Revision done, exams nailed, results day has been safely navigated, your university place has been secured, you’ve successfully survived the clearing process, sorted your loans, found your digs and begged your parents / friends to lug your stuff halfway across the country to your new home for the next 3 years. What next? Well once you’re all settled in it’s party time!
Fresher’s week is often the defining week of your university life. You’ll meet hundreds of new people, attend numerous parties and freshers fairs, wake up in strange houses with stranger people, see cool new bands and sign up for loads of stuff you’ll never use or need and that’s just the first day!
It’s easy to get caught up in the week-long party that is Freshers Week but the most important thing to do is relax. This week will see you introduced to lots of new people, you’ll have course inductions, tutor introductions and mountains of paperwork to sign. But don’t let it daunt you. This week is merely to get you settled in before the real work starts so make the most of it!
No doubt you will at some point venture out to join the numerous parties that are laid on over the week. Make sure you keep your wits about you and drink responsibly. Drinking isn’t about getting so drunk you don’t recognise your own reflection! It’s about having fun and socialising. Always keep an eye on your drink; spiking is not unheard of and getting rushed to A&E is the last thing you want on your first week, never leave your drink unattended, don’t accept drinks from strangers and take a pocket full of anti-spike drink stoppers with you when you go out to keep your bottle safe.
Whether you’re going out or staying in, it’s always good to be prepared. Do you have a few friends round? Make sure that cocktail shaker is in easy reach and have a few drinking games at hand to keep the party entertaining. A pack of cards is the most basic game accessory you will need and will provide hours of fun but if you’re feeling adventurous; a round of shot roulette or a beer pong table will make your parties the talk of the town.
Having access to a cocktail book and shaker will open up a whole new world of possibilities to liven up a party. Fish bowls and shot glasses are an essential for the social enthusiast who wants to throw a party with a twist and don’t forget disposable glasses , it will save you having to wash up every glass in the house (or have a mountain of washing-up that sits festering on the side for several weeks!).
Those of you that are fans of American teen comedies will be familiar with those red solo cups that pop up regularly in party scenes. These cups are a great party-piece that are designed for holding beer, cocktails and spirits but also make great beer pong or slap cup containers. For a giggle, introduce your friends to fuzzy duck, for the educated drinker we stock the glass chess shot set and for the gamblers amongst you there’s the shot shot roulette. All are fantastic accessories for throwing an entertaining and unique party.
1: American Red Party Cups 2: Ultimate Beer Bong Funnel 3: Anti-Spike Drink Stoppers 4: bar@drinkstuff Home Cocktail Set 5: Chillquiet Mini-Fridge 6: Beer Pong 7: Plastic Cocktail Fish Bowl 8: Neon Shot Glasses
No room is complete without a mini fridge to keep your essential milk and beer supply chilled and out of the reach of light-fingered housemates and roomies! Make sure you have plenty of glassware, plates and bowls and stock up on your food essentials and missing furniture. If you’re planning a party have a look at our student deals as well as our student starter set which contains everything you need to get your party started.
If you’ve just moved into halls, keep your door open, have your stereo on with your favourite band playing and make sure you have the kettle on and a few mugs of tea ready to hand out as this is your chance to get to make new friends and you never know who’ll be coming past your dorm so be ready to meet interesting and varied people who will be the centre of your social life for the next 3 years.
Last but not least, relax and enjoy your first week, you won’t get another one! Party hard, make friends, enjoy the independence but most importantly; drink responsibly. But in case you don’t, have your new address written down and at hand and don’t lose sight of your friends or your house keys and phone!
Bank Holiday BBQ Ideas
Summer is in full swing, the forecast is red-hot sun (with scattered showers!), the garden is green and the smell of the neighbour’s barbeque is wafting over your fence. It’s that time of year again; time to dust off the old barbeque for its annual airing. What better time than Bank Holiday Monday? With the roads and airports chock-a-block with red-faced motorists and holiday makers, get away from it all and take the time out to relax in the garden, throw a party and sizzle-up some bangers with friends.
Here at drinkstuff we have a mind-boggling array of barbeques and summer party accessories . Whether you’re looking for bbq accessories, disposable drinkware, party plates or napkins right up to cocktail sets and Inflatable Hot-tubs! We’ve also included a few recipes and Ideas but if you need a comprehensive collection of cocktail recipes then check out our cocktail books which are jam-packed with ideas for creating your own concoctions!
