With Christmas on the horizon it’s time to break out of your conservative imbibery, to take a long hard look at all those jazzy bottles lined up on the barman’s shelves – and dare to drink something different. Watch out over the next couple of weeks for regular doses of useless but possibly inspiring tipple-related info. Kicking off with: Anis del Mono.
What better way to warm the berberechos of your heart than a nice liquoricy anisette? But whether you prefer to down it neat, on the rocks, with water, splashed in sweet black coffee, or mixed with brandy in a sol y sombra, which of the snazzily-labelled bottles should you sample? Well, if you fancy a little history and science along with your digestif, then go for the one in the diamantine cut-glass and the scary-looking monkey on the front. And ask the barman for a closer look. Yes, that’s right, the head on the primate is none other than Charles Darwin. The design won a competition in 1897 held by Catalan entrepreneur and anisette producer, Vicente Bosch, and supposedly shows his support for the Great Man’s theory of evolution. In the monkey-man’s hand, a parchment reads – or used to read at any rate – “Es el mejor. La Cienca lo dijo y yo no miento” (It’s the best. Science said so, and I don’t lie).
Tip: If you buy a whole bottle (red label sweet, green label drier, earthier), polish it off, grab a spoon, and you’ve got a traditional home-made instrument ready for a rowdy villancico (carol-singing) session.