‘Time for a tipple: The cocktails and disco drinks we enjoyed in the 1970s’

Mar 19, 2021
Julie recalls a time when drinking was an accompaniment to night life. Source: Getty Images

While I sit here, at coffee o’clock, I can recall my formative years. I grew up in a teetotal household. Tea-drinking was the beverage of choice. Both my parents came from alcohol abstinent families. Then, at a tender teen age, I met the ‘one’.

We started dating. For a date night done right, I was introduced to alcohol. You could say love was blind. Blind drunk, that is. He used to drive home, speeding, blind drunk. From all this, I quickly determined that anything more than two alcoholic drinks made me do the technicolour yawn. Part of my family history is being allergic to alcohol. My late mum was the same.

But, hell yeah, we were young. It was the time of cocktails, for true sophistication. When it was time for tiddles, our group of social animals drank Mateus Rose, while the ‘boys’ quaffed beers of different varietal types. A beer snob would prefer a Corona, as opposed to the routine VB.

The ‘girls’ were offered drinks for the little lady. Vodka and loads of orange was a popular drink. This was in an era when the emphasis was on alcohol and crème! After dinner, people would drink Irish coffees. Bailey’s Irish Cream was a party choice for giggling girls, and boys liked pouring us Crème de Menthe. Ah, misogynist rehab, where were you? A drink for the lady! It is still amazing how trans slender we all were, partaking of such sugary, creamy tipples.

As the minimalist drinker at dinner parties, I used to find drunks’ conversations were a trifle tedious. They would get into standard arguments, but the food was excellent, comparing restaurants.

For party animal behaviour, I usually ended up sitting sober in the corner, talking to the other party animals. The host’s golden Labrador, pussy cat and I would share our pizza slices. Cats do like anchovies. The party budgie got a bit of lettuce or a snack biscuit from the platters of salads or savouries.

The drunks were dancing, doing their form of the disco. I guess their version of ‘The Hustle’ stopped all those cream drinks piling on their hips. As I said, love was blind. Blind drunk. That was the start of his drinking problems. I have long since resumed the life of a teetotaller.

We used to see life through the rose-coloured glasses of rose, a lady’s drink. So 1970s. Another coffee. A coffee a day keeps the grumpies away. Yes dear readers, it is time for tiddles!

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What were you drinking in the 1970s?

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