Food is quite rightly the star guest at any barbeque. Nothing can beat the smell of char-grilled meat filling the summer air. With so many choices available at the supermarket it can be easy to settle for pre-made burgers and sausages but if you fancy trying your hand at making your own burgers, it couldn’t be simpler with the Swift Burger Press . Mix up your mince and chosen ingredients in a bowl and spoon into the mould and press down to create your own authentic professional-looking home-made burgers!
Of course, barbeques aren’t limited to burgers and sausages. Be adventurous, try Lamb, Pork Chops or Steak and marinade your meat the night before. Also fish and shellfish are delicious barbequed and don’t forget old favourites like corn-on-the-cob, salads and nibbles like olives and nuts.
If you’re looking for inspiration; here’s a tried and tested marinade recipe from the drinkstuff team. It’s very simple to put together, using some basic food cupboard ingredients:
Smokey BBQ Marinade
300ml Barbeque Sauce
1 Onion, chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
2 Tsps Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp Chilli Powder
4 Tbsps of Dark Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Worcester Sauce
2 Tbsps Tomato Puree
1 Tsp White Wine Vinegar
This tasty and easy marinade is great for white meats such as chicken and pork, although it works just as well with Beef Steak and Fish. Simply mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and add your chosen meat. Ensure that the marinade is covering the meat, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight before cooking as normal on your barbeque. Once your meat is cooked, serve it up with a bowl of fresh salad, cous-cous or even more meat!
For the presentation conscious our Royal Genware Square Plates are ideal for presenting a plate of food a chef would be proud of! For a whole range of tableware and presentation ideas check out our ever-expanding selection of tableware and crockery for more inspiration.
Drinks all round!
Drink selection is a vital part to any gathering of friends, why not throw a BBQ party with a twist and greet your guests with a tray of refreshing Mojitos or a bowl of homemade punch?
Children and designated drivers should never be left out so don’t forget to include a non-alcoholic punch or have a blender on-hand to wizz-up some ice-cream smoothies or fruit-based cocktails. Make sure you have the right glass for the job though; cocktails aren’t just about mixing drinks together it’s about the presentation too!
Another party essential which is a firm favourite here at drinkstuff towers are the Stack Cups . These ingenious lightweight cups have a hollow handle which allows them to be stacked together for easy carrying. They’re perfect for dishing out a round of cold beers when your free-hands are limited!
If you want to save on washing-up we now have a range of bio-degradable plastic cups and recycled napkins to minimise any harmful fallout from your party. Because let’s face it; who wants to be washing up after a few Sangrias!?
We’ve included a couple of our favourite summer cocktail recipes for you. For non-alcoholic ice-cream shakes just swap the Vodka, Baileys and Kahlua for flavoured Crusha or Nesquick, the kids will love it!
Summer Ice Cream Alco-Shakes (Makes 4)
4 Scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream
100ml Bailey’s irish Cream
In a blender or food-processor add all of the ingredients and simply wiz them together until they are blended into a smooth drink. Serve in iced hurricane cocktail glasses with a straw. For extra decadence top with a generous helping of whipped cream!
Sangria (courtesy of the ultimate bar book )
2 Lemons, sliced
2 Peaches, pitted and sliced
120ml Fresh lemon juice
90ml Licor 43 (If available)
75g Superfine sugar
75cl of red wine (Rioja is ideal)
Soda to top up
Combine the lemon and peach slices in a large glass pitcher . Add the lemon juice, Licor 43 and sugar, stirring to combine. Gently stir in the wine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, add the soda, stirring gently. Slowly pour into ice-filled wine goblets allowing some of the fruit to fall into the glasses.
Licor 43 is an ancient Spanish liqueur which has a distinctive vanilla and citrus twang. It’s not readily available in the supermarket and unless you spend a lot of time hopping over to Spain you’ll rarely see it. However several online stockists do supply to the UK for a reasonable price.
If you want to, you can replace the Licor 43 with another fruity liqueur such as Cointreau, Pimms or Flavoured Vodka.
