Drink - Victoria Moore lists ten drinking commandments

Tips for when I'm gone: buy cheap wine in restaurants, give sherry a chance

I'm sad to say that this is my last column for the New Statesman. I don't want you to fall into bad habits when I've gone, so I thought I'd bow out with my ten pet drinking commandments.

1. Always buy mini-cans of tonic. It's the only way to be sure of having fully fizzing tonic available at all times. G&T with even the slightest suspicion of flatness is so bitterly disappointing that an evening rarely recovers from it.

2. Always check wine carefully to see if it's corked. If you're not sure, ask a friend. If he's not sure, ask the waiter. Ask yourself: am I actually going to enjoy drinking this? If the answer is no, don't.

3. Drink expensive wine at home and cheap wine in restaurants. Think about it. That £20 bottle you think nothing of ordering off the wine list is going to be a lot more exciting when it's £20 from Oddbins.

4. Never, ever bring a bottle of the local tipple back from holiday. Not even if you're going somewhere as stylish as Italy. I know some people pretend to like Limoncello, but I think that's nothing but dewy-eyed romanticism. It's repellent.

5. If you're ordering a single glass of wine in a pub, don't pick it by country, grape or region. Ask which bottle was opened most recently and have that.

6. Give sherry another chance. Please. A glass of fino (freshly opened! Do not keep in the cupboard from one Christmas to the next) or oloroso with chewy, thick-sliced, good-quality cured ham is one of the nicest things on earth.

7. Never drink bottled still water. Such a waste of money, not to mention resources - the glass or plastic bottles, the aeroplane miles it travels to reach you when it might just as easily have come via a tap, the energy you squandered slogging it home.

8. If, like me, you are a fan of Gordon's London Dry Gin and its powerful reek of juniper, always buy it at airports - and look for the export strength, which is 47.3 ABV rather than the standard 37.5. It's the best gin there is.

9. Seek out wines from underrated and unfashionable places and add the saving to your blow-out-on-Burgundy piggy bank. The La Boca wines from Argentina are incredibly good value and delicious with barbecues. Nor is there any shame at all in a bone-dry Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine sur Lie with a plate of seafood. In fact, I crave it quite often.

10. Learn to make these three cocktails and you will be feted as cocktail king (or queen) wherever you go. My holy trinity is Negroni (equal measures of Campari, gin and vermouth), Mojito (rum, gomme syrup, fresh lime juice, fresh mint and soda) and Between the Sheets (equal measures brandy, white rum, Cointreau and lemon juice; dilute with soda if necessary).