New Year's Eve is one of the most anticipated days - or nights - of the entire year. This is fairly obvious as it is the final day of the year, but it is also a symbolic and widely-celebrated occasion and a great chance for everyone to let their hair down.
You can get together with your friends, draw a line under the woes of the past 12 months and toast to the future with renewed confidence and positivity - at least for a couple of hours before the hangover kicks in, anyway!
However, there is no doubting that it has been commercially exploited in recent years, with everyone from night club admittance staff and taxi drivers to restaurants and your local pub looking for their slice of your second mortgage. In order to avoid the expense, queues and effort associated with a night painting the town red, why not enjoy New Year's Eve from the comfort of your own home with your nearest and dearest.
Just because you are staying in, does not mean that you can't have a night to remember. Here are a few ways you can celebrate in style.
You'd probably pay a small fortune for a brightly-coloured, umbrella-laden drink in a club - and the bar staff get to have all the fun shaking their mixers while making it. Why not save yourself a few pounds and brush up on your own cocktail-making skills? Kits are now widely available and there are a load of recipes that you can choose from. Some festive-themed concoctions that you may want to check out are the Champagne Supernova, Rum Eggnog, Blue Year's Eve Punch and the delightfully named Happy F*cking New Year.
Even if you and your guests don't manage to create the perfect beverage, you'll have some fun trying.
Snuggle up outside
It's going to be cold, but if you can get over that - and that may be as simple as wearing a big coat - you will have a great time out in your back garden. The number one advantage is that you will get a great view of all the fireworks as midnight approaches.
The alfresco setting also gives you the chance to serve up some novel and tasty treats. Mulled wine and warm cider will go down with your wrapped-up guests, while food can come courtesy of your barbecue. If you don't have a BBQ good enough to serve up some festive food then head over to WoW BBQ where you can take your pick of the latest Weber models. The Weber Q ranges provides the portability and functionality that you need for a big winter party, as it has a huge grilling area and can be easily stored away until the warmer weather returns.
In terms of the food that you want to cook on your grill, try turning your back on traditional summer foods such as burgers and sausages. Pulled pork, duck and seasonal vegetables will all be appreciated by your friends.
The other advantage of having your party outside is the fact that your house is going to escape the full brunt of dozens of revellers spilling their drinks and dropping their food.
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