Festival advice: The Thinking Drinkers
Some very useful Edinburgh Fringe alcohol advice, as provided by The Thinking Drinkers
This article is from 2015.
With the Edinburgh Fringe drenched in drink and festival-goers consuming a liver-quivering quantity of alcohol every year, we asked the Thinking Drinkers (whose show features five free drinks for every audience member), for some invaluable elbow-bending advice while in Edinburgh
So, what should you drink when … ?
… you receive your first five-star review
Every time we receive a five-star review (which is pretty much all of the time), we make ourselves a Plymouth Gin Martini because that’s what Winston Churchill drank. That guy was the ultimate winner: after all, he beat a non-drinking nasty Nazi. The Martini glass is a v-shaped gesture to all those people who laughed when we said we were going to be comedians. Well, they’re not laughing now. (Bob Monkhouse wrote that but, let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be Edinburgh without a bit of joke theft).
… you receive your first two or (heaven forfend) one-star review
The only thing to do is get back in the saddle of laughter, dig your heels into the haunches of light entertainment and head for the horizon of opportunity: just like the cowboys of the Wild West who feature in our show and whose intrepid entrepreneurial verve was fuelled by American whiskey. Made in the oldest continuously working distillery in America, Buffalo Trace Bourbon is what we reach for in taxing times like this.
… you find yourself at 5am in a nightclub
We’ve often ended up in Espionage, which is wrong on so many levels. Legend has it that it’s called Espionage because Sean Connery worked there as a bouncer. That’s absholute nonshenshe of course, but if you want to drink like Bond then order yourself a Belvedere Vodka Martini. And if you have an olive / lemon twist with it then that’s one of your five-a-day. It may be the only fruit you have all month.
… you decide to finally scale Arthur’s Seat
Before embarking on our heroic 250m hike, we channel the spirit of that great British explorer Ernest Shackleton. A former teetotaller, Ernest accepted that alcohol is an essential for explorers and took a tonne of booze (an actual tonne), to the bottom of the earth. It worked as both a liquid layer against the crippling cold and a crucial bonhomie catalyst to boost morale among his men. He also packed some Forced March, pills largely composed of cocaine, designed to ward off snow blindness. Don’t take cocaine before going up Arthur’s Seat though. Drugs is for mugs and no one wants to walk up a mountain while everyone else incessantly shouts about themselves. It’ll spoil the view. Instead, come to our show and drink a Dublin Porter first brewed by Arthur Guinness. He’s called Arthur. That’ll do.
… the sound of the fireworks wakes you up from that early night (for the fourth night running)
If you’re in bed at ten o’clock four nights running, you’re doing Edinburgh wrong. Get out of bed, wake yourself up with an Espresso Martini and take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror. Sort it out.
… you have just finished your last show of the month
A nice cup of herbal tea. And a lie down.
The Thinking Drinkers’ Guide to the Legends of Liquor, Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 8–31 Aug (not 17), 6.40pm, £10–£12.50 (£9–£11.50). Previews 5–7 Aug, £7