New Year’s Eve Cocktail Recipe
New Year’s Eve cocktails should make you want to move, not nap. They should inspire dancing and conversation and trips back to the punch bowl or the bar or the fridge. We want bubbles and citrus. We want zippy flavors and bold colors. Your drink should feel celebratory because that’s what you’re doing. This isn’t the time for an ordinary drink.
Elevate your classic glass of bubbly simply by adding a bit of sugar and a few dashes of bitters. The long spiral of zest makes any drink look fancy.
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar or 1 sugar cube
- 3–5 dashes bitters (such as Angostura)
- 4 ounces Champagne or sparkling dry wine
- Long spiral lemon zest (for serving)
Combine sugar and bitters in a Champagne flute. Add a splash of Champagne and stir gently to combine. Pour in remaining Champagne; garnish with lemon zest.
You know how at parties you can get a little, uh, hot under the collar? That’s where we got the idea to take down the temperature of a classic hot toddy. This is a more refreshing approach to the seasonal mix of tea, citrus, spices, and rye whiskey.
- 1 medium orange
- 5–6 medium lemons
- 4 3″ cinnamon sticks
- 1 4″ piece ginger, peeled, smashed, plus more thinly sliced for serving
- 4 Earl Grey tea bags
- 1 tsp. whole cloves
- ⅔ cup honey
- 2 cups rye whiskey
- 1 tsp. orange or regular bitters
- Orange twists (for serving)
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the orange and 1 lemon in wide strips, leaving white pith behind. Slice fruit in half. Squeeze juice from the orange into a small bowl (you should have about ¼ cup). Squeeze juice from the lemon into a measuring glass. Slice remaining lemons in half. Squeeze the juice into a glass to measure 1 cup total; save any remaining lemon halves for another use. Set orange and lemon juice aside.
- Place zest in a small saucepan. Whack cinnamon sticks with the side of a chef’s knife to break up a little and add to a saucepan. Along with smashed ginger, tea bags, cloves, and 1¾ cups water. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat; let sit 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, then stir in honey; let cool completely, about 20 minutes.
- Strain tea mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher. Add rye, bitters, and reserved orange juice and lemon juice. Add 2 cups ice and stir until ice melts and toddy is very cold.
- To serve, pour toddy into tumblers filled with ice. Garnish with ginger slices and orange twists.
- Do Ahead: Make tea mixture can 3 days ahead; cover and chill. Make toddy 1 day ahead; cover and chill.
Sparkling Lemon Cocktail
If you pour the bubbly too quickly, the drink will foam up and over the edge of the glass.
- 2 Meyer or regular lemons, thinly sliced into rounds, seeds removed
- 8 sugar cubes
- 1½ teaspoons Angostura bitters
- 2 750 ml bottles dry Prosecco or other sparkling wine, chilled
Muddle lemons, sugar cubes, and bitters in a large measuring glass until lemon slices soften and sugar crushes. Divide mixture among 8 wine glasses; fill glasses with Prosecco, pouring very slowly.
Spiced Cherry Spritz
This deep maroon cocktail is cherry cola for adults but with a subtle, spicy, and not-too-sweet flavor.
- 2 oz. amaro (such as Nonino)
- 3 oz. Lambrusco
- Cherry soda (for serving)
- 1 maraschino cherry
Pour amaro and Lambrusco into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top off with a splash of soda, stir gently to combine, and garnish with cherry.
Hard Cider Spritz
Instead of lemon juice, you can use fresh grapefruit or orange juice; bourbon is a great sub for rye.
- 16 ounces dry hard cider
- 6 ounces apple cider
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- 1 ounce Aperol
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- Club soda (for serving)
- Apple slices (for garnish)
For each cocktail, pour 4 oz. hard cider, 1½ oz. apple cider, ½ oz. rye whiskey, ¼ oz. Aperol, and ¼ oz. lemon juice into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top off with club soda. Gently stir to combine and garnish with an apple slice.
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