I need the Dom Perignon of AF drinks.

And isn’t it funny that just as I sat down to write this, I saw that Belle has just written about it not mattering what’s in your glass on a special occasion, and Lilly wrote about managing an occasion with a special AF drink. Those two posts sum up both sides of the coin for me.

Because sure, a happy occasion is happy either way, absolutely. Wine doesn’t make a dull night fizz, nor does a peaceful Sunday morning lose its lazy charm without a mimosa. Alcohol is a crutch; we imbue it with magical properties it just doesn’t have.

But as a culture, we do mark special or significant occasions with good food and drink. Of course we do. We can try and argue that, say, Christmas is just the same with beans on toast, because it’s family that counts. But part of how we show our happiness at having our family with us is by making large quantities of special, time intensive food. Here, have a slice of my Christmas cake that I’ve been marinating in brandy since September. That’s how long I’ve been looking forward to this day.

Likewise, we break out the expensive wine for the big events, or the aged whiskey or the $20 cocktails. It’s a social signifier. Congratulations on your first born child! Would you like a glass of tap water? It doesn’t work.

And this is why I need your help. In five days we move into our dream home. We already own it, but we had to let an existing lease run out and now we are ripping out carpets and painting walls and it doesn’t feel like ours yet. But in five days, after a hell of a lot of hard work and some sheer luck thrown in, we will be there, in our forever house. And we will raise a toast to one another, as we have done for every other marital milestone so far; wedding, children, LH receiving a PhD, 10th wedding anniversary…this, in fact, is probably the last big one until our kids start getting married and other terrifying achievements.

But this time it won’t be a carefully cellared wine being opened, or at least not for me. But I’m damned if I’m going to give an inch on how important this is to me and how much I want to honour the occasion.

So I need the Dom Perignon of AF drinks, please. Because this time, it does matter.

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12 thoughts on “I need the Dom Perignon of AF drinks.

  1. For me it’s got to be sparkling elderflower cordial which tastes divine and special in it’s own right. Don’t know if you can get that in Oz but if others are drinking champagne and you have this in your flute instead – nobody would know the difference. Happy moving and welcome to your new home πŸ™‚ xx

  2. ah. tricky one. I had the same conundrum at Christmas. we have always made a big deal of champagne on Christmas morning and I wanted something so I wouldn’t feel left out. I ended up with some ‘glitter juice’ which was terribly festive and not overly sweet – fruit juice with edible glitter mixed in. http://takinganewpath.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/if-only-it-were-that-simple/. I also enjoyed sharing it with my kids and hopefully they will start to see that celebrating doesn’t ALWAYS have to mean alcohol.

    use the pretty glasses, perhaps? if you have embargoed them as I did in your early non-drinking days?

    I know from reading your blog that you and your husband are wine buffs and am not sure how you would feel about non-alcoholic and de-alcholised wine? I appreciate that not everyone feels comfortable with these as they feel too close to the real thing – and maybe in case they taste like wombat piss πŸ™‚ – but if you haven’t already ruled it out on either of those grounds that might be something to consider? I Googled ‘non-alcoholic drinks Australia’ and came up with a number of companies who deliver Australia wide, such as this one: http://www.nonalcwines.com.au/our-brands/5/shopbrowse

    obv since you will be packing and unpacking you should not be stressing yourself AT ALL ABOUT ANYTHING! so will not suggest you hand create a lemon and rosemary cordial. you know. in all your spare time πŸ˜‰

    best of luck with whatever you go for and hope the move goes well! xxx

  3. I keep a few bottles of interesting cordials on hand because that’s easy, but I love trying to make up interesting AF drinks, and some are really quite good. A couple of favourites: sparkling water with a splash of good pomegranate juice and a little hit of squeezed fresh ginger juice. It’s yummy and it tastes festive. (I do that with fresh squeezed lemon or lime instead of pomegranate and it’s good too, and then I add a little ginger or a dash of bitters. Yum!) Another one: I make and chill a pitcher of double strength mint tea (need use a very good tea, to which I usually add a little dab of dried rose petals or elderflower or lavender), and in the summer I keep this on hand all the time. Then the drink is one part this cold tea, one part sparkling water, and a squeeze of fresh time juice. It tastes more complex than most AF drinks I’ve had without being too sweet, and it looks festive in a pretty glass. Making these up is fun, and sometimes the drinkers even want one instead of having wine! I hope you figure out something that works for your occasion.

    Congrats on the new house!

  4. I’m with Lucy and the elderflower cordial( we can get that in the US, I mix it with a little cranberry juice, a little lime juice and some club soda. It can be sipped and it’s lovely in a champagne flute.
    Sharon

      • Crap, it’s expensive here too, when you can get it at specialty stores, but that’s stupidly exxy. Damn. The best I can suggest then is looking for local places that stock good cordials and stocking up on those and fancy mineral waters too. And/or create a special mocktail out of flavours you like that will look, feel and taste great in a wine or champagne glass.

        I both think there are times when what’s in your glass really matters – and it can just really help to have something that feels special, nice and treaty – and other times that it really doesn’t matter at all. Remember that when it comes down to it what you are celebrating is the event and the accomplishment and that is in no way really altered by what liquid is in your glass.

  5. I know it can be quite sweet and sickly but bottle of bubbly grape juice that has a cork that ‘pops’ can be quite nice. But I have to say my go-to celebration substance is ginger crunch. If you don’t know what that is look it up. A beautiful crunchy gingery biscuity base with a sweet buttery ginger icing on top. Total decadence and delightfully sinful. With a mug of hot herbal tea. That’s my bliss. That’s what I had when I got my MA result last year.. and when we moved into our dream home 7 weeks ago. Also get a huge bunch of fresh flowers and a kick-ass scented candle for your new home. Those are the real treats baby. Forget the brain-bending shit that we don’t need. xxxx

    • Oh yes, scented candles and flowers! But I don’t want to take the celebration moment from LH by not going to some effort to join him in a proper celebratory drink, you know? So edible glitter in fancy elderflower cordial feels better than just drinking…lemonade, in this context.

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