Drink in the beginning of 2023


HaChristmas is an obvious celebration and the happiest season. Indeed, different pleasures can be involved. The simple side of things is the joy of giving gifts. In a deeper sense, the joy the hymnist had in mind. But New Year’s Eve is tricky.

When it comes to Christmas, there are more songs than you can count. But when it comes to New Year’s Eve, very few songs can be found. The most famous, ‘Auld Lang Syne’, is almost baffling to those unfamiliar with the old Scottish-speaking Barnes language. Again, few people know the lyrics other than “You should forget your old acquaintances.”I have Amazing song by Irving Berlin It talks about watching old years die. And then there’s Frank Loesser’s “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?,” which tingles with looming disappointment.

In the old days, New Year’s Eve was a big event. People tried a little too hard to have a good time. When I was in various bands in college, playing trombone in a local big band and electric bass in a few variety bands, I could expect a good payday in the new year. . One New Year’s Eve, thinking about what to do with the prize money, I pulled out my trombone and sat down on the resort ballroom stage. I don’t remember whose band it was, but I do remember wearing a uniform powder blue polyester tuxedo coat (dinner he calls it a jacket and doesn’t mean to dignify nasty things ).

Alas, not long after we started playing, there was a commotion on the dance floor. A reveler had a heart attack. Paramedics soon arrived and the man was conscious as he was carried out of the ballroom. He spent the next hour playing quiet dinner music, eventually increasing the tempo and volume. The dance floor is packed and the party is in full swing. There was another ruckus. Another man had a heart attack. However, he died long before paramedics arrived. Wisely, management let the band pack up and go home before the midnight countdown.

Since then, New Year’s Eve gigs have not been a pure source of joy. That poor man on the dance floor many years ago taught me about years and what they mean. It does not mean death itself, but something like transience. Howard Dietz’s “Dancing in the Dark” lyrics — “Time flies by, we were here and gone” — capture the emotion. Think of it as a New Year’s Eve song.

But let’s not get morbid. For those of us who graffiti on newspapers and magazines, ephemerality is a matter of course. Yet, every once in a while, something emerges that indicates that what we’re doing may last longer than expected.

About fifteen years ago, I wrote a newspaper article about the wonderful holiday champagne punch that was popular in the 1950s. I was delighted to hear from a young couple who are now married. They remembered it and wanted to make it again. I was very happy to be able to dig it out of the file. I plan to make it on New Year’s Eve this year. You might want to try it too.

Method is as follows. Combine 1 chilled bottle of Sauternes, 5 ounces of Cognac, 2 ounces of Cointreau, and 2 ounces of Maraschino his liqueur in a punch bowl with a large block of ice. Add a cold bottle of good champagne and stir gently. Garnish with maraschino cherries and orange and pineapple slices. Please enjoy with a punch cup.

But first, Happy New Year.

Eric Felten is a James Beard Award-winning author. Would you like a drink?

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