10 Simple Festive Cocktails to make on New Year’s Eve

10 Simple Festive Cocktails to make on New Year’s Eve

Two of my favorite things to do are to get dressed up and splurge on a fancy cocktail. Well now as a mom, while I dream of those two things, my priorities lean more towards sleep and comfy yoga pants. So, I started experimenting with making my own cocktails for nights when I want to feel fancy, but am too tired to get dressed up and leave the house. A night in can still feel special with a simple cocktail and some extra effort on my eye make-up. The holidays are certainly a time I indulge in a cocktail, especially for New Year’s Eve. If you want to make New Year’s extra special this year, enjoy one of these 10 simple cocktails that are festive and easy to make at home.

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What You Need:

Cocktail Shaker

Martini Glass

Irish coffee mug or glass mug

Champagne Flute

Thanksgiving Cider

1 part Pumpkin Vodka

2 parts Apple Cider

Optional Garnish: Cinnamon Stick

Optional: Caramel Sauce to drizzle in glass

Glass: Martini for cold or Irish Coffee Mug for hot

I’ve been making this recipe since I first discovered Pumpkin Vodka several years ago. As a pumpkin addict I knew I had to create as many ways as possible to use this seasonal treat. Thanksgiving Cider was an easy answer for a simple cocktail. I also love enjoying it both hot and cold. For a cold drink fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice. Then add 2 parts apple cider, my favorite is Trader Joe’s Spiced Cider, and 1 part Pumpkin Vodka. One of my most important tips for any martini is to put the glass in the freezer for 5 minutes before shaking up your cocktail. Then you’ll have a nice frosty glass to fill. For this cocktail drizzle some caramel sauce around the inside of the glass for a drink that is yummy and pretty. If you prefer your drink hot, heat the apple cider in the microwave for about 1 minute in a microwave safe mug, then add the Pumpkin Vodka.

Coconut La Croix Champagne Punch

simple cocktails

2 parts Champagne

1 part orange or pineapple juice

Coconut La Croix

Glass: Champagne Flute

I’m always looking for new ways to use La Croix, and coconut is my favorite flavor. Coconut may seem summery, but add champagne and any cocktail will fit in on New Year’s Eve. Fill a glass half way with Coconut La Croix. Then add 2 parts champagne and 1 part orange or pineapple juice.

Cherry Cosmo Twist

simple cocktails

2 parts Cranberry Juice

2 parts Vodka

Squeeze of Lime

1 part Maraschino Liqueur (instead of Triple Sec or Contrineau)

Optional Garnish: fresh cranberries and a sprig of rosemary

Glass: Martini

I stumbled on this drink this year by accident. I’m a girly girl and love treating myself to a good Cosmopolitan now and again. But when I wanted to make a Cosmo the other night, I discovered I was out of triple sec. I made my drink without it, but with just the vodka, cranberry juice and lime it was too tart. I needed that triple sec to cut the sweetness, but as they say necessity is the motherhood of invention. As it happened I had some leftover Maraschino Liqueur from one of my other cocktail obsessions, the Brooklyn. Now note that Maraschino Liqueur is not just the liquid leftover in a jar of maraschino cherries! It is a specific liqueur originally made in Croatia and Italy. For this simple cocktail fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add 2 parts cranberry juice, 2 parts vodka, 1 part Maraschino Liqueur and a squeeze of lime. To make this drink festive I added a sprig of fresh rosemary I happened to have in the fridge. I loved the color it brought and the herbal notes.


simple cocktails

2 parts Whiskey or Bourbon

1 part Dry Vermouth

Dash of Bitters

1 part Maraschino Liqueur

Optional Garnish: Maraschino Cherry

Glass: Martini

In 2015 I decided to have an entire dinner themed to the movies that had been nominated for Oscars. It was a rare year when I had seen and enjoyed many of the best picture nominations. One of my favorite movies that year was Brooklyn. In searching for something to theme to this movie I found out there was actually a cocktail named the Brooklyn. It is the cousin of the more famous Manhattan which is made with sweet Vermouth instead of dry. The Brooklyn and Manhattan are two of the five cocktails named for the boroughs of New York City. Fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice, then add your Whiskey, Dry Vermouth, Maraschino Liqueur and Bitters. Shake, pour, and garnish with a Maraschino Cherry. I absolutely love the colors of this drink.

Russian Pumpkin

simple cocktails

2 parts Pumpkin Vodka

1 part Irish Crème Liqueur

Optional Garnish: Cinnamon Sugar

Glass: Martini

I’m sure you’ve heard of a White Russian, well this is my pumpkin version. I like to shake this up in a cocktail shaker to get it good and mixed, but you can also pour over ice in a high ball glass. Garnish the rim with some cinnamon sugar for a special treat.

Pumpkin Pie Martini

2 parts Pumpkin Vodka

1 part dark Rum

1 part Crème (heavy whipping crème preferred)

1 TB canned pumpkin

Splash of Maple Syrup

Optional Garnish:  Sprinkle of Pumpkin Pie Spice or crushed graham crackers mixed with cinnamon sugar to rim glass

Glass: Martini

You may have noticed a pumpkin theme for several of these cocktails. I can’t get enough pumpkin September through December, so I always seem to have an open can of pumpkin in the fridge. Adding some canned pumpkin really makes this taste like a pumpkin pie in a glass. Add ice to a cocktail shaker and fill about half way. Then add Pumpkin Vodka, dark Rum, Crème, Canned Pumpkin, and a splash of Maple Syrup for sweetness. Shake it up really good to make sure the maple syrup and canned pumpkin are well mixed. I love a mix of crushed graham crackers and cinnamon sugar to complete the drink.

Cocoa Kiss Martini

2 parts Chocolate Milk

1 part Vodka

½ ounce Chocolate Syrup (plus more to drizzle in glass)

Optional Garnish: Hershey Kiss

Glass: Martini

This is a quick and easy version of a Chocotini. My mom loves chocolate milk, so she always has it on hand. By adding a shot of vodka and some extra chocolate syrup it’s a simple way to enjoy a dessert martini without a lot of effort.

Mulled Wine from Simple Joy

simple cocktails

750 ml bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon

1 1/2 cups brandy

2 cinnamon sticks

2 oranges sliced

1 cup cranberry juice

1 cup fresh cranberries

1 TBSP cloves jammed into the orange slices

1/3 cup honey

Glass: Irish Coffee Mug

This is my favorite recipe for mulled wine from Simple Joy. If you haven’t tried mulled wine why not? It’s the holiday season in a glass! Just combine all ingredients in a pot and simmer. I recommend putting the cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and whole cloves into a cheese cloth tied with baker’s twine so it can be easily removed when you are done simmering. Simmer for 10 minutes then ladle into glasses.

Hot Toddy

simple cocktails

¾ cup water

2 ounces whiskey (I use whatever kind I have on hand)

Squeeze of lemon

2 teaspoons honey (more to taste)

Glass: Irish Coffee Mug

I’ve been drinking hot toddy’s on a cold day for years. It’s especially helpful if you have a bit of a cold. The lemon and honey along with a nip of whiskey will clear up the last of the sniffles.

Spiked Hot Cocoa

simple cocktails

6oz Hot Cocoa (or try Trader Joe’s Drinking Chocolate)

2 ounces of your choice: Gingerbread Cream Liqueur, Cocoa Cream Liqueur, Egg Nog Liqueur

Glass: Irish Coffee Mug

Cocoa is so yummy on a cold winter day, but a little festive liqueur makes it special. I love the decadence of Trader Joe’s Drinking Chocolate!



simple cocktails

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