It's getting to become a bit of a monthly habit, but it's none the less welcome for that. Innis & Gunn - the Embra Nectar, the beer for pukka people - has notched up yet another impressive awards success.
Rightly described in press reports as "one of Scotland's most innovative brewers" our sponsor was named Business of the Year at the annual Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards, putting it ahead of 45 other no doubt worthy enterprises in some 17 different categories.
The company also won three further awards - Best Drink, for its Oak Aged variant; Product Innovation, for the same variant; and International Business of the Year (for its resounding success in developing key quality markets overseas).
As a wee innovation to this column, and as a practical addendum to the regular reports of I&G awards successes, from this month on I'll pass on a tip about a particularly ace place to enjoy Innis and Gunn (that is, other than at home or in some leafy garden outside in the sunshine).
This month's winner is Uisge Beatha in Woodlands Road, a splendid pub which these days offers everything from the area's zaniest (but potentially most lucrative) quiz to comedy and live music ... and that indefinable je ne sais quoi which you get free of charge in the former of Banter (at least at the busier times).
Uisge Beatha is rightly known for its carefully chosen and frequently keenly priced evocations of the national drink - it's easily one of the top five or so whisky bars in Glasgow, and has been recognised as such in special tourism promotional initiatives - but as a place with a pash for all things quality and Scottish it's also a natural fit for a premier brand like Innis and Gunn, and in fact has a prominent notice on the door advertising the fact that it stocks all three main variants.
I wouldn't want to put ideas in people's heads, nor be seen as inducing anyone to drink alcohol - even in moderation - but it could be argued that if you are likely to be enjoying the Gibson Street street party during the West End Festival this could be the perfect place to rest your feet (on the bar-rail) and enjoy a taste of any one of these I&G variants to round off your day.
We don't usually carry details of promotional campaigns for assorted drinks. Having spent more than a decade battering out acres of guff for the old Booze News about football tournament pub instant-reward mechanics (translation: buy a pint - win a T-shirt) the thrill of finding out about yet another allegedly amusing TV advert or sports promo began to fade for me quite some time ago ... and of course there's the question as to whether anything that needs to blast its message from the rooftops can really be very good.
However it's summer, Wimbledon time, and because we are suckers for Glamour we are pleased to bring you a suggestion for a summery cocktail based on Cointreau, and presented by Dita Von Teese (pictured), who has the august title of Global Ambassador for that particular brand.
Drinks ambassadors are a little different to ordinary ones. They don't hang out in an embassy, don't represent national interests in major overseas matters such as economic development, war or natural disaster, and instead concentrate on providing essential information such as how much ice to deploy in a G&T.
Dita (pictured) is the very exemplar of this concept, and is in fact also a capable advocate for the perceived merits of DisAronno Liqueur ... but it's the Cointreau connection that's arguably most interesting. Once upon a time the brand chose the rugged charms of Gerard Depardieu to get over its message, and before that it was an iron-haired French lounge lizard in a bow tie who in a TV ad informed a young lady: "Your cheeks are like oranges, ripened in the tropical sun". Things move on.
The Cointreau Teese, said to have been created by Dita herself, will only be available in places "hand picked" (it says here) by the lady herself ... for example the Crazy Horse in Paris and Diva Beach in London.
"The Cointreau Teese is in a way a part of me, and I really feel at home wherever I drink it," she's said to have said.
Her particular passion for the violet (we're told) is reflected in "this exquisite yet simple" cocktail with the addition of - no kidding - violet syrup, while the hint of fresh ginger along the rim of the cocktail glass is reckoned to provide a suitably flamboyant finishing touch.
Anyway, assuming you are unlikely to be visiting The Crazy Horse in Paris in the near future, you may want to experiment with this burlesque diva's reputedly favourite tipple at home instead.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add in the Cointreau, the apple juice and then the violet syrup and lemon juice. Shake together well and strain into a cocktail glass. Run a piece of freshly cut piece of ginger around the rim of the cocktail glass before garnishing with a violet flower.
