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34 best New Year's drinks to toast with

Bright and bubbly, ice cold and swanky or sweet and creamy, these drinks are all worthy of celebration.
/ Source: TODAY

As we all close in on another journey around the sun and look ahead to the next, toasting to one another is a must, especially when the night involves a celebratory New Year's Eve dinner.

Whether you prefer to whip up unique spins on classic bubbles, make something creamy and cozy, or play bartender with fun mocktails, there are many wonderful drinks out there that will keep the merry coming until (and probably a little after) the ball drops.

So, what are the best ways to curate the best cocktail menu at the last party of 2022? If you’ve already sent out invites, have your RSVPs in hand and are planning the spread, think about having a signature cocktail alongside some standbys like wine, beer and some light nonalcoholic libations like a sparkling cranberry mocktail or a fabulous "fauxhito."

Choosing the right cocktail often depends on the food. Are you serving heavy New Year’s Eve appetizers all night so the focus is on the dancing and merry-making? Make a large batch of pre-made holiday margaritas, coquitos or ginger-bourbon punch for a seamless evening where guests’ drinks can easily be refilled without too much back-and-forth from the kitchen. Or, if you want to pass around glamorous hand-shaken cocktails when guests arrive, followed by a formal sit-down dinner, something special like a lemon drop, a Vesper or wintry Champagne cocktail would be ideal.

This round-up of our best New Year’s Eve drinks will make planning the festivities easy, no matter which cocktail(s) makes the cut.

Cranberry Martinis

Infuse the vodka with the orange zest and cranberries at least two days ahead. Ina Garten likes to use a vegetable peeler to make strips of orange zest — it’s so easy. Best of all, you can prepare the entire cocktail mixture and refrigerate it for up to three days. Just shake with ice before serving.

Vesper Martini

Ice cold with a twist of lemon, this swanky 1960s cocktail is one that will make any New Year's Eve party feel timeless.

Winter Wonderland Cocktail

Have broken or leftover sugar cookies? Turn them into a delicious, infused cream and use that to make this creamy cocktail! The addition of white chocolate makes this drink taste like a treat that can be enjoyed when guests arrive or alongside dessert.

M's Kick Cocktail

This icy, spicy vodka cocktail is made in moments and guaranteed to kickstart a party! It's really quick and versatile, refreshing and colorful with a spicy kick from the pierced chili garnish.

Honey 75

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Honey 75

Alejandra Ramos

Bring a little sweetness into the new year with this twist on the classic French 75 Champagne cocktail. The Honey 75 is made with flavorful orange blossom honey syrup instead of sugar for a slightly more exciting flavor.

Sometimes, it's hard to decide between a cocktail or dessert. With an espresso martini, you can have both. Plus, it'll help keep you up until — or beyond — midnight.

Apple Cider Mojitos

This is how Alejandra Ramos drinks mojitos during winter in New York: local apple cider, warm winter spices like cinnamon and clove, fresh mint and limes. It's a seasonal twist on the drink that so often fills her glass throughout the sweltering summer months.

The Lemon Ball Drop

Cocktails are what accessories are to outfits and neither is complete without the perfect finishing touch. A sparkly sugar-frosted grape "ball" decorates the top of this festive New Year's twist on the classic lemon drop cocktail. Plus, eating grapes at the stroke of midnight is a good-luck tradition in Spain and Latin America.

Holiday Toast

The holidays call for a celebratory sparkling drink, and this one does not disappoint. The sweet and tart pomegranate complements the elegant flavor of bubbly wine and adds a beautiful ruby color to the drink.

You can serve this festive cocktail for New Year's Eve or at brunch on New Year's Day. It's a nice take on a classic, and tequila gives it an additional punch.

Coquito

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Coquito

Alejandra Ramos

The easiest way to describe coquito to those who aren't familiar with it is to call it "Puerto Rican eggnog." The two do share some similarities — both are creamy dairy-based cocktails enjoyed during the Christmas season, but for those who grew up with coquito, the comparison takes away from the fact that coquito is a cherished beverage with rich culture, traditions and passionate admirers of its very own.

A French 75 is a great cocktail for entertaining because it's easy to make and it's customizable: You can add a small amount of your favorite liqueur (for example, St-Germain, Chartreuse, Galliano, Amaretto, Campari, Benedictine, Italicus, etc.) to the base recipe to tweak it to your (or your guests') preference.

