From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog,Â One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes forÂ City Eats DC,Â a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Email her atÂ alejandra[AT]borderstan.comÂ and follow herÂ on Twitter atÂ @frijolita.
New Year’s Eve.Â SynonymousÂ with champagne, kisses and that scene fromÂ When Harry Met Sally.
For the cynics among us, New Year’s Eve is just another night â€”Â a night with unreasonably high expectations for merriment and finding someone at the bar to smooch with. Yet, for the hopeful, it’s about new beginnings, good times with friends and making memories. No matter which side of the coin you fall on, we can all agree on one thing:Â New Year’s Eve is all about the booze.
I mean, really people, those memories aren’t just going to make themselves, now are they!?
For starters, make sure you’re all set up and ready.Â TheÂ Bon Appetit Cocktail Party ManualÂ has all the golden rules for throwing a boozy partyÂ â€”Â and more. Don’t forget food,Â Stephanie has you coveredÂ with tons of easy recipes to make, and, in some cases, make-ahead treats that you can serve. But now, on to the reason we’re all here.
Be Safe:Â If you are out and about for the evening, please drink responsibly and remember, you can even get free taxi rides (see our 2012 article on SoberRide). Whatever you do, please don’t drink and drive Borderstanis!
Punch cocktails are the original big batch party drinks. You may poo-poo these at first glance, but don’t let rings of lemon slices frozen in water fool you.
These drinks pack a… no, I won’t say it. It’s just too cheesy. I like the idea of these drinks because (1) you don’t have to fiddle with recipes to make them for a crowd, and (2) they’re a nice way to ease everyone into a festive spirit.
Boozey, but not too much, so it’s not going to get anyone hammered in the first hour. This is a marathon, not a sprint, after all.
- Peppery PunchÂ anyone? The Bitten Word has a spicy punch for you.
- White Whiskey PunchÂ is a fun twist on a traditional whiskey drink.
- Church Lady PunchÂ by Hanks Oyster Bar, anyone? Oh, yes.
- Want to set your punch bowl on fire?Â Flaming Brandy PunchÂ might hit the spot for you then!
- For your friend who loves white russians, mix it up a bit with thisÂ Hot Coconut Milk PunchÂ
- Passion Fruits’Â Mulled Cider
For the oenophiles among us, having a well-stockedÂ wine counter, one featuring sangrias or mulled options even, is good for friends and family who don’t do hard liquor. Not everyone can love bourbon as much as I do, and I can respect that.
- Simply Recipe’s has aÂ Honey Mulled WineÂ for a sweeter option.
- Urban Bohemian has theÂ Best SangriaÂ and theÂ Better Than The Best Sangria.
- Metrocurean talked to five Sommeliers forÂ their favorite supermarket selections.
- We’ve got twoÂ great wineÂ recÂ postsÂ if youÂ want to support retailers in the neighborhood.
There’s no reason you can’t turn yourÂ favorite cocktailÂ for one into a pitcher for 10. Just carefully convert the recipe to suit a larger crowd and provide the appropriate cooling option â€”Â ice cubes and a shaker for a shaken/stirred cocktail â€”Â at the table.
Also, if you like, you can always print out simpler cocktail recipes and leave them on a table with all the appropriate measures, liquors, mixers, bitters and garnishes. That way everyone can make the drink to their liking and get in on the mixologist fun. (Cause don’t we all have that one friend who used to bartend in college…)
- There’s Todd Thrasher’sÂ Cider Car.
- Get spicy with Mrs. Wheelbarrow’sÂ Jalapeno Margarita.
- The Bitten Word boys have Momofuku Ko’sÂ Gingersnap CocktailÂ for something festive.
- Urban Bohemian also has a simple recipe for theÂ Sweet ClementiniÂ that is easy to make for a crowd.
- David of David’s Table gets us in the holiday spirit withÂ two cranberry cocktails.
- If you love bourbon, try The Passion Fruts’Â Brown DerbyÂ or aÂ Classic ManhattanÂ courtesy of theÂ Washington Post.
- How about aÂ Tamarind Ginger FizzÂ from Not Derby Pie.
- TheÂ Moscow MuleÂ is a classic and a crowd pleaser… also from The Bitten Word.
Last but not least,Â some resourcesÂ in case you need helpÂ or more ideas:
- The boys over atÂ Scofflaw’s DenÂ are local and feature awesome cocktail recipes.
- Speakeasy CocktailsÂ App on iTunes is pretty nifty.
- City Eats DC runs a weekly column calledÂ Bottom’s UpÂ featuring the city’s best cocktails.
Oh!Â And how could I forget?Â Don’t forget the champagne! Bubbly and kisses. That’s what New Year’s Eve does!Â Julian Mayor, the sommelier atÂ Bourbon Steak DCÂ in the Four Seasons, contributed to this really lovely list ofÂ boutique champagnes. I have Julian to thank for a serious love forÂ Pierre Peters â€”Â a champagne you should still be able to get at Cork & Fork on 14th Street. Many others on this list are easy to find as well â€”Â just give your liquor/wine store a ring and undoubtedly they’ll have an option for you.
This article was originally posted on December 27, 2011. But, it’s that time of year again, and we find that this type of advice remains true throughout the years (and especially around the holidays). So get out your glasses, put on your party hats and pour your poison of choice!