So where in the West End can you expect to purchase violet syrup? Well, you might ask Booly Mardi's in Vinicombe Street where they get theirs.
The replacement for the former Salon venue in Vinicombe St, under a new operator, has been investing a lot of time and effort in promotion over the last couple of weeks - not least in a prominent advert in the entrance to Hillhead subway station which promises customers "Ned free dining".
There's a major clue here to the thinking behind Hillhead Book Club, which has its work cut out filling one very large place early week but which just might please a relatively discerning audience at weekends.
It's promotional material is full of quirky humour of the sort which could be taken as a stab at catching some of the individualistic and artistic vibe allegedly flourishing in this neuk of the West End, illustrated with curious engraving-style drawings of Edwardian-style people with owls' heads, and so forth.
But before you mentally switch off with the thought "gimmick" in your mind it has to be said there has been one very serious job of work done on what is on offer here.
When a young lady importuned me in Byres Rd some time ago with the advice that "it has prices that won't break the bank - cocktails are just £2" I had the unfortunate picture of a vast drinking hall full of booze-swilling visitors from places beyond our ken. I was wrong.
A cursory reconnaissance last week disclosed the fact that the customer offer has in fact been very capably thought through, and whereas there's a determination to offer value there's equally a definite down on any hint of rowdiness or whooping it up - in fact there's an overt statement, in among all the whimsy, to the effect that rowdy and loutish behaviour will not be tolerated.
As it is in ....where, exactly? The character of area around upper Byres Rd has seen major changes in recent years, and few would now deny that "neddish" adequately describes the mawkit drunk boozistas one encounters, in all their tawdry and skimpy finery, of a typical late weekend evening.
Luckily there's a counterpoint to be found in venues such as (random example) The Blind Pig, but anyone could be forgiven for worrying what might have been set to move into the former Salon, a much bigger proposition.
Admittedly I visited on a quiet weekday afternoon, but what I saw was impressive. The vast space has been used to theatrical best advantage, with a superb commanding main bar up one wall and a range of pew-type booths and tables for those who want a little privacy dotted around the edge of the main floor area.
There's the area's best and biggest mezzanine floor too, within a scheme which mixes wide expanses of dark wood with eyecatching displays of artistic bric-a-brac.
If I'd designed it I'd say the fact that the overall look - that of a somewhat camp beer hall - is deliberately wildly out of synch with the extravagant rococo glories of the original building's ceiling (all golden whirls and flounces), because to the casual eye it does strike one colossal false note: perhaps quirkily intended.
Besides the cocktails, which are fronted by favourites such as Daiquiris but which are an intelligent ensemble altogether, you'll find such wonders as Bellevue Kriek on draught and, at the opposite end of the spectrum, a cheapo pint of top-selling standard lager Tennent's.
Prices do not shoot up and down over the week because new licensing laws make it almost impossible to do this - so there's a definite bid to accommodate the sort of student who has Rolls-Royce tastes but a push-bike income.
Yet at the same time there's nothing "cheap" about the offer at all. There are a profusion of "good" premium choices - the beer cabinet in particular has been well thought out - and a general implicit premise that while you can spend plenty of cash if you want to you can also have an economically satisfying evening for very much less.
In a dozen minor but subliminal ways (particularly with first class staff service) the initial impression of this venture is very promising. It's conscientiously trying to be "different", is very much at odds with the "oh no it's another beer hall" image of popular mythology, and is about as different from, say, a Wetherspoon as is syrup from ... violet syrup. I haven't eaten there yet - but will do soon.
It's depressing to relate, but two more venues have ceased to trade. Mediterraneo in Byres Road has gone, possibly a victim of a patchy start to summer in an expensive-rates area; and so has Enoteca opposite Kelvingrove museum. In Mediterraneo's case there's to be another cafe opening shortly with the commendably brief name, "Cup" - and best of luck to it too.
Meanwhile what had been Blas restaurant, also opposite the art gallery, is now the Lock-Inn, which appears to be selling itself as a friendly "modern" neighbourhood bar with a thing about music.
