New Year’s Eve, it’s the event that happens once in a year but 24 times in a day. Nearly everyone rings it in on December 31st, but the mystical magic of time zones means the party lives on and on and on, hitting one little slice of the world after another.
If you were lucky enough to own a private jet and found yourself so inclined, you could probably follow the progress of New Year’s around the globe (and enjoy a few well-earned tipples along the way). For wherever New Year’s goes, alcohol is sure to follow.
And so, for the minority out there who have private jets and the others who have nothing but a passport and a wild imagination, here’s a little global guide to the best grog with which to ring in 2015.
UTC + 13 – A Kava shake in Tonga
As one of the first tiny Pacific islands to join the new year, Tonga is the perfect place to start your globetrotting night of frivolity, and we have just the drink for the occasion. Kickstart your celebrations with the South Pacific’s version of guarana, Kava. Made from the powdered root of a local plant, this is an acquired taste, but dress it up with some milk, ice and cocoa powder for a wicked shake with…tingly after-effects. This is the energy boost you need for the rest of your journey.
UTC + 10 – Vodka shot in Russia
Russians drink 1.5 billion litres of vodka over New Year’s Eve. In fact they’re one of the few countries to celebrate the night twice (once for the Julian calendar and once for the Georgian – sneaky). But whatever the date, pure distilled vodka is still the drink of choice to ward off that winter chill. It’s hard to go past the tried and tested Russian Standard Vodka for smoothness and taste, but get it down quick. We’ve got a lot of world to cover before the sun comes up.
UTC + 8 – Glass of lager in Australia
Sure you could celebrate an Aussie new year with champagne, but a good glass of boutique Australian lager is probably the most ridgy didge (that’s Aussie for authentic) choice of brew. Steer clear of Fosters though, that’s a mighty big cliché and Aussies will definitely take off their cork hats and mock you if you try it. Order any of the Little Creatures range instead. They’re brewed in West Australia and Victoria (so they’re still ‘true blue’) and have gained a large local following for their floral notes and crisp flavour.
UTC + 2 – Black coffee in Turkey
How are we feeling? Need a break. Rest the reindeer and relax in an Istanbul café with a large cup of boiled Turkish coffee. There’s an old Turkish saying that coffee should be ‘Black as Hell, strong as death and sweet as love’ and we tend to agree. Plus it’ll wake you up for the final leg of your New Year’s drink-a-thon. Turkish coffee is definitely our brew of choice in this region – the fine grounds are traditionally boiled with sugar or spices, then poured into a cup and allowed to settle. It’s strong as a caffeinated elephant and will give you a kick on your way to…
UTC – 5 – Pisco sour in Peru
The happiest of all the cocktails, guaranteed to put a big New Year’s grin on any face, especially when quaffed with friendly Quechan locals in Cuzco or Lima. Usually a Peruvian pisco sour will use pisco (a local liquor) as a base, and then shake with key lime, egg whites, lemon juice, ice and bitters. It’s the best way of all to ring in a new year, and a gentle cocktail on which to finish your round the world bender. Raise a glass, toast 2015, then the next morning vow never to drink again. That’s tradition at its best.
Inspired to explore the food of the world for yourself? Check out our mouth-watering selection of real food adventures – from Turkey to China and Japan to Spain, we’ve got your cravings covered.
Image c/o Chris Phutully, Flickr