Food

5 Cocktails & Mocktails For Your New Year’s Eve Party

New Year time equals party and merry drinking time. More and more people prefer staying in for house parties than venturing out in the chaotic club scene. Combine that with steep costs for a new year's night out and drunken driving hazards; it seems best to stay warm indoors with loved ones and have a great time.

But that also means a lot preparation anxiety for the hosts of the soiree. While it's easy to order in good food, it's not so easy with the drinks. And let's be honest... New Year's Eve is as almost more about the drinks than the food.

So here we give you 5 Cocktails and Mocktails (for the teetotallers and pregnant ladies?) that are appreciated by all palettes and can be easily made at home in copious quantities.

Cocktails

1) The Cape Codders

Cape Codders are drinks that are a shot of liquor poured over ice and topped with a mixer. It's easy, it's economical and most importantly it's convenient. There are many variants you can do with this and most of them will find many takers. In fact, you may not even need much else. Gin and tonic, vodka and cranberry juice, rum (both white and dark) with coke are the best combinations covering all spirit choices. You just cannot go wrong with these.

2) Mojitos

All parties need Mojitos. It's one of the most popular drinks and easy to prepare. All you need is some white rum, mint leaves, lime wedges and sugar all mixed and churned up, topped with club soda and voila, you have yourself this yummy Cuban drink that's as good on the tropical beach as it is on the couch in your house. A word of caution, don't forget to mix them well.

3) Sangria

Here's something for the wine lovers. In the sea of spirit based cocktails is a wine based concoction that's as healthy as it's heady (well, it has fruits!). Take 3 parts red wine, 1 part orange juice and two parts lemonade. Mix it all up with pieces of finely sliced fruit of your choice; add ice if required, garnish and serve! Simple, easy and oh so yummy! Make a huge pitcher and keep topping up the glasses.

4) Margarita

This one is for the hard core tequila drinkers. A lovely Mexican cocktail made with simple ingredients packs a lot of punch. You need 2 parts tequila, of course and 1 part triple sec and 2 parts lime juice. Shake it all with ice in a blender, strain into a glass and it's done!

5)Whiskey Sour

If we are to cover all spirit bases, we can't leave behind the universal, the good old whiskey. We need to be fair to all our guests and in India, whiskey drinkers form the majority. So here is a cocktail especially for them. Whiskey Sour is also quite simple to make. You need one part whiskey of your choosing, one part lemon juice, some powdered sugar, ice and a lemon wedge. Shake it all together in the cocktail shaker, strain and serve in a martini glass.

Mocktails

1) Virgin Pina Colada

Made as a smoothie with bananas and pineapples, this is a non-alcoholic's twist on the traditional pins colada. Mix the sliced fruits with ice and low fat yogurt and blend. You could also add some milk or even ice cream to even out the consistency and enhance the richness. Pour in a tall glass and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

2) Sparkling Pink Lemonade

This pretty looking drink is an all-time favorite and the easiest thing to prepare. Light on the palette with a punchy refreshment factor, it goes down well with most foods and cuisines. You need three parts lemonade and two parts cranberry juice mixed together and poured over ice in a tall glass. Makes for a yummy treat for the eyes and the tummy.

3) Ginger Fizz

This zingy sparkly drink is perfect for the season. It provides the much needed spicy kick. Heat ginger, sugar and lemon slices in a pan with little bit of water. Bring to the boil and cook until the sugar dissolves. Take off the heat, leave to cool, and then press through a sieve. Pour into a pitcher and top up with sparkling water and extra lemon slices.

4) Virgin Chocolate Martini

Here's a virgin take on the new-age modern classic, chocolate martini. You need to combine one part of your favorite chocolate syrup with two parts whole milk and blend it with ice in a shaker. Pour into cocoa powder rimmed chilled martini glasses and garnish with chocolate shavings. This is a drink that even kids would relish the next morning with breakfast!

5) Fruit Punch

Fruit punch is the universal non-alcoholic beverage that is a safe bet to serve from school proms to baby showers. It is super healthy since its nothing but a mash up of many fruit juices, only if they are not the concentrated kinds. Here I'm sharing with you my favorite version of this citrusy goodness. It's simple, it's easy, it's delish.

You need to take three parts each of orange and cranberry juice and ginger ale. Add two parts pineapple juice and 1 part lemon juice. Mix it all together in a big punch bowl and add circularly sliced pieces of sweet lime and orange. Add ice if needed. Use a ladle to serve.

These are some of the quintessential recipes but don't be afraid to be a little adventurous and experiment. But make sure to taste and test your innovations before you serve it to your guests.

If you get to an interesting and easy to make cocktail/ mocktail you can also share the same at tips@lifehacker.co.in

Have a happy new year y'all!


Photo by: mountainhiker (flickr)
Disha Bathija is a fashion marketing professional and writes on design and lifestyle.
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