I wish only the best for Gaby Scanlon, the 18-year-old who has had to have her stomach removed following a misadventure with a birthday cocktail containing liquid nitrogen. I mean that seriously. That's the word the Royal Lancaster Infirmary uses to describe her condition. Mind you, she was tweeting at the same time, which is classic.
Once recovered, Gaby will be able to say that her ill-judged experiment with cocktail drinking went worse than most people's - but then she went further than most people. Everybody has a cocktail incident, usually when they're young. Feeling that they ought to drink alcohol but put off by how nasty it tastes, young people are instead drawn to drinks that looks more like the garish libations they had on birthdays as a child. For a 17-year-old anything that looks like a cross between Lucozade and Knickerbocker Glory is acceptable.
It always goes wrong. I have a slogan to lend to the next Drinkaware campaign. "If you don't like alcohol, don't drink it." To which I could add, if you're going to drink it, don't stir in another ingredient in the hope that it will make it more palatable or exciting. It won't.
This applies to all mixing. I've never had a "cocktail" that I would want to have again. Gin and tonic is acceptable. Every other "combo" is a taste abomination, a waste of good liquor and an excuse to part you from your money. I always thought James Bond's dry martini was a bum note. Imagine if you took him to the pub and he asked for one of those. The whole place would be thinking "what a tool". They'd be right.