Playing hostess with the mostess this New Year's Eve? You go, girl. Taking on the task of hosting New Year's for your pals is no glittering piece of sparkler-lit cake. Most of all, the toll on your wallet can be harsh. Sub that expensive bottle full of bub for a more creative cocktail offering that is just as decadent as high class champagne and will leave you plenty of cab money for the night. Pro tip: when trying to save money on your bar situation, don't underestimate the effectiveness of a nice glass and some pretty garnishes.
This crisp cocktail is so simple and elegant, you'll want to sip it all night. It's lower alcohol content and natural stomach settling properites mean you can.
1/2 oz ginger syrup* (see below for recipe)
4 to 6 oz sparkling wine
Pour ginger syrup into a Champagne flute and top off with sparkling wine to taste. Makes one cocktail.
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Boil the ginger, sugar and water for about 2 minutes until thickened slightly. Strain out the solids, and add a tablespoon of vodka to preserve the syrup. It'll store for a couple week. Makes enough for 8 cocktails.
This tasty beverage is dessert and a cocktail in a glass! It's as pretty as an ice cream sundae, but much more season-appropriate. Sugar rush, anyone?
1.5 oz raspberry vodka
4 oz hot chocolate
1.5 oz steamed milk
1 oz melted dark chocolate
Melt the dark chocolate and dip rim of a mug into it to coat, then dip into holiday sprinkles. Add raspberry vodka and hot chocolate and top with steamed milk. Garnish with a candy cane for some added sweetness. Makes one cocktail.
Pear and Cranberry Bellini
The fruity stars of the holiday season, pear and cranberry, team up in this girl's night favourite. Save some for your New Years Day brunch! Move over mimosas.
1 cup pear nectar
1 cup cranberry juice cocktail
1 bottle Prosecco or other dry sparkling white wine
In a small pitcher, combine pear nectar and cranberry juice cocktail. Pour 1/4 cup juice mixture into each of eight champagne glasses. Dividing evenly, top with Prosecco or other dry sparkling white wine. Makes 8 cocktails.
Pear and Sparkling Cider
Make a batch of this in your punch bowl for an earthy-sweet drink that will warm you up on the most frigid of evenings.
2 cups pear nectar
2 cups sparkling apple cider
2 cups seltzer
4 oz bourbon whiskey
1 Bosc pear, unpeeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
Stir together pear nectar, cider, seltzer, and whiskey in a pitcher. Divide pear wedges among glasses and pour in cocktail glass. Makes 8 cocktails.
Winter White Cosmo
If your gal pals are cosmo lovers, treat them to this sweet and tart winter spin. It's right up there with eggnog and rum in festive flavour appeal, but has the creamy stuff beat for drinkability (bet you can't drink just one …)
3 oz. citron vodka
1 oz. white cranberry juice
½ oz. cointreau
1 oz. fresh lime juice
Shake up all ingredients with ice in a martini shaker and strain into chilled martini glasses. For the garnish, skewer mint sprigs and cranberries onto a toothpick for some glitz and place on the rim.
Here's a hearty cocktail for the beer lovers out there. Rich stout and sparkling wine combines in a pretty-looking layered drink. Created in 1861 to mourn the death of Prince Albert, this drink has a regal history – it's supposed to symbolize the black armbands worn by mourners. We just reckon it tastes awesome on a winters night.
5 oz chilled Guinness
1 ½ oz chilled champagne
Pour Guinness into champagne flute. Add champagne slowly so it floats on top of the Guinness.