Pour a Signature CocktailThe perfect way for a hostess to start off a New Year's Eve party is by debuting a signature cocktail. I mixed one last year and it was a big hit. Below is the recipe for a "Very Berry in Love" low-calorie alcoholic cocktail with fresh berries that will make any hostess look like a gourmet mixologist. Just remember to have a batch pre-mixed before your guests arrive so you aren't stuck behind the bar/kitchen all evening.
1/4 cup mixed fresh berries mashed with a muddler tool
1 1/2 ounces Skinnygirl Meyer Lemon Vodka
2 ounces Strawberry Lemonade Skinnygirl Sparkler
Fresh blackberries & Lemon wedge, for garnish
If Vodka isn't your liquor of choice, you can substitute the Meyer Lemon Vodka for any brand of White Rum. The beauty about Skinnygirl Sparklers is that they have a hint of fizz and only 5 calories per serving. It can also virtually be mixed in any way with liquor and will still taste great. You can even mix with white wine to make your own Skinnygirl Spritzer.
ChampersWhat is a New Year's Eve celebration without some bubbly and hearing that wonderful noise of a cork being popped open? As you probably know, Champagne can only be called so if it's from the Champagne region of France. The rest is called just "Sparkling Wine" or in Italy it's referred to as "Prosecco" and "Cava" in Spain.
An alternative to traditional champagnes and sparkling wines, is a new release from JP Chenet, the #1-selling wine brand in France. Called JP Chenet Ice Edition, it’s crafted to be served over ice without becoming diluted. Pale yellow in the glass with a steady stream of fine bubbles, JP Chenet Ice Edition boasts a lovely nose full of white flowers, tropical fruits and citrus. It's affordable too, priced at just $19.99 per 750 ml bottle.
Add Frozen CranberriesTo brighten up that glass of champagne without mixing in sugar-filled juices, simply freeze some cranberries and pop them into each flute for a fun look as they bob about and also chill the drink too!
Give a Proper Toast - New Year's Eve ToastsI pride myself on sharing the right toast or speech at the right moment, however, I'm running out of material, which is why I sourced June Cotner's book Toasts: The Perfect Words to Celebrate Every Occasion. It is the essential reference for any milestone where one needs to raise a glass, including holidays like New Year's Eve.
Here are just two New Year's toasts that Cotner highlights in her useful guide:
- "May your jobs be many and the tears be few; peace to the world and much love to you."
- "Here's to the blessings of the year, Here's to the friends we hold so dear, To peace on earth, both far and near!"
Shot through the heart!
No bartender? No problem. For those looking to get the party started, try LIQs line of premium "cocktail shots." LIQs takes mixology quality recipes and puts them in pre-mixed, ready-to-drink shots. They are portable and ready to be enjoyed anywhere, anytime, and are perfect for starting off your night in or out! Flavors include: Tequila Cinnamon Orange, Vodka Cucumber Lime, Vodka Lychee Grapefruit and Vodka Kamikaze. Available at retail in NY, Florida, Texas and Massachusetts (Random FYI - I've lived in three of those states and the fourth I was married in, lol.) Six LIQs shots cost only $17.98, but you can easily triple that cost if you purchased six shots from a bartender, plus tip.
End the night right. Salute!
My father also loved the Italian spirit and would order it after dinner at the finer Italian restaurants that would carry it. He would always let me fish out the espresso beans so I could suck out the sweet anise liquor. It feels like just yesterday, but in all likelihood it was probably over 15 years ago.
This year, I'm picking up some coffee beans from Trader Joe's and a bottle of Molinari Sambuca Extra (SRP: $25.99) and for those not wanting to say goodnight just yet, I'll have my Nespresso Pixie machine ready and can simply add a teaspoon of Molinari to their espresso. It's a great way to sweeten the drink instead of using sugar or cream too.
The Next Day for Hangovers
I love New Year's Eve, but not so much the morning after. Last year, it was especially tough now that I have to be up and ready for the kids by 8 a.m. This time I will be stocking up on Coconut Water with electrolytes, which has all the health boosts and benefits as a Gatorade, without the artificial stuff.
Another healthy alternative is all-natural, sugar-free, gluten-free Volo Energy. Simply add Volo Energy vitamin powder to your water bottle or juice for an extra kick, plus, get much needed B Vitamins and Vitamin C. The proprietary blend of vitamins, minerals, and 17 different fruits has just the right amount of natural energy boosters, electrolytes and essential amino acids to help your body recover. Only 5 calories too. Drink up!