Chris Hall has got your back when it comes to getting through Christmas in one piece
Seasonal Survival Guide
Christmas is the time for the giving of gifts, peace to all mankind, and falling asleep after eating and drinking far too much. It’s all too easy to get carried away. Even your mum is knocking back a glass of cooking sherry when the cooking rituals start at crazy-o-clock, so what hope have the rest of us got? As ever, at Rum & Reviews, we’re thinking of you. Our team have put together some top tips to help you survive Christmas, and even enjoy it.
Mixing your drinks is one of the most well-known ways of guaranteeing suffering the next day. If you are going to mix your drinks (and we know you will), then try to stick to two broad categories that you know aren’t a deadly combination. Better still, stick to one kind of drink, like beer, which has innumerable varieties to enjoy.
Our own Doug McCaffrey has these sage words of wisdom: “Always have more booze than you need. Because left over booze equals cocktails.”
Picture the scene: it’s about 8.30pm, and those that haven’t passed out from over-consumption are of the calibre that will be drinking until midnight. While they’re knocking back the unwanted-yet-plentiful cans of Strongbow, you’ll be leaning nonchalantly against something, sipping a cocktail crafted from the odds and ends that occupy the corners of the cupboards. The very best –and the very worst – cocktails are discovered this way, but even if yours doesn’t quite make the grade, you’ll look like a god damn king.
(Commuter’s favourite ShortList have put together a handy guide to cocktails made from the dregs of your parent’s spirits cabinet.)
We know, times are hard, and like each year before, this Christmas is putting a strain on your wallet. At Rum & Reviews, we’d rather have one glass of an excellent drink, than ten glasses of industrially produced hogwash. Instead of stocking up on cheap tinnies and own-brand spirits and wines from the supermarket, consider investing that cash into a smaller selection of high-quality drinks. After all, it’s been a hell of a year, and you’ve earned yourself a bit of quality time. If you do manage to find time to relax at Christmas, make sure it’s with something a bit more special than a glass of cooking sherry and half a dozen cans of Skol.
One of the best ways to go the distance in the festive season is to make sure you have something to eat between drinks. Unfortunately, one of the best ways to ensure you pass out at 4pm and wake up at 9.30pm with the meat sweats is eating too much. Try to space out your eating and drinking, so as not to fall into the trap of the binge-nap.
While we’re on the subject, why not try to match all that tasty food with what you’re drinking? Think beyond wine, and try matching a punchy pale ale with your turkey, some porter or stout with your Christmas pudding, and later, class things up a notch with some whisky and cheese. Our review archives have something for everyone’s tastes, so make your Christmas 89% classier by enjoying great food and drink together.
Everyone has their own essential drinks in the festive season. I for one cannot seem to spend a Christmas since I turned 18 without consuming Guinness in epic (yet responsible) quantities. Steve Crotty picks his festive must-haves as “Bailey’s, Advocaat and Southern Comfort. Buy plenty of mixers, as extras can always be saved.”
Whatever your essential beverages may be, remember to prepare for the worst. Our esteemed editor Craig Heap’s top Christmas tip is: “prepare a goddamn hangover kit the size of a shoe box.” So enjoy your Christmas responsibly readers, and if you can’t be responsible, be prepared.