We hope you take the time to relax and enjoy your summer barbeque. After all it’s the last Bank Holiday until Christmas! One last point to note is of course to drink safely and be careful handling your barbeque, don’t over-stock your coals or go mad with the lighter fluid, nobody wants to eat burnt sausages or worse; spend bank holiday in A&E!
The Great British Beer Festival - http://gbbf.org.uk/
Today is the launch of CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival at London’s Olympia. The Olympia is transformed this week into a giant pub offering over 800 different Beers, Ales, Ciders and traditional Perries to over 50,000 attending pub fanatics.
This arena gives credit to Individual and established brewers from all over the world who continue to brew exciting and original beverages that keep the fans of traditional brewing coming back for more. It’s not only the real ale veterans who keep coming back, more and more younger drinkers are turning to real ale despite a downfall in pub sales. Also CAMRA has recorded a doubling of female ale drinkers ensuring the scene continues to be fresh and lively.
It’s not all about the drink though, supporting the event this week are food stalls from around the world and daily entertainment from bands such as Mad Dog McRea and the Deborah Bonham Band and more.
Tickets are on sale now from http://gbbf.org.uk/
Fight the Tax Hike!
During the festival CAMRA will be taking the opportunity to gain support for its campaign to abolish the above inflation tax increase which has seen the price of a pint in the UK rise by 42% in 4 years. This hike is stifling the pub industry and as a result 8,000 pubs have closed in the last 5 years and the increase in price has meant that over 50% of adults prefer to drink at home instead of supporting their local. Needless to say CAMRA is driving the petition towards parliamentary debate with over 72,000 signatures already they are a whisker away from securing the 100,000 signatures needed to force the issue in parliament.
To sign CAMRA’s petition; follow this link and support your local pub! http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29664/
It’s a Great Day for Jamaica, not only after the lightning-fast Olympic antics of Usain Bolt and Johan Blake in last night’s 100m final but also today is the 50th anniversary celebration of Jamaican Independence.
Rum is definitely the flavour of the day, however take your time with it, and certainly don't knock it back in 9.63 seconds! (especially if it's Jamaican overproof!). Perhaps join the celebrations in style with a refreshing chilled Jamaican Iced Tea? We highly recommend mixing it up with our Cocktail Starter Pack which is currently available at a 38% discount from our website and includes a The Bar Book, the most comprehensive cocktail guide ever written, with over 1000 recipes. In case Rum or Iced Tea aren’t your thing!
Jamaican Iced Tea (per Serving)
50ml Dark Jamaican rum
300ml Iced tea
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1 Teaspoon of Brown Sugar
1 Lime cut into 1/8 size wedges
Pour 50ml of Dark Jamaican Rum into a Cocktail Shaker. Add Spices and sugar if desired and the Ice Tea. Shake well and decant into a chilled glass with a handful of Ice Cubes and a wedge of lime. Chill out, pull up a chair and sip along to the Athletics finals!
We’re very excited this week at the Drinkstuff office with the arrival of our new Irish Coffee Gift Set from Bar@drinkstuff (to be sure!). This stylish set comes with 4 tall and slim coffee glasses in an elegant contemporary styled striped stainless steel handle and surround, to keep those fingers from burning. They also come with their own matching stainless steel coasters and stirring spoons that double as straws - genius! (Slurp!)
This funky little Irish Coffee Set is perfect for a round of after-dinner party drinks and we’ve had lots of fun here in the office coming up with our own after-dinner drink and liqueur combinations! Gin and coffee anyone? ...hmmm maybe not.
For those of you who like their liqueur on the side, try combining these with our Chocolate Shot Cups for the most decadent post-dessert buzz!
The Original Irish Coffee
Are you wondering how to make Irish Coffee? Just for your pleasure, here’s a handy Irish coffee recipe courtesy of www.foodnetwork.com
Ingredients (per glass)
- 200ml freshly brewed hot coffee
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 jigger Irish whiskey (15ml or 3 tablespoons)
- Heavy cream, slightly whipped
Fill your coffee glasses with hot water to preheat it, then empty. Pour piping hot coffee into warmed glass until it is about 3/4 full. Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Blend in Irish whiskey. Top with a collar of the whipped heavy cream by pouring gently over back of spoon. Serve hot.
Swap the Whiskey for your favourite spirit. Try Tia Maria, Amaretto or Baileys Irish Cream for a sumptuous after-dinner experience!