell it in any local shop, despite getting my private secretary to ring around.
In the end, startled by the incompetence of my private secretary and the lack of culture of the surrounding areas, I jumped into my Rolls Royce and drove to the nearest town that stocked a bottle of vintage Angostura Bitters - Reading, Berkshire.
Unfortunately for me, the beverage was rather addictive (44% proof) and I ended up drinking three-quarters of a bottle neat even before I had left the shop, getting so plastered that I inadvertently boarded a train at Reading station and ended up waking up three and a half hours later in South Wales.
Stumbling from the railway station, I looked around me and a terrible realisation that I'd visited this town before dawned on me. I had arrived, once more, in the town of Port Talbot, some 200 terrifying miles from home.