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13th Dec 2018

The JOE guide to hosting a proper Matesmas this year


In partnership with The Singleton

Matesmas > Christmas

It’s that time of year, folks. It’s time to sit around the fire with your reindeer socks on, it’s time to watch the same rom-com for the 40th time, it’s time to gorge yourself silly until your belt buckle reaches breaking point.

That’s right, it’s Christmas, and that means its Matesmas as well. No, not Christmates. That’s not what it’s called. That would be stupid. It’s Matesmas. Got it? Yeah? Good. Matesmas.

Matesmas is Christmas, basically. But it’s also better than Christmas. A lot better, and for one simple reason. It’s Christmas, but with your mates. It’s that period just before Christmas day where you meet up with your old school friends, university flatmates, theatre group, ultimate frisbee team, whoever it is and however you know them, and go through your time honoured ritual to celebrate just about the only period of the year everyone has time off work at the same time. Oh, and exchange joke presents. The joke presents are good, too.

So, with that in mind, JOE have teamed up with The Singleton to deliver the only guide you need for hosting Matesmas this year before you put your feet up on the big day itself and eat pigs in blankets until you feel sick. The Singleton is an easygoing Whisky – perfect then for Matesmas, an easygoing day.

1. Choice of venue

Choice of venue is important. Choice of venue is crucially important. Usually, we’d just suggest the pub, but this is Matesmas. You’ll be at the pub enough over the festive period, and more importantly, it will be absolutely rammed every time. Rather than attempting to elbow your way to the bar to get served, just have it yourself, and impress your mates with your newfound, sophisticated hosting skills.

Or, even better, persuade your friend with the nicer flat to host instead. Tell them they have to, because they have a nicer flat. Compliments are key. And this way, they’ll have to do all the work instead. (You can just tag them in this article. Easy.)

2. Choice of company

Your mates, obviously, but make sure it is just your mates. This isn’t an evening for partners, cousins, associates, work colleagues or even your mates’ mates. Or your mates’ mates’ mates’ mates.

This is just the key circle, the core group, not the people in the wider group chat the people in the secret group chat. Keep it that way. Keep it special. Keep it a proper Matesmas.

3. Choice of beverage(s)

There is nothing, and I mean nothing, better than a festive drink. Bring out the classics, the mulled wine and the eggnog… if you are boring. Who is that going to impress?

But, if you really want to flip the script and give the people something new, something that breaks all those so-called rules around drinking whisky and allow you to drink it however you want.

Give them ‘The Singleton Pigs in Blanket Old Fashioned’ which I promise you, is every single bit as good as it sounds and is here to be unapologetically enjoyed.

To make this delightful concoction all you need to do is:

  • Grill 30 x pigs in blankets over a baking tray
  • From the cooked pigs in blankets collect 30ml of the fat and strain it into a sealable container, filled with 70cl of The Singleton (30 units of alcohol)
  • Leave the fat to steep in the whisky for 6-8 hours or overnight, at room temperature, before placing the bottle in the freezer
  • Once the fat has infused, strain the whisky in to a new bottle of The Singleton

And to make a The Singleton Pigs in Blankets Old Fashioned – the connoisseur’s choice of cocktail:

  • 40ml of The Singleton infused with pigs in blanket (1.6 units of alcohol)
  • 5 ml Maple syrup
  • 2 dash Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Serve up a few of these bad boys and we can give you our word here at JOE that everybody will be suitably impressed with this bold drink.

If you’re looking for an easier alternative, try The Singleton and soda with a slice of orange.

For those new to whisky, a The Singleton in Soda is a good alternative to those who usually go for a G&T.

4. Choice of snacks

Snacks are vital, they’re the all-important glue to any social gathering. Rather than actual glue, opt for a combination of Christmas classics like mince pies and more sophisticated dinner-party staples, such as a fancy cheese board and cracker selection.

Better yet, Matesmas takeaways are always encouraged if you fancy upping the ante from snacks to a full-blown meal. My own personal Matesmas consists of a quiet, candlelit dinner of an Indian takeaway with my pals. It is magical; every, single, time.

5. Choice of entertainment

The debate of what Christmas movie to watch consumes the lives of families up and down the country every single year during the festive period.

Fortunately, no such issue arises on Matesmas. Get in the loft and find the old board games you use only once a year, dust off charades, give the cards a blow and revel in the teamwork (shouting) and communication skills (even louder shouting) that you and your mates will need to emerge victorious.

Your friendship will be tested and somebody will storm out of the room, but that’s what the festive period is all about, isn’t it?

Happy Matesmas one and all.

Please drink responsibly. For more information on The Singleton Whisky head here