The artists’ favourite pick-me-ups
Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.
Mx Justin Vivian Bond, singer-songwriter, author, artist, actor and activist
You can nearly always pick me up with a Chartreuse Gin Daisy. I had my first at Loos American Bar in Vienna five years ago when I was on tour with my band. In 2019 I was invited to return to Vienna to perform in the world premiere of the opera Orlando at the Vienna State Opera. I was on the fence about being away from home for two months but the thought of a Gin Daisy waiting for me after every show was the deciding factor. No regrets, Coyote! Yum.
Maurizio Cattelan, artist
Alcohol is always a great source of inspiration. But if I have to choose a drink, it is definitely grappa. I started drinking it because of my father, who made his own in a pressure cooker. I complained about the smell, but now I also make mine with my friends. It’s called Sgrappa and it is mixable. It makes me feel I have something in common with my father – he put his heart into it. I put love.
Josh O’Connor, actor
My favourite drink is a “Smokey Kudu”. It’s the signature cocktail of Kudu restaurant in Peckham. It’s made with Bain’s South African whisky, bourbon and bitters and flavoured with wood smoke. I love it most because of its scent. Living in London, I often feel disconnected from the countryside where I grew up. Just a whiff of wood burn sends me to a place of nostalgia. The food’s also crazy good.
Bruce Robinson, actor, director, screenwriter, novelist
I can’t think of many drinks that have picked me up, but more than a few have put me down, primarily reds, and most notably those from Bordeaux. The finest assault I suffered was in France when attacked in a seaside restaurant by an ’82 Margaux (with back-up) – it was a waiter who “picked me up” and a taxi driver who delivered me.
Rupert Everett, actor and author
After nine days in a quarantine hotel, nothing could pick me up, darling.
Eric Underwood, ballet dancer, model, actor
I love a glass of champagne. I’m missing going to Claridge’s and having a glass of Moët & Chandon. The last thing I did before Covid kicked off was go there to celebrate being cast in the play Clybourne Park, which we’re now planning to do with theatres gradually reopening. It’s a way of taking a moment, calming down. Now more than ever, we need to celebrate.
Greta Bellamacina, actress, poet, filmmaker, model
Most mornings, and late at night if I am feeling adventurous and creative, I turn to my faithful cup of black coffee. It makes me feel housed and more alive. In Fitzrovia my favourite place is Italia Uno on Charlotte Street. It is the first café to open in the morning – filled with Deliveroo drivers and builders – and the last to close at night. I often find myself having late-night chats there over a coffee, and again in the morning for another.