New Year's Champagne ImageI have a friend who refers to New Year's Eve as "amateur night." He makes a strict policy of not going anywhere outside his house on the evening of December 31st. It doesn't matter whether the festivities take place at a dive bar, posh ballroom, or a friend's living room- he doesn't go out. Period.

My friend's reluctance to publicly expose himself to the hazards of the last day of the year are based primarily on his unwillingness to be killed by a drunk driver. Fair enough...I think we all can see the logic behind that rationale. But he also cites another reason- a far more insidious and harder-to-predict phenomenon. We're talking about people for whom the latter half of day 365 is a free-fire zone of alcohol abuse.

Now before anyone thinks I'm going to wag my finger and scold anyone pre-emptively about proper behavior while imbibing, let me put your fears to rest. That is not my intent. Rather, what I'd like to do is simply offer a brief guide to some of the people you may find yourself drinking with if you leave your house on New Year's Eve. If you spot them early enough, you can hopefully take appropriate action and not be caught unaware.

  • Girl Who Claims She Really Doesn't Drink - Almost always female, this person constantly mentions how infrequently she drinks...while enthusiastically throwing back shots of straight liquor. She will pass off this indulgence on it being a holiday. Rarely makes it to midnight. May suddenly vomit on you.

  • Guy Who Drinks Nothing But Cheap Beer - This guy is never, ever seen drinking anything other than domestic macrobrewed beer straight from the can or bottle, even when there is a wide assortment of appealing beverages available. Will often seem suspicious or outright hostile toward other forms of alcohol. May suddenly become sullen and attempt to fight you.
  • Person With Their Libido On Their Sleeve - Regardless of gender, this person clearly uses alcohol as a way to make their wildly inappropriate romantic overtures seem acceptable. Tact and subtlety are not this person's forte, so those seeking witty dialogue are advised to look elsewhere. Often seen wearing "Sexy Mrs. Claus" outfit (female) or mistletoe belt-buckle (male).

  • "Mr. Mystery" - Almost always male and sketchy-looking, this person arrives virtually unnoticed, and then everyone spends the rest of the night trying to figure out who he came with. This person will take his anonymity as license to rapidly consume as much high-quality liquor as possible before embarrassing himself in some spectacular way. He is guaranteed to be completely unconscious toward the end of the night, at which point someone will sheepishly claim him. The conversation for the remainder of the evening will be peppered with the questions, "Did you see that guy?" and "Who WAS that??"

  • WHOOOO!!! Girl/Guy - Self-explanatory. Avoid at all costs.

  • Party Hat Guy - This person (often male) will be seen wearing a Santa hat, sombrero or "Cat-in-the Hat" hat. This person views their chosen headgear as an important symbol of their good-natured yet intense party ethic. They will be a source of entertaining conversation early on, but as the evening progresses will become utterly incoherent. May suddenly vomit on you.

  • Person Who Pushes Shots On People Way Too Often - Male or female, this person is easy to spot at any gathering. Usually found carrying a tray of Tequila shots (although whiskey and vodka are also often seen), this person is not happy unless as many fellow revelers as possible are consuming shots at a life-threatening pace all night long. Will loudly mock you if you refuse. Usually has enough tolerance not to vomit on you. Usually.

  • Passionate Debater - Whether it's sports, politics, religion or simply the last movie you saw, this person will have very strong opinions on everything, and feel compelled to forcefully make you aware of them. Alcohol doesn't help. This person will almost always tell you to visit little-known websites that reinforce his/her arguments.

  • Undergrad Out On The Town - Usually encountered in local bars, this young person will often be wearing a piece of clothing emblazoned with the name or initials of the school he/she attends. Will always be drinking whatever is on special. Particular caution must be exercised because this person can quickly morph into almost any of the above types of people, depending on circumstances.

  • Person Painfully Unaware She's Way Ahead Of The Age Curve - Most often a female in her late forties of fifties, divorced, and working in real estate, this person can be spotted drinking copious amounts of white wine, Seven & Sevens or vodka Martinis. Will often drunkenly tell stories about bar-hopping with her college-aged children. Is probably the only person smoking. May hit on you.

My advice is to do what they do in Spain in Portugal on New Year's Eve: Stay home and eat 12 grapes (it's true...look it up). THEN you can decide if you want to go out to celebrate the new year. Speaking of grapes and the new year, here's a recipe inspired by those exact things...

Iberian Dawn
  • 1/2 oz. Sandeman Tawny 10 yr. Old Port
  • 1/4 oz. Cointreau
  • 2 dashes Fee's peach bitters
  • Sparkling wine (I recommend a brut Cava )

Put first 3 ingredients in Champagne flute. Fill with Cava and enjoy!

~ A Dr. Bamboo original creation

Bottoms up!

~ Dr. Bamboo