In A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, Scrooge proposes that he and Bob Cratchit discuss the future “over a bowl of Smoking Bishop”. This punch, sometimes called ‘purple wine’, earnt the name ‘Bishop’ from its colour. Although a real bishop does give a very particular flavour. It’s made by pouring red wine over ripe, bitter oranges. The liquor is heated (or ‘mulled’) in an old pan which can be pushed back into the fire. This is a drink that’s guaranteed to have me donning my gay apparel. I’m hoping it’s going to be on sale at the Hawker House finale this weekend, with Gizzi Erskine’s Twisted Christmas and ‘rumbola’. If not, I’ll stick to the wine.
I’ve been to a lot of wine tastings in my time. So I’m down with the fact that there’s nothing ridiculous about swirling – sorry, ‘volatilizing my esters’. It aerates the wine. After all, you don’t drink it just because it’s red and on the table. When swirling, take care to fill your glass less than half full. You will not score points at any function if the person next to you ends up wearing the wine. Then smell. And taste. For serious wine sorts who work on the streets (Street Vin and the Wondering Wine Co are my favourites) it’s tricky to know what sort of vessels to use. Plastic isn’t as nice to drink from and can taint the flavour. But glass smashes and chips too easily. Beer creates an even bigger pint-sized problem. What to do?
Ladies and gents, I give you Das Horn. Following a victorious Kickstarter campaign, New York designers David Segall and Alex Chatham opted to craft their Viking-style drinking vessel from sleek white BPA free ABS plastic, with a laser etched stainless steel rim. So no yak hairs in your mead! Short of arriving in a longboat it’s the ultimate way to establish who’s boss at any shindig. Of course, the downside of drinking out of a horn is that it’s not the easiest thing to put down mid-ale. Well fret ye not. Das Horn comes with a handy lanyard – for carrying around the neck – and a suitably stylish black metal display stand; ready for a glorious return from pillaging the fridge.