‘Rainy days and Mondays always get me down’ sang the Carpenters, but I never fancied that, so I resolved long ago to make sure I met them head on and hands free.
This can lead to some peculiar decisions, so this particular rainy Monday I wasn’t surprised when I found myself confronting the voluminous orange curves of a Taps Aff.

Taps Aff may well be the archetypal Glasgow cocktail.
The name refers to the tendency of the Scottish male to take his top off whenever the temperature reaches more than about 16 degrees Celsius and strut about bare-chested like an alpha silverback. No matter his state of physical disrepair.

The recipe is simple: Irn-Bru, Famous Grouse scotch, lime and a swish of bitters. A very Scottish cocktail indeed.
Famous Grouse is the best-selling Scotch whisky in Scotland, a well-balanced malty blend dating back to 1896.
Irn-Bru is of course, Scotland’s ‘other’ national drink, a wild, ginger concoction of indeterminable flavour that outsells all other fizzy drinks in the country.
Simple yet effective.

In fact, it’s lethal. The fruity, sweet, spicy Irn-Bru works neatly with the lime to mask the whisky almost completely.
You really could drink this all day until you couldn’t stand up.
The only thing that would hold you back after a few is the sweetness. And as anybody familiar with the Glasgow diet will know, sugary sweetness never stopped anybody in the West of Scotland from overindulging.

If you’re Scottish you will likely find this really refreshing on a hot summer day.
If you’re a fan of cocktails you might be slightly bemused by what just seems to be Irn-Bru tipped into a bulbous glass with a slice of lime.
If you’re a whisky connoisseur you’d likely wonder where the whisky had gone.
But if you’re Glaswegian you’d probably just get annoyed at someone ruining a can of good Irn-Bru with a piece of fruit.

But hey, rainy days and Mondays.

Irn-Bru advertising.

As a footnote, the marketing campaigns Barr’s run for Irn Bru are rude, crude, and well worth catching on YouTube.
They range from the mild amusement of a grandfather removing his false teeth to spoil his grandson’s interest in his can of Irn-Bru, or a pensioner making her getaway in a motorised wheelchair after robbing a local store of it’s Irn-Bru; through parodies of High School Musical and of the popular Christmas cartoon where the flying Snowman lets his young companion fall to ground to snatch his can of Irn-Bru; to the downright rude with an upper class pensioner referring to his bitches (a couple of labradors).
They danced carefully around the bounds of good taste and even bigoted Scottish nationalism. Sometimes they went too far and more controversial adverts have been taken off air for being offensive to members of the transgender community, depressing goths, and upsetting women who have had miscarriages.

Luckily, even the watchdog has a sense of humour sometimes so despite complaints from vegans and vergers, a billboard featuring a cow with the slogan “When I’m a burger, I want to be washed down with Irn-Bru”, and one featuring a beach bunny in a bikini along with the slogan “Diet Irn-Bru. I never knew 4 12 inches [11 cm] could give so much pleasure” were deemed acceptable.