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Sunday, 27 November 2016

My Favourite Things by Sara-Jade Virtue, Project Manager at Books & The City

Back in the 70's women had very limited choices for when the sun was over the yardarm. A small (warm) glass of Blue Nun or Liebfraumilch. A Port and lemon. A thimbleful of Sherry on Christmas morning.

By the time I was 'of age', times, they were a changing. The exotic taste of paradise/smell of suntan cream that was a Malibu and Coke. Babycham poured from the smallest bottle ever mass manufactured into the prettiest branded glass ever mass manufactured. A Snowball on Christmas morning.

The options, as repugnant as they now sound to our developed and sophisticated palettes, had multiplied ten-fold, and even through the dark 90's days of so many Vodka Redbulls and Jager bombs that our collective hearts and brains exploded, we could taste the promise of better times ahead.

Then BOOM, in the early 2000’s the Botanical Era emerged. Like a whirlwind we were thrust into the fresh and fruity Golden Rein of The Cocktail. Overpriced and largely comprising of ice - oh, what a time to be alive my friends.

Forgiving and forgetting the early days of the Long Island Iced Tea, the Pina Colada and the Blue Lagoon, everyone remembers their first post Sex and the City Cosmopolitan, right? The minty sugary gingery suprising joy of their first Mojito. The first sip of bite-y, sour, so wrong-it’s-right and so sophisticated-it’s-a-joke Dirty Martini.

Most of us now have cocktails shaker's IN OUR OWN HOMES, like we live in Manhattan not Milton Keynes. We have a bottle of Baileys for Christmas morning in our kitchen cupboard. A selection of gins and Fever Tree tonic LIKE WE LIVE ON THE SET OF MAD MEN, and we think nothing of mixing up a daiquiri on a Wednesday night in our otherwise unused nutribullet.

And this is why, when Annette from Sincerely Book Angels Blog asked me to contribute to her My Favourite Things feature, I absolutely had to share my love of a cocktail above and beyond anything else. Because I do. I really really love cocktails. I love how they make me think I look when I’m drinking one. I love how they never taste like you think they are going to. I love how expensive and decadent and ridiculous they are. I love how I think they make me sound classy and refined and a tad gauche when I order them. I love the taste, even when they taste a bit odd. I love the accoutrement of silly garnishes you get with them. Oh, cocktails, how I love thee…

And anyway, as someone lucky enough to work in the book world, I talk, think, dream about books ALL THE TIME - it's my passion, my addiction, my job and my income - but it would be stating the bleeding obvious to list BOOKS as My Favourite Thing wouldn't it?

I've been shouting about my Laminated List of Top Ten Novels for years - and the world and his wife (OK, OK, just my colleagues, my husband and the late, great Jackie Collins herself) know about my Jack Python obsession.

And I constantly shout (via and through twitter @BookMinxSJV) about books on my TBR Pile of Dreams, books on my shelves at work, books I’m reading, proofs of books I’m salivating over, books in the Top Ten, books not yet published, books published a month, a year, a decade ago… so NO-ONE wants to hear me wanging on about books again do they?

But, in the spirit of filling the brief Annette sent me, here are my Quick Fire Round answers:

Food - Savoury/Sweet

Savoury: the Dinner of Champions (and small children) - Fish Fingers and Peas

Sweet: there-isn’t-enough-time-to-tell-you-how-many-puddings-I-love


See above + Diet Coke


I can re-watch the 1991 Bette Midler/James Caan classic For the Boys over and over again and still cry like a baby, ergo, that must be my favourite film



See above


See above!


Kissing You by Keith Washington for one reason, April in Paris performed by Count Basie in 1956 for a whole other reason -

Holiday destination

The Stoop or anywhere by the sea


Harley the cockatoo – this is why


@MrBookMinx – reader, I married him

Place to write



All of them, for different reasons


Pancake Day?

Inspirational quote

Is it what it is. I don’t know if it’s an inspiration in the true sense of the word, but it sees me through days and days spent staring at costing grids!

Thing in the whole world

A breath-taking sunset and sunrise,Beyonce, iced fingers, mascara, gothic architecture (preferably in ruins), nail varnish, trainers, ballet, L L Cool J, whales, lightning… how long have you got?

@BookMinxSJV is the Project Manager of the Simon & Schuster Women’s Fiction Community She mostly tweets about books, buns and booze.

Cheers Sara-Jade and thanks for joining us.

Book Angel x

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