The drink of the evening: gin and tonic
Providing a smorgasbord of delicious food and supplying plenty to drink is usually the top priority when planning a New Year’s Eve party. And it’s no secret that gin and tonic has topped the list of popular drinks for many years. This year will be no different as it will play a special part in the festivities. There is some debate as to whether a slice of cucumber or lemon should be added to this classic combination. In summer, its sharp fruity flavour is a welcome refreshment. And on cold winter days, it is the perfect pick-me-up, pleasantly warming body and soul.
Gin and tonic – two ingredients, endless possibilities
Connoisseurs will know that that there are many options when choosing a bottle of gin. Selecting the right one is almost a science in itself. And the same is true when considering the array of tonic waters available. Its influence on the gin is far greater than you might expect. The taste of tonic water is very different depending on the brand. You need to choose the right tonic water to suit the taste of the gin you are using. Gin is mixed with tonic in a ratio from 1:1 up to 1:3 – depending on how strong you want your drink to be.
The medical background of gin and tonic
Tonic water is based on quinine which is extracted from the bark of the chinona tree. This has been traditionally used as an agent to reduce fevers and prevent inflammation. During the colonial era, the British used quinine as an agent to treat malaria. In those days, it was administered to the sick as a bitter-tasting powder dissolved in water. To make the very unpalatable taste more pleasant, the Brits mixed the resulting tonic water with their beloved gin – thus putting gin and tonic on the road to social success. In the meantime, tonic water has, of course, developed considerably. The quinine content is now so low that the drink has hardly any healing properties. Tonic water is now mainly consumed for pleasure – and gin and tonic even more so.
The five most popular brands of gin in 2020
Monkey Dry Gin, Tanqueray Gin Rangpur, Hendrick‘s Gin, Windspiel Premium Dry Gin and Brockmans Premium Gin should make the shortlist for your party. If you are a complete gin aficionado (and live in Germany or Austria), then have a peek at Liquid Director. You can order and gift a gin box every month. The boxes are also available as a subscription.
What are women wearing this New Year’s Eve?
Even if parties are going to be a bit different this year, there is still every reason to dress up. Ladies who are not going to let the Corona virus spoil the occasion will be wearing elegant trouser suits in velvet or satin. Stylish long dresses are also very popular again this year and this look is particularly festive in red, black or gold.
If you are welcoming the new year on a small scale at home or at your friends’ house, you can opt for tone on tone. For example, a light-coloured pleated skirt with a long-sleeved top in the same shade. This look is somewhat understated, but works effortlessly as a festive outfit at home.
An alternative essential for women this new year are checks in all variations. On a smart blazer or a dress.
Lilac, a trending colour, is also current this winter. Why not step courageously and colourfully into the new year? A perfect combination is to team a lilac item of clothing with a more subtle colour.
What are men wearing this New Year’s Eve?
Once again, men are wearing velvet to see in the new year. Velvet jackets are available in various colours. The choice is wide – from dark red, dark blue and dark green and from dark brown all the way to light brown. Everyone will find what he is looking for. These velvet jackets are teamed with a simple shawl collar waistcoat in a matching shade. Shirts are midnight blue with jacquard patterns creating a rich, high-quality look and underlining the exclusive character of the ensemble. And this year, accessories are particularly à la mode: braces, bow ties and pocket squares complete the outfit, giving it a distinct look.
Nevertheless, the traditional dinner jacket is still very popular at such special occasions. And it is now available in colours other than classic black. A subtle colour, such as taupe, is ideally suitable for a dinner jacket. And if it is made of velvet to boot, you will turn heads at every party.
Deck the halls
Even if this year’s celebrations are small scale and held at home, the decorations should still be given careful consideration. It is a good idea to give the evening a theme. Over the last few years, various themes have been taken centre stage: the Great Gatsby, the Roaring Twenties, black and white, all-white, all-black, 90s/80s/50s parties, casino night or childhood heroes. If you don’t want a theme, then here’s a checklist of everything to include at a New Year’s Eve party:
- Garlands or wall decorations
- Paper streamers
- Cigarette lighters or matches
- Lucky pigs, clover leaves and chimney sweeps made of marzipan
- Fortune cookies
- Amusing accessories for photos
- Paper serviettes in matching colours
- Table decorations
Ramp up the fun
Even if the decorations are just right, these don’t necessarily create a lively party atmosphere. Everyone present contributes towards the ambience. Fortunately, there are tips and tricks to ignite a party mood. Even the smallest New Year’s Eve party will be fun if you play a few games. The most popular party games can be played with just two or four people.
Who am I?
Sit in a circle at a table. Each player thinks of a name of a celebrity. The name is written on a piece of paper and stuck to the forehead of the person who is to guess the celebrity. Everyone in turn guesses the name on their own forehead. You can ask closed questions, which the group can only answer with "Yes" or "No". If your question is answered with "Yes", you have another turn to ask another question. If the question is answered in the negative, it is the next person’s turn. The game continues until everyone has guessed the name of ‘their’ celebrity. A special New Year’s Eve rule, for example, would be to only include people who have been particularly prominent in the media this year.
In charades, words are conveyed through mime. In this version, the players think up several terms that consist of two nouns, such as ‘waterbed’, ‘handbag’, ‘bookshelf’, etc. Then they write these on a piece of paper and each player is given one of the words to act out. This game is perfect for playing in two teams. Each team decides on the words for the opposing team. Then, in turn, one player mimes a term to his team-mates. The winning team is the one that guesses the highest number of words correctly. Fun factor: the opposing team is shown the word that is being played out so they know what is happening.
Murder mystery dinner
Murder mystery dinners are very popular at the moment. Creating such a special evening requires quite a lot of preparation, but it is worth the effort. Why not spend New Year’s Eve under suspicion of murder? First, you need a suitable crime story. These can be acquired from various suppliers. A huge selection of themes for various group sizes is available nowadays. On the evening of the party, each guest takes on a role in the story. It is especially fun and authentic if everyone dresses up for their role. The story is introduced using an audio play or narrator. Gradually, more and more information is revealed. At certain points, there are discussions in which the players try to solve the crime and unmask the murderer. A murder mystery dinner takes about 3 to 4 hours to complete and involves between 4 to 10 players. It is an entertaining evening that immerses everyone in a completely different world!