Cheers-Worthy Cocktails for New Year’s Eve! This New Year’s Eve is going to look different than most: no big parties, bar crawls, or camp-outs in Times Square (never understood that one much anyway). Still, as this charmer of a year comes to a close, you deserve a drink or two to ring in what we all hope will be a better, more promising 2021.
Whether you’re celebrating with your family, your roommates, or even just yourself, here are a few delicious, NYE-appropriate cocktails that you can make at home, regardless of your experience level. That said, to make cocktails the right way you need a few tools. If you’re completely new to the cocktail game and want a crash course on what you need to get started, click here! Otherwise, check out the recipes below!
This drink is essentially a cold weather twist on a Cosmo. It’s one of the first cocktails I ever learned to make, and I’m still making it because it’s just that easy and good. It’s floral, fruity, sweet, tart, and an all-around beauty for winter nights when you want to feel a little glamorous: In other words, New Year’s Eve.
- 1.5 oz (45 ml) vodka
- .5 oz (15 ml) St. Germain (or other elderflower liqueur)
- 1.5 oz (45 ml) white cranberry juice (most large grocery stores carry this in the non-refrigerated juice aisle)
- .5 oz (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
- lemon twist for garnish (lemon twist just means a peel - you don’t need to flex the way I did)
- Combine the vodka, St. Germain, white cranberry juice, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Seal your shaker and use both hands (one on the top and one around the middle) to shake as hard as you can for 10-15 seconds until the shaker feels very cold. Strain into a martini glass, garnish with your lemon twist, and enjoy!
- If you’re making this for more than just yourself, this is an easy one to batch ahead in a pitcher. To do this, multiply the quantities by the number of drinks you’ll want and add them all to your pitcher. Refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve it, and then fill the pitcher with ice and stir for a few seconds to combine. Pour into glasses filled with fresh ice and garnish.
As you might have gathered from the name, the Negroni Sbagliato is a twist on the classic Negroni. Whereas the Negroni is equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari (which is a bitter-sweet Italian liqueur), this lighter twist on the cocktail swaps out the gin for prosecco or other sparkling wine. This actually makes it perfect for New Year’s Eve, because you might be picking up a bottle or two of bubbly anyway. This drink is a little bitter and a little sweet with refreshing acidity from the prosecco. Keep this one in your back pocket for celebrations and brunch orders.
- 1 oz (30 ml) Campari
- 1 oz (30 ml) sweet vermouth
- 1 oz (30 ml) prosecco
- 1 dash orange bitters (optional)
- orange twist for garnish (again, a simple peel will do – no need to carve it up)
- Fill a rocks glass with ice and pour in the sweet vermouth, Campari, sparkling wine, and bitters.
- Gently stir to combine (don't go crazy; we want it to stay fizzy).
- Garnish with an orange twist and enjoy!
Don’t be fooled by the name – this twist on a whiskey sour is good through the winter. The classic whiskey sour is just three simple ingredients: whiskey, lemon, and simple syrup. The fall sour swaps out the simple syrup for maple syrup and gets shaken with fresh rosemary, making for a delicious, woody, balanced, and perfectly wintery cocktail.
- 2 oz (60 ml) bourbon or rye whiskey
- 1 oz (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
- .5 oz (15 ml) maple syrup
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, plus 1 for garnish
- 1 large lemon peel for spritzing (cut this off the lemon before you juice it)
- Fill your cocktail shaker with ice and add your whiskey, lemon juice, maple syrup, and 1 rosemary sprig. We would typically stir whiskey cocktails, but in this case, shake the drink instead for 10-15 seconds as hard as you can to ensure that the maple syrup is fully incorporated.
- Strain into a glass of your choice and garnish with the remaining rosemary sprig.
- For the finishing touch, hold your lemon peel over the drink with the skin side facing the surface. Use your fingers to bend the peel towards you. This will spritz the oils in the lemon peel all over your drink, which will make it smell and taste extra lovely. Drop the lemon peel in, sip, and enjoy!
Ward grew up with a love for all things food and eating, which led him to study hospitality at Cornell University. There, he developed new interests for event planning, mixology, and beverage management. Since graduating in 2019, Ward’s passion for recipe development has only grown. In June, Ward launched bakingbuzzed.com (@bakingbuzzed on Instagram), where he shares easy to follow, well-tested cocktail and baking recipes for people of all tastes and experience levels. He’ll be a regular contributor on ScheckEats, so check him out on Instagram and stay tuned for recipes to come.