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Shaken Not Stirred

Did you join us for your Christmas party Last year? Did you sample one of our spectacular cocktails?

Did you join us for your Christmas party Last year? Did you sample one of our spectacular cocktails?

Each year we have the extremely difficult task of researching and testing cocktails before they get the Vivid Experience stamp of approval to be served to you at our Christmas Parties. We work with mixologists and drinks industry professionals to source the best premium liquors and to create great infusions that complement our Christmas party menu.

While we work on this year’s Cirque de Lumiere cocktail menu we are keeping an eye on the current trends in cocktails which might complement our Christmas party menu.

Cocktails are currently very much in vogue with TV shows such as Mad Men, Sex & The City, and movies like The Great Gatsby inspiring a retro drinking revival.

The Great Gatsby shows the glamorous soirees of the 1920’s - nights of underground parties, secret passwords and bootleg booze – the parties were extremely lavish and glamorous. I quite fancy donning a beaded flapper dress to go along but I’m not sure how I feel about the post-party headache from the ‘bathtub gin’ cocktail.

The Mad Men era of 1950’s & 60’s were The Golden Age of the Cocktail with the tax deductible 3-martini business lunch and a daily cocktail hour. The housewives of the 1950’s had cocktail hour down to a fine art. They had a wardrobe full of cocktail dresses, the dazzling cocktail rings and elaborate home cocktail serving sets. Cocktail hour began when their husbands arrived home from work and probably continued long after dinner was burnt.

Modern bar tenders are embracing this history and respecting the traditions but are working to reinvent the classic cocktail recipes for a modern clientele with a developed pallet for new and exciting fresh flavours. Our cocktail menu has followed with interesting and clever infusions and we only use fresh premium ingredients at our cocktails bar, just like the top quality fresh local foods we used for our delicious Christmas menu.

This year The Manhattan Cocktail Classic conference (well it’s really part conference, part cocktail festival) note that for 2013 Rum cocktails will continue to be popular - Darquis and Mojitos are our favourites, and Brandy is set to make a comeback so you might see a Sidecar or Singapore sling on our menu this year.

As well as developing new exciting flavours, cocktail bars have been developing extremely exclusive cocktails made with special limited edition spirits. The Merchant Hotel in Belfast has the UK’s most expensive cocktail - a Mai Tai made with a J. Wray & Nephew’s Jamaican Rum– one of only 6 bottles left in the world. For around £600 you can enjoy this Mai Tai, and incredible price considering the £7 you can spend on a truly fabulous cocktail at one of our Christmas parties!

Trends also include the use of minerals in cocktail making such as salt, which we imagine are slightly fancier than a tequila shooter! Chefs are also getting involved with cocktails menus so we may also have some input from our top chefs to help create cocktails to complement our Christmas menu.

We think cocktails are a great additional to your Christmas party experience so if you’re coming to our Christmas parties at The NEC we hope you’ll visit our cocktail bar and enjoy one of our fabulous/exciting/exotic or magical cocktails.

Amy Robinson is Event Administrator at Vivid Experience