Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Babycham-bles? Definitely not!

To celebrate the 60th anniversay, the Diamond Jubilee, of iconic good-time drink Babycham, I thought it about time I tried it. To a crowd of you now hanging your heads in shame and shaking your head (though don't lie, you've probably tried it), I beg you to hear me out...

With trademark 'baby bottles', a prancing fawn on the label and in a pretty turquoise colour (think 'Tiffany blue')  it's perhaps the quintessential party girl's drink - light, fruity, bubbly, small enough to stash in your handbag and acceptable to drink through a straw!

Launched nationally in the UK in 1953 as a glorified perry (from perry pears) by West country cider brewer Francis Showering, Babycham has an avid following from youngsters who like it because it's retro, to those who, well, are retro - and were the ones drinking it when it first hit the shelves!

In post-war Britain, this light Champagnesque tipple - designed with women in mind - allowed housewives and singletons alike to indulge in aspirations of a glamourous lifestyle and escape their routine lives. With the tag-line 'genuine Champagne perry' it added a little luxury to an otherwise normal family life. As its success grew, it was the first alcoholic drinks brand to be advertised on commercial television in the UK...

Fresh, exciting and stylish, Babycham quickly became the party girl's drink of choice and a string of successfull television commericals followed with catchphrases including; "Got sparkle, Got life", "I'd love a Babycham!" and "The happiest drink in the world".

Light and effervescent, with flavours of crushed pears, it's best served chilled and is sweet and refreshing. At just 6% abv it's far too easy to drink, but I can see the attraction in a time when there weren't so many options available to women, and the drinks industry was marketed at men - ales, stout and hard liquor.

By no means is Babycham as complex as a wine, as unique as a single malt or as decorative as a cocktail, it was never designed to be...but it is fun and it's definitely a girly-girl drink. Think of how it suits the hours before you go out, whilst the girls are round and you're getting ready for a night on the town. A few cheese straws and you've got yourself a 70's flashback (picture left = my Friday night in!).

You can pick up a four pack of the baby bottles in Tesco for just £3.99, and with a current promotion of 2 for £5, you'll have change from a tenner to also pick up a couple of the 75cl Popping Cork bottles, priced at just £3.49 and designed for parties! As the millenium approached, this special edition popping cork style bottle was launched in 1999 with new year celebrations in mind. It's no Moet or Veuve, but again, I stress the point that it is meant to be a bit of fun and should never, ever be used as a substitue for good quality fizz!

If you're not content enough sipping a Babycham at home with the girls, why not head to Maggie's in SW10 - an 80's themed boutique members nightclub named after Maggie Thatcher - prime-minister turned 80s icon. Think waitresses in neon leggings, permed wigs, rubix cube tables and 80s tunes. Baby bottles of Babycham appear proudly on the drinks menu for just £4 along with 80's themed cocktails like Heman vs Skeletor, Smack Daddy, Pac-Man-Tini and Goose and Maverick's Martini.

My conclusion? If Babycham appears on the drinks menu of a member's nightclub in Chelsea, then it's cool. Babycham is back on trend and the millenials are paving the comeback path for this retro cutie.

Babycham commerical from YouTube; Babycham 1960's commercial

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