5 Cocktails We're Drinking Into the New Year
Whether you’re trying to impress guests with an Instagram-worthy set-up or simply want to make a large batch of something delicious, there’s a cocktail recipe for you.
While some people ring in the new year with Champagne, others choose to imbibe well-crafted cocktails. Whatever your craving is, an exquisite bubbly or flavorful cognac-based drink, you’ll be able to tap into your inner bartender from the comfort of your home.
Read on for a list of cocktails we’re sipping into the new year courtesy of some of the spirits industry’s top experts.
Natalia Cardenas, Woodford Reserve Miami Brand Ambassador
“In Miami, coquito is king, but I wanted to share another holiday favorite from Latin America: the champurrado, a thick hot chocolate with origins in Mexico. This cocktail brings back memories of time with the family during the holidays. Champurrado is traditionally served hot with churros in the morning as a simple breakfast or as a late afternoon snack. Champurrado is also very popular during Day of the Dead (a holiday observed around the same week as Halloween) and at Las Posadas (during the Christmas season), where it is served alongside tamales.”
Woodford Reserve Champurrado Recipe (Thick Mexican Hot Chocolate)
- 3 cups water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole star anise
- 1/4 cup masa harina
- 2 cup milk (optional)
- 1/2 cup grated piloncillo
- 1/2 Disk Mexican Chocolate (about 4 oz)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1-2 cups of Woodford Reserve Bourbon (serve to taste)
Method: In a large pot, add water, cinnamon, anise, and milk. Bring to a simmer. Next, add the chocolate, piloncillo, and salt. Slowly add the masa harina and whisk to dissolve completely. Next, pour through a fine strainer to remove any solids/lumps. Lastly, use a molino to quickly froth your Mexican Hot Chocolate. Garnish with grated chocolate.
J’Nai Williams, Cocktail educator and owner of Pretty Magic Cocktails
“This cocktail was inspired by sitting around the campfire enjoying s'mores.”
Doctrine of Fire
- 2 oz bourbon
- 1.25 oz lapsang souchong tea dark chocolate syrup
- .5 oz Dolin Rouge vermouth
- .5 oz Frangelico
- El Guapo Chicory Pecan bitters
- drop of vanilla
Method: This cocktail is shaken and double strained into a cordial glass. It is garnished with whipped cream, a graham cracker quarter, and a burnt cinnamon stick.
Sullivan Doh, Global Brand Ambassador D’USSÉ Cognac
“This drink is an ode to D’USSÉ, taking its roots in both Cognac, where it is produced, and New York, where it was first released. Trebbiano wine is nothing else than the exclusive type of grape used to create cognac (called Ugni Blanc in France), and the apple syrup refers to NYC’s “Big Apple” nickname.
A refreshing cocktail that marries the complexity of cognac with the simplicity of white wine rounded out with the freshness and fruitiness of apple and a hint of herbs.”
D’USSÉ Big Apple
- 1 part D’USSÉ VSOP Cognac
- 3⁄4 part rosemary-infused apple syrup*
- 3⁄4 part lime juice
- 3⁄4 part Trebbiano (or any dry white wine)
- Garnish with green apple fan, rosemary sprig
Method: Add all ingredients to a shaker, add a couple of ice cubes, and briefly give it a shake. Pour into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.
*Rosemary Apple Syrup
In a saucepan, pour 1 quart of unsweetened apple cider and add five sprigs of rosemary. Bring to a simmer for five minutes, filter, add 1 quart of white sugar, and stir. Let cool.
Dante Wheat, Founder of Raw Pineapples Co. and bartender
“It’s been unseasonably warm in Kentucky this holiday season, so I wanted to make a warm-weather cocktail infused with the flavors of winter.”
2 oz Lunazul Reposado Tequila
.25 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1 oz apple cider
.75 oz lime juice
.5 oz agave nectar
Method: All ingredients are shaken. Serve on the rocks. Garnish with a charred cinnamon stick and lime wedge.
Keyatta Mincey Parker, Owner/Operator of A Sip of Paradise Garden
“This cocktail was inspired by the need to treat yourself in a time of stress, struggle, and uncertainty. It's a moment to celebrate what you accomplished through it all, besides a great champagne cocktail makes everyone feel fancy.”
Make it Fancy
1 oz Spiced pear syrup*
.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.25 oz Pratt Standard True Ginger Syrup
Top with Beau Joie Brut
Method: Combine all the ingredients except the bubbles into a shaker tin with ice. Shake hard for 30 seconds. Strain into your fanciest champagne glass. Top with the Beau Joie Brut. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, slice of pear, or freshly grated nutmeg, and enjoy. For a mocktail version, switch out the Beau Joie Brut for sparkling water.
*Spiced Pear Syrup
8 oz pear nectar
8 oz cane sugar
1 crushed cinnamon stick
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Toast the spice in a small saucepan over medium heat. When you begin to smell the spices, add the pear nectar. Bring it to a soft boil, add the sugar, and turn the stove off. Whisk until the sugar completely dissolves. Put a lid on it and let it sit for 30 minutes. Strain and put in a glass container with a lid. It will last in the fridge for seven days.