Words: Shamim de Brún
As a grown-ass adult, you’ve probably come to realise that having the right booze for the right occasion is pretty much the 25-and-over equivalent of bringing your shiny Pokemon cards to a primary school birthday party in the 90s: fun, classy as fudge and a great way to flex without taking your shirt off.
Eurovision, as an occasion, is unique. It likes subverting gender stereotypes. The whole affair is flashy, kitsch and bizarre. More inclusive than the music industry at large could ever be. Wilder than an LSD trip and as trashy as Oscar the Grouch. The songs, the performances, the high tension voting. It makes for a hell of an evening.
So if you’re tuning in to watch Ireland finalise their place with Derry Lipa, we have some bitching pairings for you.
With the relentless parade of fashion serves and disasters, you’ll want a cocktail that’s as raunchy as a double entendre; enter the Porn Star Martini. This sweet and spicy little number will make you want to run off to the French Rivera and strut around in a barely-there bikini and giant sunglasses. What could be more Eurovision?
What you need:
Vanilla Vodka is the key to a good Porn Star Martini. The cocktail will be as dull as linen cult attire if you skip it and go for plain vodka. Eurovision deserves better than that. My go-to brand of vanilla vodka is the istil Irish Single Pot Still Vodka. It kicks with the vanilla and stands up to the sweetness of the pornstar and the espresso martini if you’re in need of a little pep.
Passion Fruit Liqueur; The unfortunate truth about Passion Fruit Liqueur is the more you spend on it, the better it is. You can grab an inflation buster version in Lidl, but the Passoa they have in Celtic Whiskey Shop is the best option.
Prosecco, the cheaper, the better. You just want that pop of fizz. There’s enough by way of booze in the vanilla vodka, so don’t go too heavy on the sparkler. This dainty number from Dunnes will do the job grand.
Lime Juice, from your favourite supermarket, and Passionfruit Juice, easily found at any Asian supermarket, round out this perfect Eurovision pairing.
How to: Place all ingredients except the prosecco into a shaker and fill it with ice. Seal it and shake hard for fifteen seconds—strain into a chilled martini or coupe glass. Top up with the prosecco or drink it on the side. It’s downright debauched. You’ll love it.
What could go better with some Spanish siren version of Leona Lewis bleeding love and despair all over the stage than lots of bubbles? We all love a ballad. If they’re good, we’ll cry our eyes out. If they’re bad, we’ll shadily comment, ‘that was a bit off now, wasn’t it?’ Even if we’d be kicked out of our own shower for shocking renditions of the same tune. The right bubbles like sparkling shade, after all. So while Champagne, Cremant, or Pet Nat are stalwart options, I’d go hell for leather on this pink Prosecco or this one if I felt indulgent.
Sure the finals are in Turin this year, so it only makes sense that Prosecco takes pride of place this year. The Italians even have this tradition of drinking fizz in the shade of the church called Ombra. Could any tradition be perfect for throwing shade like confetti during the semi-finals? I think not. Dear deity of your choice, Eurovision brings out the best in us all.
Sangria is like Eurovision in a glass. It’s diverse, tasty, a little bit too much for our shameful Irish ways and just sheer brilliance. So if this is your first time leaning into the glory of Eurovision, then this is the juice for you. Rosé Sangria is an awakening. It is a joy. I’m convinced it will be bigger than the Aperol spritz one day, though maybe it needs another year or two.
Light, fresh, zesty and boozy as all be damned make for a perfect party punch. If this is your first Eurovision, then in all likelihood, you’re tagging along with some devout friends who have managed to talk you round. This will prove to them that you truly belong in the folds of the Eurovision cult. And what’s great is it’s an easy make. Bish bash and bosh all the ingredients in a bowl, jug, or whatever you’re having yourself and stir.
What you’ll need: This is a one-stop-shop in Lidl.
Rosé – Just use Lidl’s cheapest rosé wine. We all prefer a dry rosé when we’re quaffing at a barbecue, but you’re going in on the sweet stuff in this instance.
Vodka is optional, but adding a splash of vodka for a boozy sangria is what Eurovision deserves. Of course, Lidl brand vodka will be grand. But if you’re out and about, the OG istil vodka is an excellent Irish made all-rounder.
Lemon juice, mint, and frozen fruit. I go all-in on the smoothie pack from Lidl. It’s got all the bit you need for two quid. Bargain and you know the flavours work together because they made a banging smoothie. If there’s one with pineapple in it, I’d be leaning right the way into that one. Pineapple and Rosé is the daring pairing you’d never expect.
You need a soda to top it off. I like using a lemon lime-like 7up, but you can also just use sparkling water.
Top Tip for sangria is to freeze one bottle of rose in an ice cube tray and use the cubes and frozen fruit instead of ice. That way, the drink just gets more boozy and fruity as they defrost but keeps the drink at peak coldness.
There is always a metal act at the Eurovision. It’s the law. Bulgaria’s metal act is called Intelligent Music Project, which pairs best with metal. Some boujie ass red wine, of course. It sounds counterintuitive, but red wine goes surprisingly well with thumpingly angry music. So if you’re in it this year whole hog for Bulgaria, then I’d be grabbing this flaming redzer from Wine Mason.
The Senza Vandalismi Rosso is a puncher. Hitting hard above its weight class, it brings the most contemporary Italian flavours to the front. Perfect for headbanging too. The bizarre hashtag on the label ‘#SenzaVandalsimi’ relates to a speech given by a local politician when discussing how vandalism affects a community. Love a shady name in homage to bullshit.
The low intervention juice punches like it’s got a great left hook. Floral, violet aromas, juicy, fresh small red fruit, cherry, berry and pomegranate and then a hint of spice and complexity all crop up unexpectedly in this affordable wine. Basically, it will impress the wino in your life as well as being anti-establishment. What better Eurovision juice could you ask for?
Elsewhere on Char: How to Buy Supermarket Wine