I woke up without a hangover. This is a good start to any day. However, I am pretty tired and all my thoughts are pretty jumbled in my head, and resisting organisation into anything resembling a coherent thread. In comparison to the previous cocktail session with my flatmate though, I feel absolutely golden. The last cocktail session resulted in me spending the following day combatting headaches and nausea through being a wombat on the couch. I may or may not elaborate on the finer points of wombat-being at a later date, but as anyone who has read Jackie French and Bruce Whatley’s amazing Diary of a Wombat will know, being a wombat essentially involves sleeping, eating and foraging (or ideally, getting other people to provide you with food). I make a pretty good wombat.
Just as a by-the-by – if anyone happened to follow that Diary of a Wombat link, I hope you were as excited as I was upon discovering a website called Wombania’s Wombat Information Center. This day just gets better and better.
So, the last cocktail night was just myself and flatmate drinking all the booze and all the fruit juice in a medley of French Martinis, Long Island Iced Teas, Mojitos and I can’t remember what else. I think there was also a Bloody Mary involved and a Vodka Martini or two – stirred, not shaken, as the universe, presumably in an effort to preserve our livers, has so far foiled every one of our attempts to purchase a cocktail shaker. We use a blender instead, which does make French Martinis satisfyingly frothy. We sat till about 5 in the morning drinking and talking, with music on in the background – no TV – and it was a just a lovely lovely night. However, the following day it became abundantly clear a) just how much alcohol had been consumed b) just how sticky liquor and juice are and c) just how much liquid had escaped from the blender, bottles and glasses, coating the entirety of our kitchen and living room floors and work-surfaces. It was horrific. There was one time flatmate and I, aged 14 or so, made macaroon. Her mum still talks about it to this day. ‘Messy’ doesn’t come close to describing the extent of the mashed potato, coconut and icing sugar dispersed around that kitchen. 12 years on we haven’t changed much, except that alcohol has been added into the equation. The exact specifics of the conversation are pretty blurry, but somewhere along the line we decided that it was time for another get-together of our friends from school, and that a cocktail night was a good plan.
A couple of years ago flatmate, myself and a bunch of her friends went to a bar which did afternoon tea with a twist – sandwiches, cakes, and cocktails in teapots. The theme was based on 1920s Prohibition-era America where people got creative, disguising cocktails as teas and coffees. The waiter (my cousin, as it happened) was dressed in 1920s shirt and braces and gave a chat about the background and history of the idea while serving up the drinks at the table. The whole concept is great – it’s as if someone has run around with a list of my favourite things, putting massive ticks beside them – sandwiches, cake, tea, cocktails…the only thing that would have made it cooler would have been if it was in an ACTUAL SPEAKEASY with everyone dressed up. (I love 1920s/30s guys’ suits. They’re possibly my favourite thing about gangster films.) Anyway, I think inspired by that, and because flatemate’s mum has a cupcake book including a couple of cocktail-flavoured cake recipes (strawberry daquiri and mojito), we decided to make this get-together a Cocktails in teapots and Cupcakes night.
It was a really good night – particularly as one of our friends brought Pictionary as a present – which was a great laugh. As a theme, Cocktails in Teapots is great.
1. It looks great:
2. For £4.50 you can get 3 teapots and 12 mix-and-match cups and saucers from the charity shop. There’s an additional benefit in that, for the injury-prone, broken china is a far less frightening concept than broken glass.
3. It requires a lot of skill, balance and sobriety to drink from a cocktail glass without spilling everywhere. Teacups are much more practical. On top of that, if your teapot is a good pourer (as ours all turned out to be) you’re onto a winner.
Remembering the sticky carnage that followed the previous cocktail night, in a stroke of genius I had completely cleared our kitchen worksurfaces of everything except for the blender, drink, mixers and any additional cocktail making implements. Turns out, if you start out tidy with plenty of space it’s much easier to keep things that way. Wee tidy up and a mop – flat back to normal. No hangover, no residual stickiness, leftover cupcakes – got the kettle back on and the day has shaped up nicely.