Picture the scene. A desperate team of starving and exhausted writers and designers, chained to their notebooks and laptops, prisoners in the brig of The Good Ship Hot Rum Cow - cramped, cowed and crazed. Driven on by the metronomic thump of the editor's slavedriver drum and the constant threat of floggings, and fuelled only by the leftover powdered alcohol and cloud cocktails from The Future Issue, this motley crew of hired hacks and mac monkeys have produced a dark, potent and dangerous magazine. And in record time to boot.
For Hot Rum Cow's seventh instalment, we finally face the 'hot hellish and terrible liqueur' that gave us our middle name – rum. And we've produced for you a ripsnorting, swaggering saga of hot-blooded cut-throats, slavers, wreckers and rogues.
There's the tawdry tale of rum's history at sea, an exploration of rum's relationship with reggae and religion, and a whistle-stop guided tour of the Caribbean's finest styles. Chef Cyrus Todiwala crafts three fine dishes with India's Old Monk and we meet rum's Renaissance woman, master blender Joy Spence.
There's also a personal paean to Croatian rakija, an experiment in home-brewing our own 'austerity' spirits and lessons in everyday drinking from Sir Kingsley Amis. Not to mention beer guts, monks, aphrodisiacs, screeching, coca, Champagne, cachaça and a night out at a gay bar with Lady Di.