|See how close it is to the stove? This was not my brightest moment.|
A few weeks ago I had one of those hangovers that you crawl out of around 6:00 pm, dry-mouthed and blinded by the dull glow of your digital clock, swearing you'll never drink again. Usually this pledge lasts until about Thursday at 3:00, when you decide a few ales will go down perfectly fine.
For me, this "never again" statement had been made several times in the few months prior, and this particular time I had just had enough. I'll spare you the sordid details, but on a scale of one to Lindsay Lohan, we're looking at about an eight. The next day shame spirals were of course annoying, but more than anything, I was just sick of feeling like death the entire next day. So, I decided enough was enough and I stopped drinking. (Not entirely- but mostly. Just for the future, if I reference drinking you don't need to worry I dropped out of a twelve step program or anything. I just changed my definition of partying to a two-drink max, and that's only for special occasions. We're talking some major grip-getting is all.)
So anyway, as you may have already deduced, because I have no doubt in your deductive reasoning skills, I chose possibly the worst time of year to jump on the wagon. Holidays = drinking. New Years Eve is basically a girl's excuse to paint her body in sequins, wear something entirely inappropriate for the weather, and drink as much cheap sparkling wine as possible whilst hunting for the perfect Mr. Midnight Kiss. (Which no one will admit to secretly hoping that kiss will actually turn into the perfect relationship and become the basis of a romantic comedy and every hilariously adorb answer to "so how did you guys meet?")
Anyway. My main goal in my quote-unquote sobriety was to still remain fun. I should point out that a huge part of my social image is this party girl thing. I can do a shot off my forehead without touching it with my hands. This is a party trick that blows people's minds. So, this sober girl had some big shoes to fill of the gin-soaked alter ego.
The biggest component in this fun-ness was not to be that a**hole who was the DD the night before who at brunch starts every conversation with the passive-aggressive hilarity of, "Omigod, do you remember when you fell into the DJ booth/made out with that dude/sobbed in the bathroom for an hour because they played your ex's favourite song?" (For the record, I personally have never been a crier in the bathroom. But I've seen many a battle wound tended to in there.) Of COURSE I remember. And if I didn't, why are you reminding me? I always have a mixed feeling of wanting to crawl under the table in shame/wanting to stab that person in the eye with the spicy bean from my breakfast Caesar.
So, I clearly won't be that annoying person. Instead, I will be the DD and actually enjoy my Eggs Benedict at brunch instead of feeling like I might hurl if I have even one look at hollandaise sauce. And I will share this delightful idea of a homemade ice bucket with you. I saw this on Jamie Oliver’s holiday special, and I think I have established my adoration of him in quite a few previous blogs.
Start by cutting the top (just about to where it reaches its full width) off of an (empty, obviously) 2 litre pop bottle. Buy a bottle of a spirit of your choice (I chose bubblegum vodka, because this was a gift and it was pink. I realize only 16-year-old girls would drink this, but for the record I wasn’t buying alcohol for underage children.) Put the alcohol bottle in the empty pop bottle. Now, fill with water and various herbs (almost to the top but not quite). Jamie Oliver used Christmas sprigs of foliage, but I chose herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage. Not only because I grow these in a pot and they are easily accessible, but also because if you use a spirit like gin or vodka, you an actually put these herbs as they de-freeze in your drink for a stylish little mix. Freeze. If you are lucky enough to live in the Great White North, as I do, you can just pop it outside for a few hours. Otherwise, I hope you have a sensibly organized freezer.
Here’s a little tip. Don’t place this anywhere near a heat source as it melts. This will cause it to melt unevenly, and then it will fall and possibly smash your friend’s brand new glass stovetop, which would be an expensive thing to replace in order to save a friendship. Santé!