Three Cheers for New Years!!
Ah, New Years. The perfect time for reckless abandon, stolen midnight kisses and liberal libations to ease things along. When I prepare myself for a thoroughly satisfying New Years celebration, my considerations (in order of importance) are:
1. Where to go and who to go with?
2. What to wear?
3. What to drink?
The third one might sound silly to you, but I’m one of those people who needs to match my drink to my attire and ambience – after all, on New Years Eve, it might as well be considered one of my primary accessories! It just doesn’t feel right to chug beer when I’m towering over the crowd in my most intimidating stilettos, wearing a dangerously low cut blouse and painstakingly applied makeup. Likewise, I can’t enjoy sipping on an aged and peaty Scotch when I’m wearing sweat pants and clogs.
Therefore, here we present to you three different drinks for three different types of New Years parties: the refined, the jolly, and the out of control.
It could be possible that in the interest of bringing only the best mixology to you, our cherished guests, we may have partaken in slightly more than several of these cocktails of choice the other night, purely for quality standard purposes, of course. I like to think of these things as Very Important Scientific Research, and Mike and I have done a lot of research and trial….a whole lot of research and trial, about…what was I saying? Where? Who ARE you people, anyway?
So, chin chin! Cheers! Bottoms up!! However you’ll be cheersing on New Years, please remember to have one for us. Oh, and also (most importantly) to make sure that you know how you’re getting home – horrifying car accidents are a total buzzkill.
A safe and HAPPY NEW YEARS TO EVERYONE!!!
Party 1: The Refined
You’ve been to this party before. You know the deal. The mandatory and ubiquitous jazz music that nobody really knows (but everybody happens to be an expert on despite that fact) plays softly in the background. The dress code is so tight that James Bond got turned away at the door, and people mill about awkwardly whilst trying to look like the dignified sophisticates that they fancy themselves to be. There are a lot of people wearing black. That’s okay, so are you. You find yourself trying vainly to make conversation with somebody’s husband, who is very interested in discussing his cataclysmically bad poetry with you. There is also the chick who keeps calling you ‘hon‘ and says that you’re a ‘lovely girl’ (despite your suspicions that she’s in her early 20’s, which pisses you off even more), and a man with a moustache who has perfected the post-modern glower and responds only in grunts. You would really, really like a cocktail.
However, this is a pressure party. You WILL be judged for your libation of choice. “You drink…..Budweiser? Well, isn’t that charmingly common. Oh, but then I do like a Cuba Libra (note: RUM AND COKE) from time to time, for myself…..” To those people, I say, operor non sino bastards impetro vos tristis.
Mike and I were at a media party last year, where the drink of choice was The White Cosmo. OOOOOH! Tell me MORE!!! Was it…was it…a cosmopolitan with white cranberry juice? Which is why it’s cool, right, because it’s not ORDINARY cranberry juice. Oh, my knees are practically trembling with anticipation. If only I could get by the hoard of 15 women waiting for a Dirty Martini……
If you happen to be at such a party, grab an empty flute and pour yourself a champagne cocktail that even the woman who calls herself “Ms. Louis Chantilly” would enjoy.
The Grand Chamberry
- 1/2 oz Framboise *
- 1/2 oz Grand Marnier **
- 1/2 oz Champagne or sparkling wine ***
* Framboise is a sweet and heady raspberry liqueur. If you don’t have a similar rich berry liqueur, try Chambord. If you have less of a caviar taste, try Creme de Cassis.
** Grand Marnier is well worth the price for the flavor of orange scented cognac. However, if price point is an issue then you can substitute Cointreau. And…Grand Marnier was actually on sale at our local LCBO, or I would have made this with Cointreau as well. I have no shame.
*** Oh, champagne. How I love you so. I once went on a fourth date with a fellow that I didn’t really like that much, because he had recently invested in a case of my favorite (and not….inexpensive) champagne and was eager to open the bottles. However, all of the Veuvey bubbles in the world would not have been enough to cement THAT relationship (sigh), so that was that. As for this drink, DON’T BUY a lovely champange and then use it in cocktails. That’s sacrilege. It’s just wrong. People have been shot for less. Why not buy a nice sparkling wine or a fabulous Prosecco? And when people bite their thumbs and lift their noses at it because it’s not champagne, you can educate them on why champagne is an elitist term referring only to the grapes of a certain region, when a more globally minded lad/lass (like yourself) is able to appreciate similarly treated/aged/fermented wines from a variety of regions, and enjoys the nuances, DIS-similarities, and distinctive qualities of each – which hold many formidable rivals for the overpriced (SIGH) and really, somewhat bourgeoise champagne. So there.
Pour the Framboise and Grand Marnier into the bottom of a tall champagne flute.
Pour the ‘champagne’ (or whatever you settle on) overtop and serve.
No garnish. Garnishes are for floozies. Your drink is elegant enough to stand up on it’s own.
Party 2: The Jolly
Ah yes, you’ve been to this party as well. You walk through the door and there’s a drink in your hand before the coat has been taken out of it. Everyone is clustered with elbows and knees in the kitchen, and the ‘snacks’ which have been laid out on festive trays, garnished with lettuce leaves and random bits of herbology, are better than the dinner that you had before you came. The stereo buzzes with people’s iPod playlists and congenial crowd pleasing fun songs, and you see off in one corner of the room your first boy/girlfriend from high school, and you’re surprised to find that you’re TOTALLY PUMPED to see them and catch up on the last 15 years of life-ness. Wine flows freely, conversations are easy as you drift from room to room, and at least two times you tell the host(ess) “I just really, really think you’re awesome. Have I told you that? Because it’s true. You’re awesomeness, of the most awesome nature.” Although you may not remember everything the next day, you have no doubt that you had a really great time.
