My life in drinks – Rod Stewart: The rock legend, 78, speaks about the desire to perform inebriated, the pleasure of Guinness and the perils of too much whisky
We didn’t drink much water when I was a child. It was either Tizer or milk. I’m an old fella now but when I was at school, everyone would have half a bottle of milk. Sometimes it was off and it was awful, especially in the summer when it was left outside.
When I was 16 I got very sick on whisky and my dad gave me a thump around the head. I’d been in a pub called the Duke of York in Goodge Street in London because I was a wannabe beatnik. I just had too many of them. It really turned me off whisky for a while.
Each morning, I have a cup of tea brought to me in bed by staff. They come up with the newspapers and say, ‘Good morning, Mr Stewart’ and I say, ‘Good morning, ladies’. I drink my tea, look at Sky News and read the newspapers. I’m usually out of bed by ten past eight.
You Magazine spoke to Rod Stewart about the desire to perform inebriated, the pleasure of Guinness and the perils of too much whisky
I have to have my tea in a mug in the morning, but it has to be in a proper tea cup in the afternoon. I take it with one and a half sugars in a sort of light mahogany colour. I also have a coffee around 11am and that is my intake of caffeine for the day.
I’ve fallen in love with Guinness. Two or three nights a week, I’ll go down to my local pub, the Cock Inn, in Sheering, Essex. I’ll have half a Guinness and a small glass of Whispering Angel. Then I drive home, because I can’t drink any more.
I’m a lover of wine with dinner. I have a wonderful chef, and I can’t imagine having a fine dinner with a glass of water, ginger ale or Coca-Cola. I enjoy a rosé this time of year – Whispering Angel or Domaines Ott. I never drink it in the winter – it’s purely a summer drink. Then I’ll finish off with a nice Argentinian Malbec and a bit of cheese. Then I’ll go to bed.
The best bottle of wine I’ve ever had? A 1948 Château d’Yquem. I drank it with some foie gras at the Ritz in London, maybe 30 years ago. It’s all sugar, but I remember it blew my socks off. I’ve had many bottles of wine, but I haven’t had many disappointments, that’s for sure.
It can be intimidating going to a French restaurant with lots of wine on the menu, so it’s best to be honest. Tell them you’d like to drink a nice wine and put a price on it. Say these words: ‘Sir, I’m in your hands. Don’t spend more than 80 quid.’ The sommeliers love that because they feel like they are in control, and they want to impress you.
I had a superb glass of chardonnay on board the Queen Elizabeth 2. It must have been 1986 or 1987. It was the first time I’d ever been on an ocean liner and it tasted great because it was just a wonderful occasion.
At the weekend I enjoy a cosmopolitan, an apple martini or a French martini. The Ritz makes the best cocktails – I look forward to them when I go there for dinner once a week. I don’t have the patience to make a cocktail, but my wife Penny [Lancaster] can knock up a French martini. We have them in the winter. We’ll go downstairs to the bar in our wine cellar and have a couple of martinis before dinner.
The best bottle of wine I’ve ever had? A 1948 Château d’Yquem. I drank it with some foie gras at the Ritz in London, maybe 30 years ago
I’ll break into any song after a few drinks. I like to do a collection from My Fair Lady: ‘All I want is a room somewhere…’
I’d love to have a glass of wine with [Volodymyr] Zelensky. I’ve got so much admiration for that man. I want to tell him about what I’ve been doing for the Ukrainians, off-stage and on-stage.
It would be wonderful to be toasted at my funeral with my own whisky, Wolfie’s. Otherwise, martini or a nice Guinness.
- Wolfie’s whisky, £35, is available from wolfieswhisky.com
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