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Andy Cohen says claims that CNN wants to curb his drinking on the network’s annual New Year’s Eve show have been greatly exaggerated.
Responding to a report that CNN had banned its hosts from consuming alcohol during this year’s New Year’s Eve broadcast, Cohen says the supposed directive from CNN boss Chris Licht may not apply to himself or co-host Anderson Cooper.
“CNN said the correspondents will not be drinking,” Cohen clarified to Rolling Stone Thursday. “Anderson and I will be the people partying on CNN [though] we will be partying responsibly,” he says.
“My job is to take Anderson out of his comfort zone [and] my job is to be a party ringleader for everyone watching us on New Year’s Eve,” Cohen explains. “And that is what I will continue to do. And as a matter of fact,” the host declares: “If the correspondents are not drinking this year, I will be partying even harder on their behalf.”
Though Cohen and Cooper have famously done tequila shots on air during CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live festivities, the Bravo host may be drinking from a can this year, thanks to his new partnership with Fresca.
The popular citrus-flavored soft drink has launched its new Fresca Mixed collection, a line of premium, pre-mixed cocktails crafted with Fresca. Shoppers can choose from a Fresca Mixed Tequila Paloma or a classic Vodka Spritz.
Cohen says the new partnership is something he’s been manifesting for years. “I’ve been drinking Fresca and tequila since Watch What Happens Live premiered, which was 13 years ago, and I call them Fresquilas,” he tells Rolling Stone. “And I’ve been so associated with Fresca and tequila for years, that people know that at any event I do, there’s always Fresca there. And so I’m psyched that Fresca now has finally paired my two favorite things [together].”
The new canned cocktails are available online at sites like Target and Total Wine. A four-pack of 12 oz. cans retails for about $9.99. Fresca says you can drink the Fresca Mixed cocktails straight out of the can or poured over ice in a traditional cocktail glass.
Cohen says he’ll be enjoying his Fresca cocktails at home in New York for the holidays, hosting Thanksgiving for the first time. “I go to St. Louis every year to my sister’s, and then before that, my mom would host it,” he explains. “So this year, instead of making me fly home with my two kids, they are very nicely coming here. I have no travel plans.”
Of course Cohen will have plans on New Year’s Eve, hosting CNN’s live broadcast from Times Square once again with his good friend Cooper. “One of the very cool things about doing New Year’s Eve with Anderson is that I don’t have to plan anything,” Cohen says. “New Year’s Eve is a holiday that stresses people out; it rarely delivers. For me now, this is going to be my sixth year, and it has delivered every year. I absolutely love it.”
As for the whole “no drinking” thing, Cohen says he’s not exactly concerned. “It’s fun for me because I’m a guest on CNN, so I’m like a visitor,” he says. “I’m going to just march back to Bravo at 12:30 in the morning and be done with it. And so I can kind of torch the place while I’m there, and then head out.”