The Secret of Happiness

Happiness is a Well Stocked Drinks Cabinet

It is only natural at this time in the year that you are giving serious consideration to throwing yourself into a box of straw and hibernating through the winter in a small cupboard under the staircase. Might I suggest an alternative? I suggest a rethink on your drinks cabinet. In fact, let's adopt an adage: happiness is a well stocked drinks cabinet. A carefully curated drinks cabinet that reflects the season will support you through any situation.

The drinks cabinet at Tweed Towers has been rearranged so that it's now ready for winter. The gins and clear spirits have been pushed to the back along with the Pimms and Aperol and all those summer flavours. They'll be back when we see a sign of sun. For now, the Christmas ales, the crusty vintage ports and single-malt whiskies rule the roost and form the front flank. These — and the possibility of utilising all that tweed in your wardrobe — will help you to see winter in a more forgiving light. When the fire is crackling in your hearth, and you are sitting in your favourite armchair in a Donegal tweed three-piece listening to what the elements are throwing at your windows, you will naturally reach for these winter warmers — and the midwinter will seem decidedly less bleak.

A Midwinter's Night Dram

Make sure you keep space for late arrivals in your cabinet. You can now enjoy a distinctly Yuletide snifter from Glenmorangie. The Highland distillery has released A Midwinter Night's Dram (playing on A Midsummer's Night Dream), a whisky aged in bourbon and sherry casks specifically to create a flavour reminiscent of this time of year, with an aroma evocative of Christmas cake and a flavour combining warming fruits and spice.

Ring out these Solstice Bells

After a wee dram, let's lift the mood now with Jethro Tull's Ring Out Solstice Bells [Amazon]. The song will serve as the alarm klaxon on Christmas morning at Tweed Towers, so as to start the day in the right frame of mind.

If you wish to replicate Ian Anderson's look with the tattersall waistcoat and holly buttonhole this Christmas, Brocklehurts stock a Gurteen tattersall waistcoat in wool with horn buttons (below). You just need to find a bit of holly.

Neckerchief or cravat? — it's up to you.


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