This is the week the bar manager doesn't sleep, the lead up to what is the biggest night of the year when bar records get broken. Every angle must have an exit strategy, as it is an evening where anything can happen and the impossible will. It's the only night that it wouldn't be a surprise for the electricity to go out, the sprinkler system to spray water everywhere, the refrigerators to all stop working, and to have some crazy a-hole drive his car through the front door right as the balloons drop.
The preparation for such a night is fervent with panicked last minute runs to Cash and Carry, passionate apologies because we can't accommodate anyone else, and crazed ruckus as we try to find space for triple the usual amount of ingredients. For fourteen hours we will run at full tilt under unbearably stressful conditions to make the magic of New Year's come alive.
And alive it will become; the bar will eventually transform into its own living and breathing organism - a sea of people that move together and soon all begin to smell the same. They will, no doubt, in this exuberant abundance of human flesh find new ways of ensuring that the last night of 2009 is one to remember. This is no Dick Clark safely counting down the New Year from his hotel room in front of Times Square. This is hundreds of real people dancing until the wee hours of the morning, meeting strangers and letting their inhibitions fly for the last time this year. This is a time to forget what a messed-up place the world is, that in two days they have to go back to work after a week off, and that they hated what their wife got them for Christmas. It is truly the last night to enjoy 2009 because soon it will be gone forever.
Mighty Fine 2009
1.5 ounces fresh squeezed lemon
1.5 ounces simple syrup
1 ounce Grand Marnier
2 ounces Courvoisier
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass and top with 1 ounce sparkling wine