I adore Christmas, believe me. But, Jiminy Cricket, I'm glad when it's all over. I sympathise with a friend who used to hang a banner up in his Drawing Room declaring "Christmas Must Go!". That's why I like New Year's Eve (or Hogmany as it's called in Scotland), even if this means that you might get a dark, hairy stranger in a kilt turning up on your doorstep at midnight with a lump of coal.
And what to drink, apart from the obvious and excellent choice of Champagne? How about mixing up a chic Champagne Cocktail this evening?
Here's a classic 1930's Champagne Cocktail from the Metropolitan Hotel, New York. First you need to soak a sugar cube with a dash of Angoustura Bitters. Put it in the bottom of a champagne flute.
While I'm about it: a quick word on champagne glasses. I use the classic flute shape. You can also use the rather kitsch shallow glass version- which, apparently, was fashioned from Marie Antoinette's left tit. They're fun- but I've been told on good authority that they're not good for the champagne bubbles, and make them go flat rather quickly.
But on with the cocktail: Fill up the glass with a decent Champagne. Laurent Perrier is delicious, relatively affordable, and a brand I'm currently rather keen on. Finish it off with a twist of lemon.
Champagne afficinados will probably sneer at anyone who tries to make a champagne cocktail, but I like this recipe for its simplicity, and classic origins. I'm off to a New Year's Eve party in Buckinghamshire tonight, but if I'm still alive by tomorrow morning, plan to write about things Bavarian. I would like to thank everyone and anyone who has bothered to read "The Greasy Spoon" over the last few months, and I wish you all a happy and peaceful 2008. Happy New Year!