Holiday booze. Two words to strike fear into the most hardened drinker's heart - the promise of alcohol so strong it probably cleans your insides to a gleaming finish, and has you wearing a non-stop grimace. Why do we think this will recreate the romance of foreign climes? It's like lounging round a paddling pool in your back yard at the weekend in the hope of waiter-service and a golden post-holiday glow, when the best you can hope for is a sunburned ruddy face and some dodgy half-barbequed sausage.
Still. We try. In my mind, my life, of course, is like some kind of Club Tropicana paradise, where I am never without a drink served in a hollowed-out fruit. But the reality has altogether fewer glasses of blue booze, and rather more bottles of sticky, scary holiday grog glued together in the back of the cupboard. Only an alcohol emergency sees them unstoppered - and even then, one swig is enough to convince all involved that it's a thoroughly bad idea.
So what am I going to do with it all? Is it possible to make holiday booze drinkable? Share your recipes with us. Which holiday booze is sadly maligned - Mount Gay rum for example, is a fine and sensible drink to travel home with - and which should be avoided at all costs? Slivovic, I'm thinking of you. (NB - points will be deducted for championing pina coladas as so retro they're fabulous again, as on a recent edition of Market Kitchen. Like you'd find Sophie Grigson and Tom Barker Bowles knocking them back if they weren't in the studio ... ).