There are plenty of dishes of the "Begin this recipe two days
ahead" kind. Or, as here, the "four to five hours ahead" kind. But
that's okay. Being a GT reader, you take those recipes in your
stride - you're more than happy to go slow when it comes to cooking
and eating. And drinking. So, with this classic dish of fish 'n'
chips, I'd like to introduce another variation to the
take-your-time recipe genre: "Before you even start, go out and buy
a six-pack of cold wheat beers".
You'll need six bottles (at least), because one will go in the batter, at least one will go in the cook (deep-frying is thirsty work) and each diner will want one to wash their dinner down. Well, okay, you'll probably need more than six. What the hell - just buy a slab.
Unlike most other beers, which are made primarily from malted barley, wheat beers have varying proportions of pale wheat grains added to the mash, lending a refreshing lightness and distinct cloudy appearance.
Anyway, I've suggested a good cloudy wheat beer here because its often-spicy, sometimes-sour flavours match both the malt vinegar and the tartare sauce very well - and it makes a particularly delicious batter.