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04/02/2013

UN's tipsy dips: the sequel

When we left off last week, the UN’s tipsy diplomats were being (soberly) warned off the drink during working hours.

The U.S.’s ambassador for UN management and reform, Joseph Torsella, you may recall, had taken unnamed diplomats to task for inebriation during negotiations in the otherwise dry budget committee sessions.

That, according to the Washington Post’s veteran correspondent – and Turtle Bay blogger -- Colum Lynch, led to some unintended consequences.

Not only did some offended African diplomats stage a temporary revolt, but to Lynch’s surprise,  CBC Radio host Dominic Girard decided to do a spot on his pilot radio show, Sociable, on the drinking habits of UN diplomats.

There's also a Toronto connection. Sociable is about alcohol and society. And its resident bartender Oliver Stern, of the Toronto Temperance Society club, was called in to create an appropriate drink for the East River’s enclave of envoys.

But it was not without its hiccoughs, Stern admitted. “I played around with it in the restaurant below because I don’t have draft beer,” he said. “I tried it out a couple of times and it’s a very refreshing summer drink.”

The result: the Diplomatic Hangover – named after Lynch's original blog. And, he points out, it could be a contender for the rebooted menu of the UN’s much-missed Delegates’ Lounge (now under renovation). The drink, Stern says, is a diplomatic accord between the alcoholic beverages with which international envoys might toast a successful negotiation.

But there’s also good news for Torsella, and those who view a concoction of vodka, beer, sparkling rose and fruity cordial with a jaundiced eye.

“I’ve created a non-alcoholic version with just the cordial and soda,” says Stern, from behind his Toronto bar.  “It tastes a bit like the San Pellegrino sodas with a nice refreshing edge.”

Just ask for Diplomatic Immunity.

Olivia Ward was the Star's UN correspondent in the early 1990s.  She is looking forward to chasing down diplomats once again in the restored Delegates' Lounge.

 


 




   

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