If I were to be quite honest, this is my favorite type of party – and the kind that we frequent on a regular basis. Nobody cares if you came wearing a hoodie or a floor length cashmere dress from Holts. We’re just happy that you’re here. Oh, and eating the canapes. We worked hard on those.
The Cheeky Beggar
- 1 oz Pimm’s No. 1 *
- 1/2 oz peach schnapps
- Hard Cider **
- Gingerale ***
* If you can’t find Pimm’s, then you aren’t much of a cheeky bugger (or beggar) at all, are you? If you must, substitute an equal amount of Sloe Gin in it’s place. But if you talk with a British accent as you pour it, people will make fun of you…possibly until you cry. If you’re pro-Pimm’s and pouring it out as I type this, using the accent is feasible even if it sucks.
** Go for a dry cider, such as Strongbow , or a Scrumpy.
*** Canada Dry, of course. The champagne of gingered soda……
In a tall highball glass mix together the Pimm’s, peach schnapps and cider. Give it a good stir with a swizzle stick. Drop in 2-4 ice cubes, depending on size, and top up with gingerale until the glass is full.
Try not to be TOO cheeky when the camera’s come out.
And yes, I would like one too – please.
Party 3: The Out Of Control
Man, you don’t want to tell your mother about this party. This is the last party of the evening, fo’ shizzle. You’ve been invited to a college-style kegger, by people who are most definitely past the age of college keggers. Your first thought is that the host’s house smells more like a taxi than the one that you arrived in, and there’s as much booze on the kitchen counter as there is in the defeated looking bottles sitting on top. The crowd is an eclectic mix of women wearing Mom-jeans, who have to say your name three times before getting it right (it ain’t magic, it’s ALCOHOL!) and random men who are REALLY INTO the Nickleback pumping speakers beside the TV. Oh, and five guys in trench coats, who you know TOTALLY dress up as The Crow for Hallowe’en each year. You see some guy in the corner chugging a Corona, decide that he could not possibly be over 17, and feel vindicated when this fact is reinforced by his father coming over to do an ‘almost legal’ shot of Jagger with him. Oh boy, yup, it’s going to be one of those parties.
This is my favorite (albeit most foul) of our concoctions. This drink was actually inspired by the regulars of our local bar. You see, having put in my time as a waitress/bartender at several establishments in our (now) immediate area, there are very few places that we can go for a cocktail and chat without running into 37 of my previous regular customers – who all want to sit down and have a chat about life, liberty, and the pursuit of a perfect pint. This can become….tiresome. Good people and all, but sometimes I just want to have a date with my fella. In a town such as ours, there aren’t an abundance of options. We can go to the bar I used to work at. The pub I used to work at. The restaurant that I used to work at…..or the tavern that we all used to make fun of. After all, at that’s the place where ‘summer teeth’ are in abundance, and the average regular looks like this:
OF COURSE I want to go there now!!
A few weeks ago, after painting the basement and feeling more than a little bit in need of a good pint, we stopped in (on a Sunday afternoon) to the aforementioned tavern. It was barely 3pm, but apparently somebody’s party was in full swing. A table of women, all in their 40’s and 50’s, sat in front of us having a good ol’ hen party and drinking shots of tequila with OJ chasers. We had the benefit of being able to watch a ‘news broadcast’, being taped with the help of a digital camera and a powder brush microphone. Then came the karaoke…without a karaoke machine. Or a jukebox. OR A RADIO. But my favorite part, above all, was when one woman started angrily yipping about her mother-in-law, and said, “So there she was, yeah? I mean, I didn’t expect much or nuthin’, but the f*cking BITCH goes and decides to COLLAPSE at the NO FRILLS, and DOESN’T EVEN HAVE THE DECENCY TO CALL.”
Now, that’s class.
This is for our local.
Collapsed At The “No Frills”
- 3/4 oz gold tequila
- 1/4 oz banana liqueur
- 250 ml (1cup) Coors Light beer *
- 100 ml (2/5 cup) Canada Dry gingerale
* This is not a drink to be fussy. Any cheap, cheerful, and relatively palatable lager will work.
Pour the tequila and banana liqueur into a shot glass.
Into a large beer stein or tall glass, on a 45° angle, slowly pour in the lager. Keep the glass tilted and pour the gingerale.
Drop the shot glass into the beer stein and (when the foam settles down) chug it immediately. Your masculinity and beer swilling prowess depend on your ability to do so in a timely manner.
This is not a drink to take lightly….it’s a drink to take as rapidly as possible. At first you taste the banana. Oh, how pleasant! NO. It is rapidly followed by the burning thunder of tequila, and an insipidly irritating light beer happens to stop by at the tail end of your misery, just to say, “howdyado?” and make you belch. The faint of heart need not venture near Collapsed At The “No Frills”. But for you braver folks, well, good luck and godspeed…..
And, as this is our last drink for the evening, let me remind you of the results you can expect after imbuing such a potent cocktail of destructive madness. Here is our poor Mike, collapsed in the “No Frills” parking lot. May god bless his poor and addled liver.