Recipes: Cocktails to Ring in The New Year


Cary, NC — When I plan a New Year’s get-together, I like to serve my friends signature cocktails.

Signature Cocktails

Serving a signature cocktail to your guests signals that you think they are special. You took the time to research something fun, buy the ingredients, and make a drink just for them. Because, let’s face it–anyone can go buy a bottle of champagne, but not everyone can pull off a delicious Champagne punch!

I did a fair amount of research on Pinterest for this story. The visual platform, with its appetizing photos and easy method of “pinning” ideas onto “boards” or categories, is a great way to do a lot of quick idea-gathering. In the past, I have used it to research everything from cabinet hardware to beach houses.

Mostly, though, I use it for recipes and Do-It Yourself projects. I currently have over 90 boards! Okay, I admit–I’m addicted to Pinterest like so many other women.

As the holiday season approached, I started searching for four things: a champagne cocktail, a punch, a non-alcoholic cocktail, and something “for the men.”

2014 Champagne Cocktail

This is dubbed Liam’s Midnight Champagne Toast and, based on the ingredients, toasted you will be after trying one of these babies. There’s a hint of orange and an added punch from some cognac–it’s definitely not just your boring glass of champagne. Recipe from HGTV’s blog.

To Make:

  1. Fill a large chilled wineglass with crushed ice.
  2. Add the following in exactly this order:
  • 4 oz champagne (something inexpensive)
  • 1/2 oz Cognac
  • 1/2 oz Grand Marnier (or other orange liquor)
  • Dash of Campari

Garnish with an orange wheel and serve.

New Year’s Punch

This colorful punch sets the holiday tone. You can make a big batch and have guests refill from a pitcher at the bar area so you can relax. Recipe from Between Naps on the Porch blog.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 bottle champagne (Korbel Brut works great)
  • Small amount of Grand Marnier (or any orange liqueur you prefer)
  • Red sugar
  • Green sugar

To Make:

  1. In a saucepan, bring water, sugar, cinnamon sticks and cloves to boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Discard cinnamon and cloves.
  4. Cool to room temperature and pour into a large pitcher.
  5. Add cranberry juice and pineapple juice.
  6. Chill in fridge until ready to serve.
  7. At serving time, add 1 bottle of chilled champagne.

One batch will serve about 12-15 champagne glasses. The recipe should be doubled (at least) for a large party, and the blogger suggested even quadrupling the recipe.

When serving, put red sugar, green sugar and Grand Marnier in a three-part dish or in three separate bowls. Dip the rim of the champagne glass into the Grand Marnier then into one of the sugars. Then pour the punch into the glass.

Note: This technique works best for the first round of drinks. After that, the guests are on their own.

Non-Alcoholic Cocktail

For the designated driver in your group, or for someone who just wants to take it easy for a change, this drink will make guests feel especially festive. It looks like champagne, but they’ll be as sober as a nun. Recipe from the HappyHome Life blog.

To Make:

  1. Mix together 2/3 pitcher ginger ale and 1/3 pitcher white grape juice.
  2. Add raspberries.
  3. Chill and enjoy.
  4. Serve in champagne flutes.

Drink for the Guys

This one has moonshine as the number one ingredient–and what Southern Man doesn’t like a little moonshine on occasion? Recipe from the Gatherings blog.


  • Ole Smoky® Blackberry Moonshine
  • Ole Smoky® White Lightnin’™
  • Ole Smoky® Peach Moonshine™
  • Champagne
  • Sour mix
  • Blackberry garnish

To Make:

  1. Mix equal parts of the three Ole Smoky moonshines and champagne with three parts sour mix in a Mason glass.
  2. Garnish with blackberries.

Happy New Year from CaryCitizen

Now you are set with an assortment of cocktails to choose from to get your party started. Whether you choose a punch, a cocktail, or a “mock-tail,” your guests are sure to appreciate the extra effort you made to try something a little different.

CaryCitizen wishes you all a safe and happy new year! See you in 2015!


Story by Lindsey Chester. Photo by Peter (Winston/Rexplex).