Many people like the odd tipple at this time of year, which is why late night trains look as if they’re returning from the Ypres Salient after a heavy day’s fighting. Sambuca shots after a couple of bottles of prosecco do take their toll on the once-a-year-drinking brigade.


However, those two drinks may be a bit up-market if you’re a Glasgow ned and like your bangs per buck (in a moment you’ll see what I did there) to be a bit more manageable. Hence the popularity of Buckfast Tonic Wine aka Buckie. It’s still not exactly cheap, at about £8-50 a bottle, but it’s more cost effective than fizz or shots.

Since the 1920s it’s been made by a bunch of Benedictine monks down in Devon. If you think about it, this order also gave us the disgusting and highly toxic liqueur Benedictine, so either they have the constitutions of oxen, or they (wisely) avoid their own products like the plague and flog them in a remarkably successful marketing operation. They made £8.8M this year, which will go some way to repairing the church roof.

The weird thing is that Buckie tastes bloody awful, in part because they use cheapo red plonk to make it, and partly because it’s fortified with caffeine, hence the appellation ‘Tonic’. There’s as much caffeine in a bottle as in four cans of Red Bull. That seems unwise to me. Normal drunks tend to get sleepy, but with that caffeine jag there’s going to be trouble with the Wideawake Club. There is. Between 2010 and 2012, Buckie was implicated in over 6000 crimes. I knew the caffeine was a bad idea.

There’s something a bit more upmarket than the prosecco/Sambuca drinkers. The Chelsea Set have long referred to champagne as ‘shampoo.’ It was only a matter of time before some spoilt richkid took this to its logical extreme, and this has happened not in Sloane Central but in New York. After a dousing with champagne on her 21st birthday, Rachel Katzman noticed her hair looked better than if she had had it professionally styled. I doubt that, but hey! If there’s a fast buck (did it again, didn’t I?) to be made from some damned fool with more money than sense, somebody’s going to fill the niche  in the market.

Ms Katzman has a range of haircare products that contain champagne ‘extracts.’ Yes, I believe that, no question. She also lobs in white truffle extracts (truffle extracts!) as a moisturiser, which might just work I suppose.

What won’t work is the platinum she claims to put in, and given this metal is selling today at over 900 bucks (and again!) an ounce I rather doubt her word. I also doubt the inclusion of this metal for its antioxidant properties. It’s inert as near as dammit, hence its use in high-end electronics. And why would anti-oxidants have any effect whatsoever on dead protein? The jury’s still out on their utility in a keeping a living body in tiptop form, let alone keratin.

Stick to prosecco and Sambuca.. Your head might hurt a bit, but your bank balance will be healthier.