Can you imagine ringing in the new ear without a drink in your hand? Usually it’s something sparkly, but it doesn’t have to be. When the clock strikes midnight, you can toast to a happy, healthy year to come with any beverage you choose. Here are some New Year’s Eve drinks for your toast or just for drinking throughout the evening until it’s time for the noise blowers and the streamers.
Drinks that sparkle
Champagne, sparkling wine and prosecco are the classic drinks to toast with at midnight, served straight out of the bottle or with a little something added as with these examples:
Pear Prosecco Cocktail – A syrup made with pear nectar and crushed cardamom gets topped with prosecco in this sparkling drink. The syrup can be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated until you’re ready to serve.
Sparkling wines aren’t your only drink options. These cocktails will take you though the night until the ball drops.
Pomegranate Vanilla Sangria – Fresh orange, apple, pear, and pomegranate are added to red wine, brandy, and pomegranate soda to create a large pitcher full of winter sangria that will be a crowdpleaser.
Seasonal Skinny Cocktail: Cranberry + Vanilla – Vodka, cranberries, orange juice and Truvia (that’s where the skinny comes in) are mixed with sparkling water for a low-calorie cocktail.
Aviation Cocktail – Want to make a cocktail that most of your guests are probably unfamiliar with? Try this Depression-era cocktail made with gin, maraschino liqueur (different from maraschino cherry juice) and lemon.
Baby, it’s cold outside! Warm up on New Year’s Eve with these hot drinks.
Mulled Red Wine – Here’s a great way to use a bottle of wine you were given as a holiday gift that isn’t what you’d normally drink. Mull it with spices and a little sugar and serve it warm.
Tom and Jerry Punch – A batter made with eggs (that can be made several days ahead of time) goes into a warm mug. Add rum, brandy, and boiling water or hot milk, and then top with grated fresh nutmeg. This is a 1950s classic warm party punch.
Peppermint Mocha – A DIY version of the popular, seasonal coffee house drink, coffee, cocoa and peppermint extract are combined in this hot drink that tastes like a melted chocolate mint candy.
New Year's Eve mocktails
You’re going to need a few options for the kids and the designated drivers on New Year’s Eve. Here are some non-alcoholic drinks for the ones who are abstaining.
Fresh Cranberry Orange Ginger Punch – Sweetened with honey, agave, or real maple syrup, this non-alcoholic punch is perfect for New Year’s Eve. The juice and zest of an orange along with fresh cranberries get a good whirl in the food processor to create a flavorful drink.
Frost Bite Mocktail – Blueberries float in a crystal, sparkling beverage that uses a lemon-lime soda for the fizz. With the flavors of lime, pineapple, and grape juice, this drink looks and has the feel of a cocktail, but it’s non-alcoholic.
Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider – Pomegranate juice and pressed apple cider are simmered together with spices and served warm. The drink can be kept warm in a slow cooker throughout the evening.
This story was originally published in 2011 and has been updated with new recipes in some instances.