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New Year’s Eve is the best night of the year to create your own custom cocktail for a celebration. There are so many festive choices, and you can pick a spirit and provide a buffet bar of options to let guests customize their drinks. Whether you go with bubbly or not, this roundup of cocktail recipes will give you a solid foundation to improvise from for a celebratory start to the New Year.

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1. Gigi

Gigi Cocktail recipe


Our recipe for this coquettish cocktail (created by Jackie Patterson at Le Colonial in San Francisco) contains three fancy French liquors: Lillet Blanc, St-Germain, and rosé Champagne. You can substitute with unflavored vodka, but the Grey Goose La Poire has a really spectacular pear flavor that pairs beautifully with the elderflower taste of the St-Germain. Get our Gigi Cocktail recipe.

2. Kiwi Sparkler

Kiwi Sparkler cocktail recipe


Kiwi, Prosecco, and peach liqueur make for a dazzling New Year’s Eve choice that you haven’t seen a million times already. Muddle the kiwi with some brown sugar if you want to add a bit more sweetness. And be sure to strain this cocktail to separate out the smashed kiwi pieces if you’re concerned about smooth sipping. Get our Kiwi Sparkler recipe.

3. Classic Champagne Cocktail

Champagne cocktail recipe


Aromatic bitters are the way to really differentiate this Champagne cocktail from the rest. You can try out orange, grapefruit, or any type of bitters you already have on hand to dash onto a sugar cube that will meld beautifully with freshly poured Champagne and a lemon twist. Be sure you know how to open Champagne the proper way; popping the cork can make it go flat much faster. Get the Classic Champagne Cocktail recipe.

4. Sazerac Jelly Shots

Sazerac jello shots (fancy jello shots)


A New Orleans favorite, the original Sazerac is altered here for a party-perfect treat to serve alongside appetizers. With rye, lemon, and bitters, you can turn a Jell-O shot into something more elegant. And with only a third of an ounce of alcohol per square, five or six of these equal a normal-sized cocktail. You don’t even have to pace yourself. Get our Sazerac Jelly Shots recipe.

5. Little Pink Pearl Mocktail

non-alcoholic drink mocktail recipe


Don’t forget non-drinking guests, and give them something better than club soda with a splash of lime. This easy non-alcoholic cocktail combines fresh grapefruit juice with orgeat, and can be spiked if anyone wants to try it with a little kick. Get our Little Pink Pearl Mocktail recipe.

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6. Holiday Sparkler

sparkling Champagne cocktail


The name alone is reason enough to make this cocktail for a fancy New Year’s Eve celebration. You can mix the spices and brandy together in a large batch beforehand so all you have to do during the party is pour and top with bubbly. Get our Holiday Sparkler Cocktail recipe.

7. Champagne Sorbet Float

Champagne sorbet floats with lavender


A scoop of bright, fruity sorbet plus sparkling wine makes for a great drink-dessert hybrid for a sweet start to the new year. Garnish with a few flakes of edible gold leaf for even more impact. Get our Champagne Sorbet Float recipe.

8. Gold Rush Cocktail

Gold Rush honey bourbon cocktail

Colin Price

This is another case where the name of the cocktail makes it hard to pass up for a New Year’s celebration. A simple combo of bourbon, honey syrup, and lemon juice, this will appeal to fans of the classic whiskey sour. Get the Gold Rush Cocktail recipe.

9. Saint Cecilia’s Champagne Punch

Champagne punch recipe


A festive, fizzy punch is a great way to serve bubbles to a big crowd; this punch combines Champagne with pineapple, lemons, brandy, and rum, plus a green tea simple syrup for a sophisticated herbal note. Get our Saint Cecilia’s Champagne Punch recipe.

10. Sherry Splash

Sherry Splash cocktail recipe


Our recipe for a Sherry Splash uses the somewhat unusual manzanilla sherry, which is a little bit salty and pairs well with the sweet St-Germain elderflower liqueur. Again, this recipe calls for gin but you can just as easily substitute vodka if you’re so inclined. Shake with ice and strain into a Champagne coupe for extra panache. Get our Sherry Splash recipe.

11. Champagne Sunrise

This celebratory twist on the classic Tequila Sunrise tops things off with Prosecco or Champagne, and is even better if you use homemade grenadine, which is surprisingly easy and worlds better than what you’d buy at the liquor store. Get our Champagne Sunrise Cocktail recipe.

12. Spiced Cranberry Sangria

spiced cranberry sangria recipe


Super festive and not too sweet, this delicious sangria gets a winter twist from spiced simple syrup, cranberries, and apples. You’ll be sure to wow even the most discerning guests with this one. Get our Spiced Cranberry Sangria recipe.

13. Spiked Wassail

slow cooker spiked wassail


If you want to offer a warm welcome in the form of a warm drink, this slow cooker spiced cider with brandy is a fantastic option. Get our Spiked Slow Cooker Wassail recipe.

Related Reading: Crock Pot Drinks for Keeping Cozy

14. Satsuma Mojito

Satsuma Mojito recipe from Cochon


Winter citrus stars in this aromatic drink: An entire satsuma is muddled with mint, then mixed with rum, simple syrup, lime juice, and club soda. Get our Satsuma Mojito recipe.

15. Holiday Mule

If you can find a traditional copper mug to serve this holiday mule in, you’ll really have outdone yourself. Rosemary sprigs, orange slices, and sugared cranberries are some seasonally appropriate garnishes that look as good as they taste. This recipe calls for gin, but you can substitute vodka (or really any clear alcohol) to suit your taste. Get the Holiday Mule recipe.

Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC’s best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.
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