Yesterday, my wife and I received FIVE – count 'em, 5 – green boxes with odd labels. Actually, two were addressed to Fine Books contributors, two to my wife, and one for me. In each box we found a small bottle of Hendrick's gin, a cucumber, and a card with a web address.
Originally, we only opened the ones addressed to us, but once we realized gin – our alcoholic beverage of choice (I've had two today – it was a rough day) – was enclosed, we purloined all five. I'm sure the other Fine Books folks probably didn't want theirs, but I'm not about to ask.
It turned out to be a promotion from Hendrick's, one of our top three gins. Amy and I prefer Beefeater, which I know is a cliche, but it's also the best gin for martinis. Hendrick's is probably our second favorite. (Is anyone from Beefeater reading this – we can be bribed. Really. We once knew an employee of the firm that represented Beefeater, and we really enjoyed the relationship.)
I'm not sure what we were supposed to do with the cucumber. The cocktail recipe Hendrick's provided called for gin (which they kindly sent), mint, soda, ice, and a bit of sugar – ingredients that cost me close to $5. It was a nice cocktail. The recipe didn't include a cucumber, so I sliced one thin and floated it in the drinks.
What does this have to do with book collecting? We're featuring early cocktail books in the next issue.