|Photos shamelessly taken from Smirnoff's Facebook page|
Last Saturday night, I and a few hundred other lucky people were invited to one of Smirnoff’s Red Door parties.
When I first received my invite, I misread the address and thought that Smirnoff was taking over Annex institution The Madison, an idea I wasn’t sold on (the Madison’s always so cramped and crowded and there’s nowhere to dance). Turned out that the party was actually being hosted in a frat house located right beside the Madison, a location that really worked for the “house-party” theme that Smirnoff was aiming for.
I read somewhere that Smirnoff had rented the house for a week and from the way it was done up, I completely believe that. Smirnoff had clearly spent plenty of time and a good chuck of change turning the main floor, basement and yard in a party setting that you usually only see in alcohol commercials (for more photos, head over here).
The front of the house, and the main floor, received a complete Smirnoff-themed makeover that, when combined with the house’s original Edwardian features, looking really fucking good, while the basement got white sheets on all the walls, black lights on the ceiling and tons of feathers on the floor, which was something I’d never seen done before. The basement was actually my favourite room in the whole house, in part because someone had made the smart decision to load up Girl Talk, and only Girl Talk, on the sound system.
Most people though seemed to prefer the yard, which was done up with fake grass, plants and heat lamps. It’s also where the DJs were set up (several locals, including Zeds Dead performed, along with Sweden’s Cazzette).
Of course, while a great venue is crucial, it on its own can’t make a great party but you know what can? Free stuff. Everyone received two free drinks and then all subsequent drinks were a more than fair $3.50 (yes, only Smirnoff vodka was served but they did have all the different flavours available). There was also free candy, free pulled pork sandwiches, free custom-made, spray-painted t-shirts (if you were willing to wait in line) and you could try your luck on the free “claw” game, where you could win everything from an iPhone case to an iPod shuffle.
All this free stuff kept everyone kept happy and as a result, the attitude level among the guests was virtually zero. (I wonder if that was also partially due to the fact that the only people who were really there with a big group of friends were the guys who lived in the frat.) The staff hired to run this event was also quite friendly and chatty and really helped to add to the party’s overall fun and relaxed vibe.
I used my two free drink tickets to try out Smirnoff’s Fluffed Marshmallow flavour, which I know sounds gross but when mixed into club soda, tasted very much like vanilla Coke, which I love. So that was a pleasant surprise and really, “pleasant surprise” is probably the best way to sum up that whole night.