Carson's Brandy Alexander

"For as long as I can remember, my mom was blending away during the holidays, creating her famous Brandy Alexander cocktails. It’s as much a family tradition as the jolly man himself. It's such a tradition that we even named our family dog after the drink, calling her 'Lexi' for short," Carson Daly says about this family recipe.

St-Germain Champagne Cocktail

This festive Champagne cocktail is simple, fun and sophisticated. If you don't have a bottle of St-Germain, a tasty elderflower liqueur, already on your bar, now's the time to add one.

Milk Punch Slush

This is one of the easiest party drinks you can make and it tastes just like ice cream but has an amazing kick from the brandy.

Manhattan Cocktail

A great Manhattan cocktail needs just three things: to be thoroughly chilled, well balanced and enjoyed amongst friends.

Make it to Midnight Cocktail

This is Maureen Petrosky's take on the espresso martini. Grappa sometimes gets a bad rap for being harsh-tasting, but it can be amazing if it comes from a high-end source. Moscato grappa is a great place to start, especially in this caffeinated cocktail.

Ginger Spice Punch

Forget shaking up individual drinks for each guest; instead, make things easy on yourself by mixing up a big batch of this bourbon punch with apple cider and ginger ale.

Winter Champagne Cocktail

This versatile sparkling wine cocktail can be made with Champagne or prosecco and any kind of citrus fruit. A rosemary sprig is a pretty garnish that adds just a hint of flavor.

Eggless Eggnog (Tawny Crème Cocktail)

Leslie Sbrocco's lighter take on eggnog is made with almond milk and sweetened condensed milk — it's still plenty sweet and rich but won't weigh you down like traditional eggnog.

Bright Spirit

This is a simple and straightforward cocktail, but it tastes so bright and festive. The sweet raspberry notes and tart lime mingle perfectly on the palate.

Holiday Mojitos (Merry, Merry Mojitos)

Refreshing mojitos aren't just for warm weather holidays. This big-batch recipe is perfect for holiday parties in cold or warm weather climates.

Classic mulled wine is dressed up with Campari and cranberries for a warm punch that also makes a beautiful centerpiece for your holiday party buffet table.

Peppermint Martini (Peppermint-ini)

Not only is this peppermint martini super cute, it's also super easy to make and tastes like a breath of fresh wintry air.

Fourth Hour Fizz Cocktail

If it's just not the holidays in your house without a red-and-green theme, you'll love this quick and easy cocktail with vodka, sparkling red wine and an herbal garnish.

Festive Prosecco

This drink looks and feels super festive for the holidays with very little effort. Start with a bottle of bubbles (preferably a dry prosecco or Champagne), add cranberry juice and pomegranate juice, give it a stir and top with a sprig of rosemary and fresh cranberries. It's both beautiful to look at and delicious to drink.

Bourbon Cozy

If you're craving chocolate, this will satisfy your sweet tooth. Mixologist Garvey Alexander really enjoys having this as the grand finale instead of dessert.

Mocktails and kid-friendly drinks

Bubbles and Cran

Bubbles aren't just for Champagne and seltzer. This drink is inspired by the beautiful wreaths decorating the shopfronts of New York City during the holidays. It will wake up your palate with the fiery kick of ginger.

Kumquat Fauxhito

This is a wintry twist on a classic summer cocktail. Vivian Chan loves kumquats because they are tangy with a hint of sweetness. When in peak season, they're so juicy they explode with freshness to wake you up from the winter blues.

This espresso "martino" is the perfect pick-me-up on New Year's Eve so you can stay up for the midnight ball drop. The warm spices bring this mocktail to a whole new level. It's a great way to start the new year on a sweet note.

Celebrating the New Year with kids (or sweet-toothed adults)? These cookies and milk shooters will are a fun, festive way to give everyone the sugar rush they desire.

Reindeer Tracks Hot Chocolate

This hot chocolate tastes like the holidays, and the kids will have fun garnishing it themselves.

Ginger Hibiscus Mocktail

This mocktail is a typical agua fresca in Mexico made from hibiscus flowers — with the spicy addition of ginger.

Juniper & Tonic

Gin and tonics are a classic because the combo allows the botanicals of a great gin to ring through. By subbing juniper tea for gin, you still have juniper and botanicals on full display in this drink without adding any alcohol.