New Year’s Eve is usually a night defined by shots and straight champagne, quickly followed by decisions that wouldn’t have been made on literally any other night of the year. We think it’s time to change a bit of that. Let’s class up the party with a few cocktail options that’ll have people drinking and feeling like adults, not college freshman. Here are the cocktails you should drink this New Year’s Eve.

The Champagne Cocktail

We’re not exactly revolutionizing how people drink champagne on New Year’s Eve with this suggestion. It’s more that we wanted to remind people that champagne can be drunk in more ways than NASCAR victory spray and straight from the bottle as the clock strikes twelve. And honestly, the champagne cocktail tastes better anyway. By putting brandy and bitters into your champagne, you turn it into a drink worth savoring rather than a fizzy glass of wine you suffer through for the sake of the party’s atmosphere. Recipe


Bourbon Spiked Hot Cider

This one’s a personal favorite of ours and our friends are probably sick of coming over and finding out we have yet another pot of it on the stove. But if we’re hosting, we’re going to make what we want to drink. Besides, how can you complain about a pairing like this one? It takes one delicious seasonal drink (cider) and puts it with a delicious spirit (bourbon). The only reason we don’t drink it in the summer is because we can never seem to keep enough cider in the house. Recipe


Gordon’s Cup

A Gordon’s Cup will almost convince you to drink gin straight. There’s very little in the way of liquid mixers here, with just under an ounce of simple syrup. Otherwise, you’re basically dropping a ton of lime and cucumber into a gin glass. Doing do cuts any harshness you might have found in the gin in the first place, so you get to enjoy all of gin’s botanical goodness while enhancing it with its natural companions, lime and cucumber. The reason we’re suggesting this for New Year’s Eve is to help demonstrate it doesn’t need to be 80+ degrees outside with you sweating on a porch for you to drink a good gin, if that was even something you thought in the first place. Recipe


Clover Club

While we’re on the subject of gin, let’s talk about the Clover Club. It’s a drink that used to be wildly popular at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th, but fell out of favor once men started thinking twice about the color of their drinks. We get why, since there’s still some old-world prejudice we have to shake out of our heads when we drink something pink, but at the same time, the Clover Club is delicious, so who cares? It’s basically a gin sour with raspberry. Why would you ever stop enjoying that kind of flavor combination? Recipe


Smoked Rosemary Gin and Tonic

In fact, let’s do all our gin drinks in a row. On New Year’s Eve, you’re going to need a drink that won’t get you way too drunk in about two hours. A gin and tonic is that drink. You could make a straightforward one and we’d respect that, but since you’re already feeling like a mixologist, why not change it up? The main change you’ll be making here is the smoked rosemary, which you make by holding a sprig over a glass with ice in it and toasting it with a butane torch. Not close enough to set the thing on fire, just close enough to get the heat to release some of the rosemary’s scent and flavor. You’ll also need some bitters, but you probably already have those lying around. Recipe


New York Sour

The New York Sour is by no means a new cocktail, but it’s a cocktail we rarely hear about despite it being delicious and easy to make. Really all you need to do is make a regular whiskey sour and float red wine on top of it. It should go without saying but we’re talking about a proper whiskey sour, with real lemon and the optional (mandatory) egg white. And floating red wine on top is easier than it sounds. All you need is a spoon and a steady pouring hand. For the red wine, we recommend something heavier and unfiltered. It gives it some special weight. Recipe


El Presidente

This recipe is for a single drink, but we highly recommend scaling it up and making it into a punch (relatedly, virtually any alcoholic punch is a good idea for your party). It’s fairly strong, so give people a warning and don’t let anyone walk around with a full Solo cup’s worth, but it’ll be a big hit with anyone who likes rum more than they like whiskey. It’s hard to believe those people might exist, but they do and sometimes we have to cater to them. Give them this and there’s nothing they can complain about. Recipe


Fallout Stimpack Shot

At first we thought this was a sponsored video, so finding out it wasn’t was a nice step in convincing us to make this drink. The recipe and the practicality of shooters did the rest. We say the practicality because, while we’re not generally shot guys, we can appreciate the motivation behind them. Especially for a New Year’s party, shots can help establish the atmosphere pretty quickly, and a shot that doesn’t have Jolly Rancher, Jello, or body in the name can emphasize that while we’re doing shooters, this is an adult party for people who want to get sensibly buzzed. Also, we love Fallout and this drink is delicious. Recipe


Hot White Russian

This may be the one thing the Dude can’t abide. And now that we have our mandatory Big Lebowski reference out of the way, we can talk about the drink itself.

A hot white Russian has to be the least appetizing name we’ve heard. Half the appeal of the white Russian is its dense coolness. But the temperature isn’t the only thing that changes about the drink in this recipe. You’re also adding freshly brewed coffee and whipped cream. That makes it a viable, classy option for the part of your party where you head up to a freezing cold rooftop to watch the fireworks. Recipe


Wassail

We’ve spoken at length about the history of wassail and its deep roots in late December holidays, so we’ll leave most of that story in our earlier article. What we’ll say here is wassail is possibly the perfect winter party drink. Most recipes have you mixing up a ton of it all at once, and if you think it somehow isn’t going to be enough, the recipes scale very easily. Other than that, it’s perfect because it’s a moderately alcoholic drink that goes a long way. The recipe we’ve picked mixes hard cider and two kinds of red wine, so you’ll definitely get a buzz here, but it’s low enough that you won’t have a debacle on your hands. It’s also delicious. Recipe

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