Sad to see that Sir Clive Sinclair (“Uncle Clive” to his devotees) passed away in mid-September.

 photo Adrian Pingston / Wikipedia

A spectrum of inventions

His list of inventions is as long as a bartender’s arm. It includes radio, hi-fi amplifier, calculator, digital watch, computers, pocket TV, electric bikes and an electric car.  Quality was sometimes dodgy but they were wonderful products.  I loved my ZX81 computer

 photo Pixabay

complete with just 16K of RAM but clever programmers built great games for it.  A friend who skippered a submarine (see recent blog about Submarine Cocktails showed me the “doctor”.  It was a  ZX81 with a simple programme on the lines of “where does it hurt” with treatments like painkillers and “apply ointment with soft brush”.  OK, I’m making up the last – there’s a good joke about ointment and the soft brush but it’s a bit rude for Rowan Books.


Lord Buckethead used a well-preserved ZX81 to prepare his manifesto to fight the Maidenhead seat in the 2017 general election, standing against then Prime Minister Theresa May.

Uncle Clive went on to launch the Spectrum and QL (for quantum leap) computers. I had a software business writing and selling investment software on the QL but the machine’s floppy tape drives were a bit too floppy.

Development of the C5 electric car on the side

Sinclair was arguably best known for the C5 electric car.  He was way ahead of his time – almost 40 years ahead – but as with many far-sighted pioneers it was a disaster financially. But fun to race I’m told (by my wife who had a couple).

 photo Steve Mann / Dreamstime


So, what best way to toast the colourful life of Clive Sinclair ? The Cocktails & KicktailsShaker” App says there’s only one choice – a Sidecar, a 1920’s classic. Mix 2 parts Cognac, 1 part Cointreau, 1 part lemon juice, 1 tsp sugar syrup, chill in a shaker and serve with a twist of orange peel.

 photo Bhofack2 / Dreamstime

Here’s to Uncle Clive !

Forthcoming Cocktail Book

The above is an extract from Shaker, a brilliant App containing some 400 superb cocktail and mocktail recipes that will help you to plan your party with panache.  Shaker is a sister to Cocktails & Kicktails – Life-saving Recipes and Rhymes to Lift Body and Soul, a light-hearted book of anecdotes, recipes and rhymes, with beautiful photographs and cartoons that are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face, which will be published by Rowan Books on 1st November 2021 priced at £13.99. Learn more about this forthcoming book.  Shaker will be downloadable as a stand-alone App for £3.99 or is free if you buy Cocktails & Kicktails from Rowan Books.