Decline of the English murder cocktail


It is difficult to establish any relationship between the price of books and the value one gets out of them. “Books” include novels,poetry,textbooks,works of reference, sociological treatise and much else…

-from Books v. Cigarettes by George Orwell

And collections of essays I might add. When I was in London I picked up the Orwell ones in Penguins “great ideas” series. Which in itself was one of the better ideas I had when at Sandoe books; they have brought me much joy. When I was younger I read both 1984 and Animal Farm, they struck me by their insights. His essays are more diverse; since they are on a range of subjects not all feel relevant to me or our time. But when he gets it right he is oh so sharp whether writing about political language or junk shops.

Obviously a cocktail followed: Decline of the english murder is a name to good to pass up. I used Johnnie Walker Red label as the base; this comes from his investigations into the life of vagabonds. They probably drank awful whiskey  but this one does have the name..(I’m not averse to a pun or two when making drinks).

Then I made a mix of tea with sugar and marmalade, the only thing missing is the toast. There are some Plum bitters for Plum pudding (he actually doesn’t write about plum pudding but does got ON AND ON about suet pudding. )

I used the Queen’s blend from Fortnum&Mason but a good Ceylon will do just fine. Just make sure you are using a bitter orange marmalade.


3 dl tea; hot and strong (I used 3 tablespoons tea leaf and let it sit for 5 minutes)

2 tablespoons bitter orange marmelade

3 tablespoons castersugar

  1. When the tea is still hot stir in the sugar and marmalade and continue to stir until it has dissolved.
  2. Let cool and pour into a clean bottle. Will only keep one or two days in the fridge.

Once the mix is done the cocktail is easily assembled.

Decline of the English murder-cocktail; yields one cocktail

4 cl of Johnnie walker red label

4 cl of tea-mix

2 dashes of Fee Brother’s Plum Bitters

orange zest for serving

  1. Stir ingredients in a stirring glass full of ice until cold.
  2.  Pour into a glass,keeping back the ice.
  3. Twist the orange zest over the cocktail then add it to the drink

And that’s that. Tried it on friends and they liked it. A rather easy cocktail to make(and drink),if you can get the bitters, but it does have a nice mix of spice,fruit and bitterness. Rather like the essays.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s