If there’s ever an excuse to kick back and let your hair down its New Year’s Eve – it’s only once a year after all.

And as 2016 descends why not try something a bit different by going cocktail crazy?

In recent years there’s been a serious cocktail renaissance thanks in part to the girls of Sex and the City and their Manhattans and Cosmopolitans, then the glamour of the Twenties brought roaring back thanks to the Great Gatsby.

Of course, January 31 traditionally means its lovely bubbly.

More champagne is quaffed on New Year’s Eve across the globe than any other time – statistics show in America alone a humungous 360 million glasses are served.

Many are for the midnight toast but more and more revellers are spending the night sipping glorious champagne cocktails.

Champers is so highly regarded as a classy drink today it’s hard to imagine high society dandies of the 19th century used to use it as a form of boot polish!

How it came into being is a hotly-contested subject but drinks historians tend to believe Champagne was created as a result of an accident.

Because the French region of Champagne is the most northerly of France’s winemaking regions, sometimes the cold weather would cause havoc with the fermentation process.

So when the spring would come the yeast would start fermenting again, something winemakers tried to stop from happening for a long time.

So that’s the cause of the bubbles which give Champers its fantastic fizz.

Actually in a 750ml bottle of Champagne scientists have calculated there are 49 million bubbles.

As revellers hit the town tonight to see in 2016 in style, many will be heading to Memoirs Cocktail lounge and fine dining restaurant in the historic old library building in West Stockwell Street, Colchester.


This is the place for ardent cocktail buffs – here you can choose from a variety of classic and contemporary cocktails within the ornate surroundings of the venue’s vaulted ceilings and period architecture.

Five of the blends on the menu are award-winning cocktails, while others include frozen, long, hot and sparking cocktail drinks.

Owner Gabriel Pacheco, who runs Memoirs together with wife Stephanie, said, not surprisingly January 31 is all about the fizz: “Cocktails are always popular but New Year’s Eve is all about Champagne and especially Champagne cocktails. We are expecting to serve a lot of these.”

If you want to create your own New Year’s Eve champagne cocktail Gabriel has shared his recipe...

  • Visit memoirscolchester.co.uk.




  • 1 White Sugar Cube
  • 2 Drops Angostura Bitters
  • 1oz Liquor Beirao
  • 2 1/2oz Champagne


Mix the ingredients all together then garnish with an orange twist and Maraschino cherry.



This one comes from the eighties favourite film Cocktail and hardcore Tom Cruise fans shouldn’t need reminding. When Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise) walks in to ask for a bartending job, Doug is mixing up a Red-Eye.

Later, when Flanagan is trying to cure a hangover with pizza, his mentor explains the ingredients.

Apparently it actually does help hangovers, as long as the egg doesn’t make you too nauseous.


  • 1 oz vodka
  • 6 oz tomato juice
  • 1 can of beer
  • 1 raw egg


Into a tall frosty mug, pour the vodka and tomato juice. Pour in the beer, then crack the egg into it. Don’t stir!



RIBENA may be the last ingredient you think of when the word ‘cocktail’ comes to mind but a hot mocktail blend of the kids’ favourite cordial could be just the thing for a winter warmer.

With Ribena’s introduction of its new limited edition Winter Spice squash – its first ever drink designed to be served hot –top mixologist Michael Stringer of Black Leaf Events has created the Ribena Winter Berry Punch.

The drink is said to blend Ribena Winter Spice with pomegranate juice, apple juice, cloves and cinnamon Served hot, this spicy winter drink will wrap you right up in the Christmas spirit.


  • 200ml Ribena Winter Spice
  • 200ml Pomegranate Juice
  • 100ml Apple Juice
  • 6 clove buds
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 lemon (quartered)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tangerine (quartered)


Add all ingredients to a large saucepan and gently heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously. Serve in clear glass mug and garnish with a cinnamon stick and orange twist.