Saturday saw another one of the private parties that I've been invited to serve at happen. It's a much more intimate sort of event than say o&I or one of The Firms many fine events as they have only 30 or 40 people. Whilst I'd been looking forward to attending I'll freely admit that I was nervous... there was a problem with another event I was serving at and it'd been in the back of my mind: was it me, am I losing my mojo for this? Hopefully I didn't let it show but there was a bit of trepidation and concern going around my bone bucket for this one.
It was also going to be the first time I'd ever made a cocktail. Sure I've done mixed drinks (Black Russians) but nothing that's ever been "a shot of this, a shot of that, shake and serve" and it's always been one of those things I've wanted to do; kind of similar to the coffee thing I guess.
Saturday was a slow start, we woke up, we showered, we chatted and watched idiocy on the internet and thanks to wonderful coffee started figuring out that the horrible bright thing in the sky was in fact the sun! After making sure we were leaving everything as tidy as possible (mission: FAILED) and I'd spent sufficient time pacing up and down MzWhipplash's hall going "Sparkles & Happy Thoughts" (Yes, I've also been known to do "Fear is the mind killer" before now) we set off towards our destination.
The location we were going to is somewhat ironic as, until she recently moved, not 10min walk away lived a close friend and none of us were in any way, shape or form aware that people we knew lived that close-by. Not that we'd of poked our heads in uninvited obviously. Just one of those "funny how life is sometimes" things.
It's November so, even arriving at 6pm to finish helping with the preparations for a 7pm start, it was already dark by the time we parked up and began unloading. Although the rain and cold was soon forgotten as the front door opened to friendly faces, smiles and a pair of labradors who were eager to meet the new arrivals.
With our coats off and safely stored on the coat rack... which collapsed, obviously in protest to holding the raw awesomeness, I caught up with people and trundled in to the kitchen to see the new additions. Food is provided, last time it was cooked meats, bread, sausages and such which was all pretty tasty. This time some huge jacket spuds had been added to the mix with two slow cookers keeping beans & chilli warm... pretty tasty looking and made a wonderful smell when combined with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.
Pretty much everything was where it needed to be in what we jokingly called the "apron only area" cocktail glasses, spirits to mix, the shaker I'd asked our hosts to get in and behind me were two coffee machines. Kick ass, everything where it was easy to get to and work with; although the leads on the machines were a bit short but nothing that a maid couldn't jiggle when they needed refilling.
After the tour it was time to test my cocktail making abilities and I admitted I'd never done it before so the first of each one was made with me watching intently. After that it was my turn and I nervously presented the first Harvey Wallbanger to MzWhipplash... who gave it a resounding thumbs up.
The Espresso Martini's weren't quite right in my opinion, nothing major but they had a roughness to them I'm going to have to fix if I'm doing it again (I can see where either a third spirit or sugar water is added) but the Wallbangers went down a storm with people coming back for more.
Guests started arriving and I started letting them in, ferrying bags & coats in to the storage room and hurting the dogs in to the living room whilst the front door was open. All safe and familiar ground although I did miss greeting a few people due to cocktails and serving other requests but a good friend was able to give people the 2p tour of the location.
Things went really well, we handed out a birthday cake to another friend, cooked some jacket spuds for people, made copious amounts of coffee and cocktails... it was a really fun evening even if my Owner did end up taking a nap in one of the rooms; it had been a long week. Once 1:30pm rolled around and the majority of people had started winding their way home a small group of us stayed behind for an impromptu 'after party'.
It wasn't planned, it probably wouldn't happen again but all of us ended up blowing off steam, letting our hair down and just being ourselves; it was a total laugh riot and we had lots to laugh about as "the love raptor" made several appearances and funny stories were swapped with gay abandon.
Eventually it was time to wind down and head home, by the end of it I was knackered but overjoyed, the night had gone perfectly. I think everyone there had a wonderful time and it was a joy to serve all of those people, I'm looking forward to doing it again.
I haven't lost my mojo.