My favourite cocktail doesn't exist.
There's only one bar you could ever have called me a regular.
Dead-centre in Shoreditch, London: Callooh Callay.
A bartender there, Andrea, schooled me in martinis; guided me through the infinite choice of spirit and serve, trying me on everything to see what I liked.
(Turns out, I'm dull: citrus-rich gin, stirred dry with a twist).
But among all her creations, the one I loved most was the Baby Alligator.
It's hard to describe the taste.
Maybe... somewhere between a sazerac and a martinez.
I was obsessed.
We'd go and I'd buy rounds of them for my friends.
Take dates, chatting shit and getting drunk on them in the old bathtub. (Hey it was the early 2000s).
Eventually though, I moved away.
Different part of town, different bars, different vibes, different life.
And I forgot.
Some years later I went back: Andrea was gone.
I ordered the same drink, but no one knew how to make it.
And I'd been told the recipe, but never remembered.
There was no way I could explain it - I'd only know a Baby Alligator if I tasted it.
So now that drink only lives in my head, caught up in that time and place.
Maybe for the best: if I could have it again, it would probably be a disappointment.
But this way, it's still my favourite.
Like all the best memories - fading.