Musty Bunches - Tales from the Spitbucket
First of all, the bottle is solid and chunky in an undeniably 'this is premium gin not Gordon's filth - just check out that abv!' kind of way. Which also explains why the grubby white label has mercifully (and several years too late) been taken away and drowned in a butt of juniper.
But most dramatic of all is the change to the Beefeater himself. In a glowing testament to the powers of regular ingestion of mother's ruin, gone is the doddery old "tyke with a pike" of yore. In his place is a rather dashing figure, who looks much as the old chap might have done 30 years ago.
This adonis is replete with rippling pectorals, well-filled hose (Shakespearian trousers you fools!), natty goatee beard and just the hint of a smile round the eyes. Manfully he clasps his staff, long and proud, as he guards the crown jewels, his strong jaw hinting at the unadulterated purity of the spirit within. All man, yet with the eyes of a poet, she could imagine his strong arms enfolding her as she inhaled the heady citrus of his 13 botanicals.
Sorry. Lost myself in a Mills & Boon moment…
In an effort to discover the identity of the model your intrepid gossip hound repeatedly called Allied Domecq. Their initial polite rebuffs became more and more heated until an exasperated spokesperson said: "Look, if he's a good looking bloke with a goatee he's probably gay, all right?"
"Well at least he fits in with his gin's name," said Musty in a fit of pique, before collapsing tearfully into her pillow, a bottle of Beefcake gin clasped to her heaving bosom.
Still, at least Allied have Got It Right (and how often have we hacks had the chance to write that sentence over the last five years, without a disbelieving copy editor instantly querying our sanity?).
Seagram, meanwhile, continues to display all the poise and direction of an American presidential election.
Apparently, the company's finest brains have got together to work out a truly inspiring marketing promotion.
How do you win it? Easy: you.......... What do you win? Well, let's just say you're not likely to forget it in a hurry.
You know the Mir space station?
Yes, the floating thing that's falling to bits miles above the earth.
Yes, the one, which not even, highly trained and highly paid astronauts want to visit.
Yes, the one which took three months to repair not so long ago…
The what? Well, I'm not sure that calling it the Reliant Robin of intergalactic travel is quite fair, but I can see you know what I'm talking about.
So anyway, that one. Well, some marketing genius at Seagram feels that this would make an ideal day trip.
Shall I repeat that for those of you too thunderstruck to take it in at first reading?
Seagram are considering offering a day trip to the Mir space station as a prize.
So lucky punters the world over will get the chance to maroon themselves several hundred miles above the earth in a dilapidated tin can built by drunken Russian blacksmiths in the depths of the cold war courtesy of Seagram. Brilliant.
Would it be an unnecessarily cheap shot to point out the convenient parallels between the drinks company and the space station? On reflection, probably yes.
Except of course then Seachange will be owned by one of Allied Debacle, Diuglio, Back-Yardy, Brown-Foreskin or Little Ricard. None of which would normally worry La Musty unduly. Although the thought of what Diuglio might be able to do with disobedient journalists and a de facto prison several light years from a decent Martini hardly bears thinking about.
Although, if her companion were the mystery Beefeater perhaps it wouldn't be so bad...
Finally, in what has generally been a paeon to pointlessness, Musty would like to finish with perhaps the biggest non-event of them all. The International Wine and Spirit Competition has a habit of companies sponsoring trophies then suffering the embarrassment of having to award them to themselves. This year, though, saw a neat twist on the old theme.
The winner of this year's Robert Mondavi Award was Philip Shaw of Rosemount, his prize a trip to Mondavi's operation in Napa. Much excitement. Much banging of cymbals. Much clanging of gongs and general singing of the Hallelujah chorus.
Except that with Rosemount and Mondavi in a new joint venture to produce 'premium' wines in Napa and the Hunter Valley, Shaw is probably up to his eyeballs in the 2000 California vintage chez Mondavi as you read this and would doubtless trade in his 'prestigious award' for a decent night's sleep.
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