söndag 4 maj 2014

Eurovision 2014: Matching drinks for songs in semifinal 1

Long drinks or cocktails? Sweet or sour? Strong or non-alcoholic? Creamy or clear? Each song in Eurovision is like a cocktail (in many ways). Let's make it simple and stick to the beverages and try to find the perfect match between the songs and the drinks. I hope you and the contestants will like my suggestions. Cheers to Semifinal 1 and good luck to the participants.

1. Armenia: Aram MP3 "Not alone"
My thoughts goes to a thriller with James Bond. This song is drama and aggressiveness but it also has a sophisticated touch. The natural choice of drink would be a Dry Martini but personally I don’t like ‘Dry’. An Apple Martini has more to offer - sour, soft, smooth and powerful, as the song.

1 part vodka
1 part Sour Apple schnapps
1 part apple juice
Splash of Lime Juice
Garnish: Apple Slice, crushed ice

2. Latvia: Aarzemnieki  "Cake To Bake"
Eating cakes makes you thirsty but I’m not convinced about the quality of the Latvian home baked cakes. I have a feeling that the bakery is somewhere in a student dorm. Students used to suffer from lack of money so some cheap red wine will be the drink for the Aarzemniekis. I will dream myself away to my own student years – ages ago - but without the cheap wine. 

3. Estonia: Tanja "Amazing"
2014 is a year filled with ballads and it doesn’t happen very often that I feel like dancing. "Amazing" is an exception and I want to put my dancing shoes on. After the dancefloor we cool down with a fresh Mojito. I hope Tanja likes it too.
3 fresh mint sprigs
2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 ounces white rum
1 1/2 ounces club soda.
Ice and garnish with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint

4. Sweden: Sanna Nielsen "Undo"
Sophisticated Sanna is singing as a goddess, despite the looney who hurt her so. The bitterness in the song makes me a bit moody. To ‘undo the pain’ and relieve the damaged hearts, I suggest a vodka on the rocks, decorated with a cherry. Hopefully it can drown the sorrows until the next song.

5. Iceland: Pollapönk "No Prejudice" 
No Prejudice is a ‘happy-go-lucky-tune’ with a simple but important message: “inside we’re the same”. Originally the lyrics were in Icelandic but since they were translated into English the song got a string of British soft-punk. I think the Pollapönk-boys would appreciate an Irish whiskey.

6. Albania: Hersi "One Night's Anger" 
Waking up in the morning, looking out over the fields and longing for a cup of coffee. Suddenly the weather is changing. The sun disappears and a thunderstorm is on the way. A warm Rakomelo will ’free your mind’.
250 ml Greek raki liqueur
3 teaspoons of honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 clove
Boil all the ingredients together for one minute. Serve.

7. Russia: Tolmachevy Sisters "Shine"
I wish all the best for the singing twins and I also wish that the lyrics in their song, “Telling all the world to show some love”, will be transformed into actual deeds. Therefore I recommend a non-alcoholic Cinderella cocktail.
1 dl orange juice
1 dl apple juice
0,5 dl lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar syrup
0,5 dl soda (7-up, sprite)
Shake and strain into an ice-filled highball glass, and add soda. Garnish with a slice of lemon or orange.

8. Azerbaijan: Dilara Kazimova "Start A Fire"
Cool and soft, with more teardrops than fire. The best way to handle teardrops is with champagne but unfortunately the song doesn't live up to the champagne-level. We can offer sparkling wine instead and add some crème de chassis to hide the fact that we are out of champagne for the moment. Your Kir Royal is served.
1-2 teaspoon creme de cassis
Fill the glass with dry sparkling wine  

9. Ukraine: Mariya Yaremchuk "Tick-Tock"
Oh oh oh – it is ticking and tocking, kissing til’ dropping. The song has a hook and meanwhile it goes on in an easy-peasy-way I suggest you to order a White Lady.
2 parts Gin
1 part Cointreau orange liqueur
2 parts lemon juice
Shake well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass

10. Belgium: Axel Hirsoux "Mother"

Axel sings fantastic and it's nothing wrong with the song. But I can’t help it - I get an unpleasant feeling. Most of all I feel sorry for this full-grown man who is singing "You're all I have mother". How can we help him? Maybe a glass of milk will be the solution. 

11. Moldova: Cristina Scarlat "Wild Soul"
The beginning of the song is hidden in a shadow of darkness, supported by Cristina’s husky and intense voice. The key change and the strong refrain cheer me up and I feel revitalized. If you don’t get the same feeling I recommend a Jägermeister shot, or a Killepitsch if you are from Düsseldorf.

12. San Marino: Valentina Monetta "Maybe (Forse)"
Snow in May and minus degrees during nights - a reality in Sweden. This song reminds me how fantastic it is to feel the warmth of the sun. Give me summer, after beach and one of the world's most famous drinks - Singapore Sling.
30 ml gin
15 ml Cherry Heering
10 ml Triple sec (orange liqueur)
15 ml lemon juice
120 ml pineapple juice
10 ml Grenadine
A splash of Angostura Bitter
A splash of Bénédictine
Pineapple slice and maraschino cherry for garnish

13. Portugal: Suzy "Quero Ser Tua"
The content of the song is “Eu quero ser tua, OH OH OH OH OH! = I want to be yours, OH OH OH OH OH!” My aim is to always support Portugal. My dream is to go to Lisboa for Eurovision. But this year – no, I can't. This is cheap Sangria dated mid-1980s. Sorry, but you have to look for the recipe yourself.

14. The Netherlands: The Common Linnets "Calm After The Storm"
Sitting in a car on an empty road without an end. Discussions about tomorrow, or about yesterday. The theme of the song goes on in a serene mood without a refrain disturbing the slow flow. I like the peaceful approach but after a couple of minuts the song needs a ‘wake-up-drink’. Send Ilse and Waylon a bottle of Jack Daniels.  


15. Montenegro: Sergej Ćetković  "Moj Svijet"

Montenegro represents the Balkan sound this year. Thanks for that. I wish there were more songs of this kind. According to the lyrics Sergej is lost and want somebody to find him. I don’t know where he is but I hope he have something to drink. Cold or warm, sweet or bitter or at least a cup of tea.

16. Hungary: András Kállay-Saunders "Running"

Such a sad story about how miserable life can be. I feel sorry for András, the children, the adults and everybody. Whether you are from Hungary or somewhere else, my recommended ‘medicine’ is the Hungarian Unicum. The ultimate drink for all kinds of diseases and moods.

Which drinks are the most popular ones? On Tuesday we will have the result. 10 will qualify for the final on Saturday.

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