GO ON, how many of you think cocktails are just for the Sex and the City gals? Think again, folks, because cocktails are becoming more and more mainstream. Rum, vodka or gin are the most popular base drinks but there are several recipes for beer as well but, to be honest, the ones I've tried just seem weird.

There's something wonderfully camp and eccentric about cocktails. There's a gaggle of different stories as to where the name came from but my favourite is the one about the horse traders who used to make a tired old lag look lively by putting a rag soaked in ginger and other spices up the business end of their hoss with the term becoming known as a cocktail. How the name then slipped over to cover a drink is anyone's guess.

Cocktails are now a serious business for bars all over the world with the best cocktail-makers earning princely sums for their services. They are also very flexible drinks because of the range of flavours they contain and I often serve them up with barbecued food as nothing matches burger a la napalm like rum mixed with Irn Bru and a few summer fruits thrown on the top like croutons.

I jest, of course, but the message here is give them a try even if it’s just on your summer holidays as there really is one for every palate. My favourites are the Bees Knees with gin, lemon and honey and the Painkiller with lashings of Pussers Rum.

Anyway, it's back to wine and the real world next week folks.

Badachro Scottish Gin

What a corker of a dry gin. It's got the usual juniper and all that gubbins but it adds a Scottish twist with native botanicals. Stunning

Badachro Distillery £36.95

Dark Matter Spiced Rum

A superb cocktail base with its rich intoxicating flavours and one of the many cracking Scottish rums these days.

Gerard Richardson