A Tanqueray At The Races
I’d never been to Goodwood Racecourse before so I asked an experienced horse-racing friend of mine for some tips.
“Follow the hats”, came the reply, and without this sound advice I may not have got to Goodwood at all as Victoria Station was packed I was running late for my train.
Panamas, floral headdresses and fascinators led the way across the concourse to the 10:31 to Chichester and I was on my way.
Glorious Goodwood is one of the highlights of the summer flat racing calendar, and I was making my debut at the famous racecourse on the penultimate day of the festival, where seven races, including the Golden Mile, were on the card.
As well as losing money on horses I was at Goodwood to road-test a handful of Tanqueray’s summer cocktails, and take advantage of the Tanqueray Bar’s ‘Spritz Up and Groom’ service that offers racegoers a professional shoeshine or makeover at its trackside bar. I went for the former.
Having had my shoes transformed into mirrors it was time to watch the horseracing from our table on the lawn, and enjoy some cocktails as the thoroughbreds sped by.
As well as a classic G&T, three other Tanqueray cocktails were tasted by me and my colleagues for the day, two lovely gents from Sport magazine who knew far too much about the gee-gees for my liking.
First up was the French 75, a Champagne cocktail blending gin, lemon juice, sugar and fizz. Served in a classic Champagne coupe, it packed an initial punch of sharp lemon that was soon tamed by the sugar before the gin and sparkle took over. It was powerful and refreshing - just the thing for kicking back in the sunshine.
The Glorious was next, and it certainly lived up to its name. This fruity number mixes pressed rhubarb and apple with gin and elderflower to create a bright long drink. The garnish is a stick of rhubarb. This is truly a summer drink with the fruit and elderflower combining to great effect. File under dangerous as this is one of those cocktails that tastes no more alcoholic than a glass of Um Bongo, but certainly is.
Finally we come to the liveliest cocktail of the afternoon, the Tiny Ten. It must be noted that at this stage of the proceedings money had been lost on horses so a stiff drink was certainly welcomed, and the Tiny Ten didn’t disappoint. It’s a heady blend of Tanqueray Ten gin, pink grapefruit juice and sugar served in a martini glass. Our waiter was keen to tell us that it was his favourite cocktail, mainly because he loves grapefruit, and it you don’t like grapefruit you won’t like this. It’s a spirit-strong drink with a sharp grapefruit kick and a mouth-puckering finish. Just the ticket after an ill-conceived bet.
Goodwood was glorious, a beautiful setting for a wonderful afternoon’s racing and cocktail supping. Next time I won’t be backing horses on their names alone, though, or after one too many cocktails!