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A “Sharpener” is a drink designed to alleviate dullness, put an end to ennui and torpor and lift ones spirits in preparation for the evening’s festivities.

As the weekend approaches, here is a tipple to stimulate the appetite, commonly referred to as an aperitif.

This is Dolin; a Vermouth made near Chambéry in the Savoie region of eastern France.  It’s a blend of alpine herbs and spices, although like all good drinkywinks, the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret. Light, lively and refreshing on the palate – a little less viscous than Noilly Prat – it is generally accompanied by tonic, lemonade or mineral water.  Personally I prefer it on the rocks, or of your spirits really require a kick start, mix it with Campari for a variation on the “bicyclette”

£9.89 from larger branches of Waitrose.

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