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Brits in the bar

How come you always end up talking to expats in bars without meaning to? And why are they always really interesting people you'll never meet again?

Met a couple of ex-UK guys from Nat Semi in the hotel bar tonight, which appears to be one of the happening places in San Jose. Ended up having a rather good conversation about the decline of hi-tech industry in the UK, as we'd all worked for the same cluster of two or three telecoms companies in the early 1990s. Then again, find three UK electronic engineers in their thirties and it's reasonable odds that they've all worked for Plessey, Marconi or STC...

I'm not sure why the hotel's bar is fashionable. They only had Tanqueray for my G&T, and I watched a barman massacre one of my favourite drinks. I'm dubious about a place that uses lemonade to make a Caipirinha. There are somethings that should never be done... Then again, I have never had a decent Caipirinha in the US. For one thing they tend to use rum, rather than cachaça.

Time to go to a Brazilian restaurant in Lisbon again, I think.

Or failing that, London


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 8th, 2004 11:50 pm (UTC)
Come to Dunedin, and have a _real_ caipirinha. It's nice to meet another who adores them.
Jan. 8th, 2004 11:54 pm (UTC)

Though there is this really decent rodizio opposite the old bull ring in Lisbon...
Jan. 8th, 2004 11:59 pm (UTC)
Do they have a Chinese barman who knows how to make the real thing, and two kinds of cachaca?
Jan. 9th, 2004 12:34 am (UTC)
Lemonade!? No excuse! Okay, maybe, I can see a situation where someone might pour a little lemonade into the leftover ice and lime to stretch it a little, but....

On the other hand, I've seen a caipirinha alcopop called bambao on sale up here. I think we bought some when it dropped to 40p/bottle (it wasn't exactly popular).

A proper caipirinha should have a chopped lime, crushed ice, just enough (but not too much) unrefined sugar and be stirred/muddled with the right sort of drum beating implement. We used to have two sorts of cachaça in the house, too....
Jan. 9th, 2004 02:25 am (UTC)

I've also had them made with palm sugar, which adds a floral note that nicely balances any bitterness from the limes.

Jan. 9th, 2004 04:32 pm (UTC)
I was drinking something similar last night, only with vodka. If you make them with rum though, that's a mojito (or if you want to threaten the local wheelie-bins with a drunken (but nameless) LJ member), I also have my own "mohelo" recipe. Lemonade is a heathen practice, but then what can you expect from a nation that can;t even brew a decent cup of tea.

The palm sugar is a good idea. You can taste the difference.
Jan. 14th, 2004 02:58 am (UTC)
*why* can't you stay in touch? if you get on well, swap contacts and make sure you stay in touch!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )