Bingo is most certainly back on the map, and we couldn’t be happier. When you’re planning your next event with the girls, why not consider hosting a bingo night?
As the game has come crashing into the 21st century, several variations of the game have emerged. There are now games such as the classic 90-ball bingo, 75-ball bingo, 5-line bingo, and even bonus ball bingo! If you’re not sure how to play bonus ball bingo, you might need to do a bit of research before opting to play this version of the bingo game.
The numbers called during traditional bingo games are daubed (shaded out) on each player’s scorecard. The number of balls and size of the scorecard varies, as does the quantity – and even shape required – of correctly called numbers for a win.
Bonus ball bingo brings a further element of suspense. Players’ scorecards are instead, scratch cards, so everyone can get busy finding out if they have won after the winning balls have been called out.
But being a consummate host takes substantially more than picking the theme. You’ve got to make sure the decorations, food, and drink are on point too. We’ve concocted a list of five of the best cocktails to make sure your bingo night goes without a hitch!
The Fluffy Duck
“One little duck…number 2!”. This delicious cocktail is fresh, zingy, and citrusy, with the unctuous creaminess of Advocaat, giving it the perfect balance.
30ml Triple Sec
30ml Orange Juice
30ml Soda Water
40ml Dry Gin
Add ice and all ingredients but the soda water to your shaker and thoroughly combine. Strain the contents into a chilled highball or goblet glass with plenty of ice and top off with soda water. Garnish with a slice of orange and maybe a tiny rubber duck!
Pitchers of this refreshing, Spanish classic require very little effort, especially if you’re entertaining a large party. They can be put together in advance and extra can easily be made once the ingredients are pre-prepared.
Ingredients (for one pitcher)
Half an apple
Half an orange
3 tbsp Brown sugar
1 750ml bottle of Spanish red wine
200ml Orange juice
Cut the apple into small chunks, leaving the skin on, and do the same with the orange. Add them to a large jug along with the brown sugar, and muddle lightly for a few seconds. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir well. This will keep well in the fridge overnight and ice can be added when serving.
Sangria is a Spanish classic cocktail filled with exotic fruits.
A Tempranillo is a strong choice for the wine for its plum and cherry notes, but any fruity fuller-bodied Spanish red will do fine. And don’t forget a long spoon to fish out all those delicious bits of fruit that remain in the bottom of the jug.
The Vesper Martini
Made famous by Ian Fleming’s titular character, James Bond, the Vesper Martini is a sophisticated drink that pairs perfectly with a gaming evening. Known for frequenting quite a list of casinos throughout his escapades – Monte Carlo, London, Portugal, The Bahamas, Macau, and Montenegro – drink in hand, that was actually created by the author himself.
Named after a love interest from the original Casino Royale (1953), Vesper Lynd, there are strict instructions as to how the secret agent takes his cocktail and they are as follows.
3 measures Gordon’s Gin
1 measure Vodka
1/2 measure Lillet Blanc
To garnish: “A large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”
The only point we’d have to disagree with James here is with what’s become a bit of a catchphrase: “Shaken not stirred”. Spirit-only cocktails should always be stirred, not shaken, so as not to dilute the drink and disrupt its texture, so we recommend you do the same. Fair warning that these are pretty potent, so sips steadily.
A Martini became popular in Bond films, with James Bond opting for a Vesper Martini in many casinos.
If the Vesper Martini is a little too stern, this bright prohibition-era creation is far more approachable. The color comes from the grenadine syrup – which you can also make yourself with reduced pomegranate and lemon juice, and sugar – and the frothy egg white foam makes these a delight to sup.
100ml Dry gin
20 ml Grenadine syrup
1 Egg white
Lemon zest and Maraschino cherry to garnish
Add the gin and syrup to your shaker with plenty of ice. Shake thoroughly for at least thirty seconds then strain the mixture into a large glass. Add the liquid back into the empty chilled shaker along with the egg white and shake vigorously until frothy.
These are ideally served in a saucered margarita coupe or martini glass, pre-chilled in the fridge. Add your lemon zest and cherry garnish to a cocktail stick or to the rim of the glass to complete the look.
This classic Florentine drink has its bitter notes tempered by sweet vermouth and orange. In fact, the game of bingo also shares its Italian roots, deriving from the 16th-century game Lotto d’Italia.
20ml Tanqueray Gin
20ml Sweet Vermouth (Cinzano)
Slice of orange
Combine all ingredients in a stout rocks glass with ice. They’re not only delicious, but a doddle to throw together, so they won’t interrupt the bingo calling the action.
These fun cocktails are guaranteed to lubricate the bingo proceedings fittingly. And now that your drinks are fully taken care of, you’ll have more time to think of humorous bingo calls to leave all your friends in stitches.