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Toast the New Year with one of these spirited cocktails in hand.


New Year’s Eve parties are for revelry and the raising of glasses, and your soiree is deserving of some fine libations—not just a couple bottles of wine and some beers in a bucket. After all, NYE only comes around once a year, right? Don’t stress—it’s easier than you think to whip up some tasty adult  beverages that’ll wow your guests and raise your fête to the level of legend. Look no further than these deliciously simple cocktails, many using locally  produced liquors, to keep your guests  in good spirits and help you ring in  the New Year in style.

1. Mulled Ginger Cup

11 oz  Pimm’s No. 1
7 oz  The Big O
1  CUP water
2  cinnamon sticks
Pinch whole allspice (about 4 to 5 cloves)
Pinch whole cloves (about 4 to 5 cloves)

Warm drinks are perfect for sipping around the yule log, and this one boasts some of the favorite flavors of the season, like ginger and cinnamon. Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and let simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, being careful not to let the mixture boil. Let cool slightly before serving. Ladle into a punch cup or mug. (Serves six.)

2. Champagne Cocktail

6 oz Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
sugar cube
4-5 dashes Angostura bitters

Toasting the New Year with a glass of bubbly is a long-held ritual, and it’s easy to kick it up a notch for the traditional midnight salutation. There’s a reason this ultra-simple cocktail has been around since at least the mid-1800s. Place the sugar cube in a champagne flute and soak it with bitters; fill with Champagne or sparkling wine, and you’re ready to feast. (Serves one.)

3. Countdown Cocktail

2 oz Lillet Blanc
4 oz
Champagne or sparkling wine chilled

This sparkling NYE drink adds another layer of flavor to that standard glass of bubbles. Just combine the Lillet (a French apertif wine) and the Champagne in a flute or a tall glass, and garnish with an orange slice or orange peel. For something a little sweeter, substitute St. Germain for the Lillet. (Serves one.)

4. Moon Pie

3 oz  Midnight Moon Apple Pie Moonshine
2 dashes The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters
1 dash Reagan’s Orange Bitters

This quick and easy tipple takes advantage of one of the many moonshines permeating the STL market. The sweet, spicy apple flavor of the spirit is sublimely augmented by the bitters, resulting in a taste that’s like the holidays in a glass. Just fill a rocks glass with ice, then add all the ingredients and stir briefly to incorporate. In a pinch, good ol’ Angostura bitters can be substituted. (Serves one.)

5. Holiday Cosmo

2 oz Cranberry vodka*
1 oz Cointreau
1/4 oz lime juice

*Cranberry Vodka
1 750-ml bottle vodka
1 12-oz  bagof cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp almond extract
Zest of 1 orange

 Cranberries are definitely one of the premier fruits of the season, and no cocktail uses their tart flavor to better advantage than the classic Cosmopolitan. This festive take on the Cosmo incorporates the cranberries right in the vodka for a subtle taste that’s a bit less piquant than using straight cranberry juice. Doctoring the vodka requires a little bit of work beforehand, but the end result is tastier than anything you’ll find on the store shelf. To make, combine all ingredients from the cranberry vodka recipe, except for the vodka, in a medium sauce pan on low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until cranberries begin to split. Take off heat and let cool. Strain syrup from the mixture into a clean jar and combine with the vodka. Finish off the cocktail by shaking all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (Serves one.)



Holiday Cocktails


Photo credit: Matt Strom

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