The Sum of All Cheers

You awaken, slightly bleary eyed. Upon realizing you’re alive, and which end of the bed your head is resting on, or even that you’re in a bed at all, you begin to reflect on the events of the previous night. You may struggle to remember the name of the person next to you, or the location of your phone, and who the owners of the various and sundry business cards and cocktail napkins with phone numbers on them in your pocket are, and… “What the hell is that stain on my shirt?!?”

Never has a journey lasting 12 or so hours seemed as perilous as the one taken on New Year’s Eve. The occasion is singularly fraught with sharp turns and pitfalls:  the requisite kiss at midnight can escalate and lead to much more than you planned, a celebratory toast can easily turn into multiple shots and a trip through a drunken wormhole. I have witnessed many a New Year’s Eve train wreck during my years behind the bar. So while not typically a fan of lists, I have struggled to carefully choose and share with you here some humble suggestions on how you might scale the ladder of revelry without tumbling down a chute of bad decisions on New Year’s Eve.

  1. Know whether you’re coming or going. Map out in as tangible terms as possible, where you are going, how you will get there and more importantly, how you will get home. Taxis and Car services like Uber will be in very high demand, and in the case of Uber, will implement surge pricing of up to 50% more than they would normally charge. Personally, if I’m traveling alone, I ride my bike and secretly scoff at all the people struggling to get cabs. Also look into public transportation options near your home and destination, the bus sounds corny or  like something for old ladies until you’ve been standing in the cold for an hour trying to get a taxi.
  2. Pace yourself. This is especially true if the party you’re going to has an open bar. Even if the open bar ends before 4 don’t be a booze camel. You’ll be wasted by midnight and have a terrible rest of the evening.
  3. Be nice to your date and don’t try to upgrade. New Year’s Eve is also the number one night for breakups. People get a bit hammered and say things they don’t mean or they succumb to the pressures of the evening and lash out at the person closest to them when things don’t go as planned. Take a deep breath and remember, it’s the end of the year not the end of the world, which leads me to my next point.
  4. Don’t chase perfection. It doesn’t exist the other 364 nights of the year, and it doesn’t exist on New Year’s. Sometimes it’s best to settle for a decent night than to chase the mirage of an epic one.
  5. Use the buddy system. Make a pact with a responsible friend or two and look out for each other, if they leave with a stranger make sure you politely get the person’s info, if they take offense you have permission to massively cockblock them.
  6. Eat hearty beforehand. Because, Duh.
  7. You don’t have to hook up with someone. That expression “it’s better to regret something you have done than something you haven’t done”? Not on New Year’s it isn’t.
  8. Don’t accept drinks or a rides from strangers. Unfortunately some people’s idea of a good time involves victimizing other people. (Also see #5 and #1 again)
  9. Get a phone leash. You will lose your phone at least once during the night.

10. Plan your New Year’s Day. It’ll give you some perspective and help you realize that you want to have a good day the next day and avoid that shameful walk and the cold comfort of your bathroom floor.

So there you have it. A bar’s eye view on having fun and staying safe on the biggest party night of the year. Enjoy, drink, and be wary.

Cocktail Epilogue:

Champagne Cocktail

4 oz Blanc de Blanc champagne
1 white sugar cube
2 light dashes of Angostura bitters

Method: place sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne flute and dash with Angostura bitters. Slowly add champagne by pouring down the length of a bar spoon. Watch the sugar excite the effervescence in the glass, and sip and enjoy while stirring occasionally.

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Comments

  1. Great and eloquent advice!

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