Ring in the New Year with Terrific Tipples!
This year, I will be celebrating NYE with my family in Arizona and not attending an overpriced shindig in New York City. While I am a lover of cocktails, I am not a fan of jam-packed events with strangers that cost $200+ per person. Last year, some of my Stern friends (Mark, Sean and Tom) hosted a get together at their apartment. It was a nice, low-key affair and no one projectile vomited. To me, this is a very positive outcome for one of the craziest nights of the year. In honor of the hosted event, I wanted to share some of my favorite celebratory recipes, both single format and large format, for you to imbibe on this December 31st. Cheers!
Large Format Drinks
A Crowd Pleaser that is Pleasing to the Eye: Southern Comfort Punch (recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart, your favorite convicted felon)
Ingredients: 6 lemons, 4 navel oranges, 2 six-ounce frozen lemonade concentrate, 1 six-ounce frozen orange juice concentrate, 2 liters lemon-lime soda, 1 liter Southern Comfort
Step 1: Line two baking sheets with plastic wrap, and set aside. Slice lemons into rounds as thin as possible. Arrange lemon slices in layers on one prepared baking sheet. Repeat with oranges; layer on second baking sheet. Place in the freezer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until fruit slices are frozen. LIZ NOTE: This is a game-changer! You can prepare the fruit days in advance and just have them ready in a ziplock (once they freeze on the baking sheet, remove and put in a baggie and they will not stick together). This way, as you refresh the recipe, you can keep it chilled and not dilute it!!
Step 2: Just before serving, open the cans of frozen lemonade and orange juice, and place the frozen concentrates, whole, in a large punch bowl. Add the soda, Southern Comfort, and several handfuls of ice. Remove frozen fruit slices from freezer, and arrange over the top of punch. Serve immediately.
Servings: The recipe says that is serves 12 - 20 people. LIZ NOTE: This is laughable. I tend to pre-prepare at least 2 batches of large format cocktails (for 10-15 people) with ingredients to make more quickly.
Spice up Store Bought Eggnog!
Ingredients: Premade eggnog (making it from scratch takes A LOT of effort and the purchased variety is just fine!), bourbon, nutmeg
Steps: Add bourbon in a ratio of 1:4 (bourbon to eggnog). Make sure to mix it really well and put into a serving container or just pour into glasses. Top with freshly grated nutmeg! LIZ NOTE: I would recommend using Bulleit Bourbon. If you have your own preference or prefer whisk(e)y - go with that! For the eggnog, I tried a Pumpkin Spice one and it was lovely!
Source: Me :)
Cocktails with St. Germain = Fancy: The Texas Sipper (recipe courtesy of Tito's Handmade Vodka)
Ingredients: 1.5 parts Tito’s Handmade Vodka, 0.5 parts St-Germain, 1.5 parts grapefruit juice, Top with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig. LIZ NOTE: I would substitute the Tito's with Smirnoff or Ketel One since I like to support my people!
Steps: Combine Tito’s, St. Germain, and juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain over fresh ice. Top with soda. Garnish with a mint sprig
Servings 1. LIZ NOTE: You can multiply all the ingredients (except the club soda) and pre-make a large batch for your party. When you serve it, just top off with club soda and the mint sprig.
Champagne & St. Germain = BF4L
Ingredients: Champagne (dry Champagne or sparkling wine) and St. Germain (elderflower liqueur). LIZ NOTE: St. Germain isn't a cheap option (unlike Triple Sec) yet it is versatile and worth the investment. You can use in multiple cocktails, like the one above :)
Steps: Pour 1/2 ounce chilled St. Germain into a Champagne flute. Top with Champagne. Enjoy!
Source: Myself :)
Keep Your Guests Awake with The Tiramisu Martini
Ingredients: 2 parts Rum Chata and 1 part Espresso Vodka. LIZ NOTE: For the vodka, I prefer Three Olives Triple Shot Espresso or Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka. Smirnoff used to make one, but it is no longer available! Rum Chata is amazingly delicious - think of the milk leftover in the bowl after you have Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal! Bailey's just released Vanilla Cinnamon which is very similar :)
Steps: Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate. LIZ NOTE: Drizzle chocolate syrup in the glasses and freeze. It makes a festive design and adds to the flavor profile of the cocktail as it melts! Yum!
I hope you have a fantastic New Year's Eve and start off 2014 in the company of your loved ones. If you choose to imbibe on this wonderful holiday, please do so responsibly. Thank you for visiting my site!