A Diner Tec report outside gives a good impression of a well-run enterprise which aims to please a discerning everyday crowd with easygoing entertainment and no-nonsense food.
This week I heard the first reliable suggestion (following on from previous rumours) that one of the area's best known restaurant-led venues possibly being put on the market, in order to allow the owners to concentrate on what they now see as other core interests in the area. More on this if and when it happens.
Still in the Kelvingrove area, another sojourn to The Den, the restaurant at Dining In at Mother India, confirms it to be a particularly bright star among the constellation of West End Asian eateries - with a minor surprise in the form of a radish paratha, something I've never encountered before.
This trip was a nice follow-on to a recent first-ever visit to the Edinburgh version of Mother India, which is the current holder of the best Indian restaurant in Scotland award (outranking native Edinburgh talents which include Britannia Spice and Tony Singh's Roti).
Was it really so good? I'd say so - while very recognisably of the same stamp as the Glasgow originals there was plenty going on here to suggest the kitchen crew have many ideas of their own, although another common point, perhaps particularly worth noting in overpriced Edinburgh, was the modest price of the tapas-style dishes.
Most appreciative during my visit was a huge party of French tourists, ranging in ages from pensioner to wean, among which the middle-aged bon vivant and savant in charge spent most of the meal explaining every detail of the cuisine.
It's been explained to me before that the French have little knowledge of Indian food, which to us is perfectly straightforward, since their native ethnic choices are centred instead on Indochinese and North African food - and if for some of these visiteurs this was their first Indian meal they had certainly won a watch.
Later during the same stay, and by total contrast, we dined at Cafe Lucano on George IV Bridge (just before the corner of Chambers Street), which is my all-time favourite Italian restaurant; wonderful fresh dishes, tempting daily specials and sparkling all-female service make this the absolute opposite of these rather stuffy, masculine enterprises which used to dominate the Scottish Italian dining scene.
Far, far away on Nitshill Road and immediately beside the entrance to the Dams to Darnley Country Park (now a hugely popular urban greenspace) is a venue I'd heard of many times but never visited until recently - Ashoka at the Mill.
Since there was only me, the owners and staff in the place (a morning visit) I was able to get the full effect of the space available there, while also taking in details like the baronial-style functions suite (complete with "minstrels' gallery" and stage), the deluxe kiddies' play area, and the imposing bar counter of the downstairs main bar.
Co-owner Asha Mahju insists the cuisine is the main draw, and points to an intriguing menu which has absolutely every traditional favourite (except vindaloo, disposed of years ago), but also a wide array of chefs' specials and regional classics - of which she suggests the Lahore fish is one of the stars of the show.
As a day out it has a lot going for it both as a destination restaurant and as an entertainment spot - Hardeep Singh Kohli, a relative of the family, is currently doing comedy slots there - and as a cabaret-with-meal spot it is probably hard to beat in the general south-Glasgow area.
I've mentioned before the fact that some restaurant reviewers appear to have an effect on their readerships out of all proportion to their importance, but one in particular has a "foodie" reputation which commands attention.
Joanna Blythman has seemed fairly kind, even enthusiastic, in some of her recent reviews, and even if you suspect you'd need to go to a place yourself just to make sure she'd got it right her descriptions nevertheless tend to have the ring of verisimilitude about them.
Regardless of the content, however, there's the simple fact that her acid-etched despatches are treated with deadly seriousness by the trade - some of whom violently disagree with many of the more colourful put-downs of places which otherwise seldom excite such negativity.
However her recent review of Bo'vine, the newly-opened steak-led restaurant at the top of Byres Rd (a venture which is part of the Grosvenor Hilton) has the rare - bloody rare, in this carnivorous context - distinction of being the most savage indictment of a restaurant I think I have ever read.
I've got the piece in front of me, and could go through all of the points blow by blow, but that would be unkind. So here's just a small sample: "The chips were the colour of chocolate, the spinach was swimming in gritty water".
Suffice to say that literally everything was wrong - from a pat of butter which suspiciously refused to melt on veal, to dreary salads and, to her mind, hopeless service. Don't even mention the state of the cress!
