New Year’s Eve in London: The Drinks GuideBy Rosie Crossman
New Year’s Eve, probably the most eagerly anticipated few hours of the year. Yet getting friends to commit to a plan is about as easy as running a marathon backwards on Boxing Day. Let’s face it, New Year will likely be the most slurred and forgettable evening of 2014, leading you on a wild goose chase to hunt down bacon come morning.
By 9:30pm we will be crammed into a loo, divulging our deepest darkest truths to another party-goer, who is diligently reapplying her liquid eyeliner – the instant black eyed, boozey Cleopatra look. For this reason, if you are entertaining, start with a cocktail and then move onto a bit of trusty cork popping.
#1 New’s Year Eve: Get Fizzy
A Flirty Start: The Flirtini
The Flirtini is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. But be warned, it may cause you to see double and smooch a vagrant under the drooping mistletoe.
For about 10 glasses:1 Bottle Prosecco (go for something cheap, Lidl Allini Prosecco Spumante, £5.39) 150ml Ketel One Vodka 500ml Fresh Pineapple Juice Juice of 1 Lime
Mix together the vodka, pineapple juice and lime juice and refrigerate. Splash the mix into Champagne flutes, until one quarter full and top up with Prosecco.
The Feel Good: Bee’s Knees
When you are fully tarted up, stuffed into your Bridget Jones style knickers, which kindly conceal the Christmas gut and utterly gleaming in your sequinned dress. Concoct something simple, soothing and full of citrus.
For two:100ml Gin 15ml Clear Honey 15ml Lemon Juice
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, splash in the gin, honey and lemon and shake well. Strain into Martini or Coupe glasses.
The Spicy One: Prosecco
If you are feeling a little woozy, it is definitely time to pass around the party platter of soggy samosas. Alternatively, huddle around the toaster making slice after slice of Marmite toast, all to ensure you are still standing come 12am.
Whatever you do, crack into some more Prosecco. We suggest jazzing it up with a slug of one of the finest liqueurs on the market, Warner Edwards Sloe Gin.
Sloe Gin FizzWarner Edwards Sloe Gin Any old Prosecco Pour 2cm of Sloe Gin into Champagne flutes and top up with Prosecco.
Southern England has temperatures and soils that are not dissimilar to the Champagne region of France, so in 2008 the slopes of Hampshire were planted with vines. Come October, Hattingley Valley harvests the Champagne grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meurnier) to be crushed, fermented, blended and aged into delicious fizz.
Packed full of biscuity brioche and honey, push the boat out and sip the pride of England, Hattingley Valley Wineries Classic Cuvee.
#2 New Year’s Eve: Relax with Wine
If you aren’t crazy enough to try and find a New Year’s kiss in a London club, or venture to the fireworks, get your friends round for stew and crack into the wine.
If white wine is more your bag, plump for Chapel Down, Bacchus. The English still wine of the moment, Bacchus is packed full of citrus, cucumber and gooseberry. A delicious alternative to a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (without the air miles), this wine is the ultimate crowd pleaser.
#3 The Morning After: SOS Cocktail
If you want to delay the onset of hangover, and the anxiety of going back to work the following day, down a Berocca, pour yourself a pint of Ribena and sip an SOS Cocktail:
For one:20ml Lemon Vodka (or the dregs of the Vodka from the night before) 20ml Peach Schnapps 40ml Mandarin / Orange Juice 5ml Grenadine
In a large glass stir together, with ice, the Vodka, Schnapps, Juice and Grenadine (multiply if you are a crowd) and pour into tumblers with a slice of orange.