Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Lager and lime. A journey to Bukowski.

It started with an innocent twitter strand; @1755Dictionary had mentioned lager and lime in a tweet, I had commented and away it went nowhere. We did briefly discuss snakebite, Watneys Red Barrel and worthington E (Imagine walking into your local and saying: 'I'll ave an E please').

Lager and lime was the drink of choice for a lot of my teenage peer group. I suppose the juvenile sweetness of the lime cordial cut the adult alcohol. We were kids. We were living on the wild and dangerous side of underage drinking but we were kids... We craved sugar, E numbers and       snogging.

Yesterday, with nostalgia weighing heavily in my heart, I went to my local 'Gastropub'  (I will not name names but it knows where it is) and ordered a 'Lager and lime' for old times sake.

the Albanian barman fed me a crusty look, sneered lazily at the dusty bottle shelf and then shaking his head tried to sell me a bottle of Sol with a lime fraction cramming the neck.

Readers. I declined.

Today I had better luck. I ventured into the Tabernacle bar in Powis Square W11, and, catching the eye of Mark Richardson, the head chef, enquired as to the likelihood of obtaining a Lager and lime.  'Pint?' Said Mark. One eyebrow raised. 'Pint'. I replied. Eyebrows levelled as if with a spirit level. Under the watchful eye of Christopher Scholey, the General Manager who is renowned for his uncanny knack of being where the action is, Mark proceeded to pour a silken strand of piss coloured beer into something resembling a vase finally topping it off with a handsome dollop of cordial.

What followed was truly cinematic. Beads of condensation, the tears of my youthful minds eye, trickled down the glass as it stood before me. I was Attenborough in Ice Cold in Alex, I was Crocodile Dundee. I was Kane face to face with rosebud. Et in Arcadia ego.

Looked better than it tasted though. Too sweet.

On the way home I decided that one Lager and lime does not make a swallow, popped into the offie, purchased 8 different varieties of lager and a bottle of cordial (not Roses though, they didn't have Roses in that bottle decorated with embossed dogrose of my youth). I completed my journalistic preparations with two sausage rolls and an apple strudel from the brilliant bread stall on Portobello.

Now.... 6 pints later I can confirm that, yes, indeed, lager and lime improves with quantity. I am however not improved by a gallon of fizzy beer. Reaching for a volume of Bukowski poetry at pint 5 was a mistake too. Oh where is that schoolgirl now, green bowlered and green tighted, who led me to the land of snog armed with nothing but an illicit under-age lagerandlime and a map of boundaries to be breached.

Anyone remember Rum and Black?

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