In fact the review was so desperate (she didn't stay the full miserable distance, it was so bad) that you have to wonder whether this was one day in which things had somehow just all gone cataclysmically wrong.
She suggests an over-willingness to accommodate suddenly-arriving large parties could have been partly responsible, but even so it's a dreadful start for a place in one of the most prominent locations in the West End - where it will have to do battle with near neighbours La Vallee Blanche, Brasserie at Oran Mor and Cail Bruich.
It's beer garden time again - or in any case it might be, without warning, on any particular given day. The changeable weather means that balmy afternoon surrenders to chilly autumn evening or lashing rain in the twinkling of an eye, making the sunny periods all the more attractive.
Unfortunately the sunshine is also responsible for some unedifying sights. A taxi driver working the Byres Rd area on the evening of the first really hot spell told me he'd ignored at least half of the people trying to flag him down - "because they could hardly stand" - and pointed to another venue with tables outside where he'd seen two women "slumped over the table with bottles in their hands".
Even the sober can take it a bit too far. There is the unwelcome site of men wearing these bizarre American long shorts things, which look completely ridiculous, and all sorts of other eccentric "summer" gear.
But away from the sweltering hordes and their raucous laughter there are definitely nice times to be found in whatever sun may be on offer.
Beer gardens (or, less ambitiously, just outside areas) range from the bijou arrangement outside Persia at the foot of Cecil Street to the ever-popular precincts of Cottier's, arguably one of the most "civilised" local beer gardens to attract people in numbers.
Even apart from the larger outdoor licensed areas it's now a given that any sort of food and drink retailer with a square foot of pavement to play with has an outdoor table and chair, and on the warmer days the frustrated Parisians in our midst all flock to these from early morning - and very civilised and continental it is too.
It also makes twice as much work for (usually) already overworked staff to do.
They have to make sure nobody who has been consuming alcohol is running amok, or fallen asleep, that there aren't fag ends all over the place, and that empty glasses and crockery have been safely cleared away - and run things as usual indoors.
Visitors must reflect that the ambience of outdoor Scottish drinking (and sometimes dining) is a bit different from the continent where, mostly, people have "a" drink - sometimes lasting a considerable time - before heading on their way.
However one of the most convivial and civilised spots I've seen recently was outside Stravaigin 2 in Ruthven Lane where a full complement of tables was in use and where, cardigans draped around shoulders, couples were eating away and swigging wine in complete defiance to the creeping evening chill.
On the flimsy but tenable pretext that there's a cafe, Tchai-Ovna, in this under-threat lane - where a developer wants to plaster lucrative flats all over an unspoiled corner of an already residents-dense district - this column offers its unswerving support to the campaign to make sure this never happens.
I have lost sight of whatever is or was supposed to be going to happen at the burach which has become the farther reaches of Ruthven Lane. This has become "distressed" beyond the point where it might be considered trendy, but the Otago situation is enough to ensure any future proposals deserve to be studied in extreme detail.
"Leave the Lane alane" was Tom Shields' heartfelt rallying cry, and he's right. The days when housebuilders could simply swan into residential areas and bulldoze over the wishes of the entire local community should be consigned to history.
The Tesco scheme for Partick has been one of west Glasgow's biggest planning stories, dwarfing in importance the blight threatened for Otago Lane, but for the people involved - the local businesses and their customers - it's a case of leaping to defend a precious local area of character of the sort which developers tend to see only as a building opportunity.
Instead of another unwanted housing scheme why not a bit of investment cash to help turn the place into a family-friendly local resource capable of building on what's already available?
There is the vast expanse of the park, of course, but otherwise no immediate local amenity of any kind worth a mention for the local community, who at least have the luck to live in an area rich in niche independent retail ventures and characterful restaurants and cafes.
If you haven't already signed the petition you should note that the closing date approaches, and while there has already been an overwhelming response every extra objection which can be registered could matter.
Don't let them turn the West End into "another Leith", in which tasteless schemes designed to accommodate out-of-town New Money are allowed to destroy the very thing that attracted their trash-with-cash inter