Holiday drinkers are different to the rest of us, and not only in tolerance level. The rules on how to behave at civilised watering holes seem completely foreign to them. No matter how big or small, the corporate Christmas party will always consist of the same people.
First, and always easy to pick out, The Boss. Finger-clicking for attention, as it reminds him of the golden days of imperialism, he refers to the waitress as “the girl” as he orders through his assistant (whom he will later attempt to shag in a toilet cubicle) despite “the girl’s” immediate presence.
Drinks are like shoes; you need different ones for different occasions, and when they’re too large you tend to wobble. But just as it’s a fashion truism that nothing tells you so much about a person as their shoes, it’s axiomatic in the world of drinks that what a person orders says something about what kind of person he or she is.
I don’t want to oversell this idea—what you order might of course mean nothing more than you’re the kind of person who likes to drink what you like to drink.
The latest addition to the property is the Perrier Jouet Lounge, exclusively serving Champagne and Champagne cocktails in an intimate and relaxed setting on the lower ground floor of the hotel.
I tried the newest concoction on the menu, the 1811, a mixture of Belle Brillet, a fine cognac liqueur, Mozart dry chocolate liqueur and Perrier-Louet Grand Brut NV Champagne, served with a delicious chocolate truffle at the bottom of the glass.
Thomas Micelotta, the hotel’s head mixologist explained the concept behind it as an ‘after dinner alternative to a dessert wine or port with the chocolate as a finale’.
At Saxon + Parole, we make our own tonic water (courtesy of a recipe that Linden developed at Sydney’s iconic Rockpool Bar & Grill), which is very low in sugar, while also very fresh and aromatic through the inclusion of lots of grapefruit peel, fresh lemongrass, citric acid, liquid quinine and coconut water. I tested this out with a few different gins and found the relatively new Brooklyn gin to be the ideal match.
Made at the Warwick Distillery in upstate New York, owners Joe Santos and Emil Jattne (both alums of Bacardi) have a wonderful, aromatic and citrus forward gin that is also relatively low in proof (80) compared to many others on the market, so you can easily enjoy a few of these in one session. We finish the drink with a few drops of grapefruit bitters and a huge slice of grapefruit. Stopping at one is futile.