Drinking in the New Year

Now that you’ve heard all about our annual New Year’s Eve culinary traditions, did you really think with a food lineup like that, we’d just keep the drinks program to wine, beer and champagne? In keeping with our over-the-top presentation, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that we’ve instituted an Around-the-World hourly drinks schedule that puts your old fraternity’s mixer themes to shame.

It started a few years ago when Dan was ready for a cold one by mid-afternoon, long before the first guests were scheduled to arrive. Like the drinker’s motto, “It’s five o’clock somewhere,” he rationalized that it was already midnight somewhere off to the East, and cracked a beer.

Since then, it’s evolved from a tossed-off explanation to a full shot-an-hour docket starting at 3:00 pm and available until midnight for anyone who cares to join in, along with a toast in each country’s native language. It’s not as killer as it sounds, given that we’re doing small tastes (especially as the number of participants grows), and it’s educational to boothow else would you learn how to say “Happy new year!” in Latvian?

This year’s lineup, below, featured a few out-of-the-box selections from Bryan and LeeMichael’s expanding liquor cabinet and a few repeats from years past that we love too much to take off the list. (That 8:00 pm Greenland shot will probably be on there until the polar ice caps melt, because we think we’re sooooo clever for coming up with it. Plus, it’s a good pacer!) Take a look and tell me what your favorite one would be.

new year's eve, drinks, alcohol, party
last year's lineup
3:00 United Arab Emirates Kahlua, as a nod to the traditional strong Arabic coffee Sana Jadida Sa’ida
4:00 Iraq a red, white, and blue shot with grenadine, vodka, and blue curacao in honor of the U.S. troops HOOO-AHHH!
5:00 Latvia the Black Balsam, with black vodka and OJ Laim?gu Jauno Gadu
6:00 Italy a choice of Oro or Amaretto Felice Anno Nuovo
7:00 Ireland Guinness Bliadhna Mhath Ur
8:00 Greenland a refreshing shot glass of water, in honor of the melting polar ice caps Juullimi Ukiortaasa Milu Pilluaritsi (Inuit)
9:00 Grytviken, Antartica a choice of Absolut Boston, a limited-edition elderflower and black tea vodka, or sweet tea vodka, as a play on the tea consumed by Amundsen, Scott, and other South Pole explorers Gutes Neues Jahr (though English is the most-used language on the continent, German is also popular)
10:00 Saint Pierre and Miquelon, French Caribbean islands a choice of Absolut Pear or pear Cognac Bonne Anne
11:00 Trinidad and Tobago, Spanish Caribbean islands Rum (yo ho, yo ho) Feliz Ao Nuevo
Midnight USA Champagne, of course Happy New Year!

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  1. What an awesome idea! And it’s a tradition that can be modified every year, if you wanted to.

    My alcoholic contribution to NYE was a punch made up of pomegranate/cranberry juice, 7-Up, Bacardi Dragon Berry (strawberry) rum and Svedka vodka, with a splash of lemon juice and apple slices for garnish. Mmm.

  2. As a participant and party attendee from 10 pm on (we “seniors” usually have some quiet time before joining this great bash!) I can attest to the fun and tastiness of these celebrations! Loved that pear cognac….

  3. I love this- a fun adult drinking ritual, can’t wait to try it next New Year’s! In the meantime I’ll impress my friends with some killer black vodka cocktails. Thanks for the suggestions.

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