New Year's Cocktails & Drinks
Vanilla-Fig Champagne Sparkler
The festive combo of cinnamon, vanilla, and figs make a tasty way to welcome the New Year, but this fantastic flavor trio will also keep you celebrating all fall and winter. Cheers!
Port of Call Punch
The muddling technique draws complex flavors from the lemon, making the beverage floral, bracing, and irresistible. A sprinkling of grated nutmeg on top adds a warm, soothing, fragrant layer to the punch, which is remarkably complex-flavored despite having only 6 ingredients. Ruby port has spent less time cask-aging than tawny port, and so is a little sweeter and fruitier, perfect in this recipe. This drink has a lower alcohol content than standard cocktails, a great quality in a punch that's meant to refresh as much as relax.
Pink Grapefruit and Lychee Cocktail
Pink grapefruit, a popular winter fruit, stars in this pretty beverage. Look for canned lychee fruit, which has a delicately sweet flavor, in the ethnic food aisle at the supermarket or at Asian groceries. Use the leftover lychees in a fruit salad.
Honey Cider Cocktails
The cider-honey base of this beverage makes enough for both adult and kid twists: one with pale ale, the other with sparkling cider. Beer and cider are refreshing and lower in sugar and alcohol than stronger potions, which tend to go down a bit too easily.
Sparklers say celebration like no other beverage. But a fizzy toast when the ball drops doesn't require dropping big bucks. Whipping up a batch of bubbly-backed cocktails is a simple way to stretch each bottle, all the while instilling party-perfect personality into your evening's signature sippers. Win your next holiday cocktail hour with this Ruby Spritzer. Cheers!
Adding hard cider to this beer creates a cocktail with a tangy edge and sweet notes to round it out. This frothy blend is a perfect way to dress up your beer for the occasion and create new flavors with any hard ciders that you have on hand.
Lemon-Gin Sparkling Cocktails
Loosely based on the French 75, a classic cocktail of gin, Champagne, lemon juice, and sugar, this welcoming beverage uses lemonade concentrate as a shortcut. Be sure to allow the concentrate to thaw ahead of time. You'll use almost a whole bottle of Champagne; the rest goes into the dessert. If time allows, you can use a quick simple syrup with lemon juice: Combine 3 tablespoons each of sugar, lemon juice, and water; microwave for 1 minute, and cool.
Citrusy Gin and Blood Orange Punch
If the word "punch" makes you think of old-fashioned, too-sweet concoctions, this drink will be a revelation. Don't skip the oleo saccharum stage: The mix of oils and other citrus flavors that come from the muddling gives amazing body to the final drink.
Warm Spiced (and Spiked) Cabernet
Warm guests up with this sweet spiced wine punch. Whole cloves, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and orange juice infuse the wine with citrusy flavor with a hint of spice, while two bottles of cabernet sauvignon and brandy make it especially boozy. Press cloves into the peel of quartered orange. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat (do not boil). Reduce heat to low, and cook 30 minutes. Garnish this punch with a cinnamon stick or orange slices. See our Apple Cider Recipes for more boozy winter drinks.
Fresh Pear Cocktail
We adore this drink, with fresh pear juice (easy to make!) lending its unmistakable sweet flavor and fragrance. It still makes us swoon exactly as we first published it.
Harissa Bloody Marys
Kick off your festivities with this fun take on the classic brunch beverage. Molly likes to boost her version with harissa, a traditional Tunisian chile paste with a spicy, pleasantly bitter edge. "I just love those flavors," she explains, "and they're not common around Grand Forks, North Dakota. I really like being able to introduce a new ingredient like harissa to my community through a more familiar thing like a Bloody Mary." Look for harissa in cans, jars, or tubes on the international foods aisle or with the specialty sauces. If you can't find it, substitute a few dashes of hot sauce. Garnish as desired with celery stalks, lime wedges, and pickles. You can combine everything except the club soda a day ahead; give it a good stir before serving, and top off with club soda at the last minute.
Champagne Limoncello Cocktails
A sugared rim is a pretty touch—rub a cut lemon wedge on the rim of the glass, and roll in sugar. You needn't purchase expensive Champagne; just be sure to use brut, the driest Champagne, or a dry cava or prosecco.
This old-fashioned drink is reminiscent of decadent egg custard. You can easily double or triple the speedy recipe to serve a bigger crowd.
Blood orange and pomegranate collaborate into a fashionably refreshing cocktail. Garnish with a lime twist, if desired.
White wine may eventually lose its flavor after uncorking, but why waste it? Here, we perk up leftover wine with sparkling apple-cranberry cider and add fresh apples, pears, and grapes for an autumn-themed spin on the popular drink.
The Westview Cocktail
In New York, it's common to name stirred rye cocktails after neighborhoods. This one is named for a historic neighborhood in Atlanta. You'll make more infused whiskey than you need for this cocktail—a good thing, as it's a delicious winter sipper.
Candy Apple Punch
Cinnamon candies and cranberry-apple drink help give this party-ready punch its fun, bright red color. For a toddy version, adults can substitute 1 cup rum for 1 cup water.