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44 New Year's Eve drinks worthy of celebration

Welcome the new year with a sip of something exciting.
/ 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 party.

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.

If you’ve already sent out invites, have your RSVPs in hand and are planning the spread, now's the time to pick out which drinks you're going to shake up. 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 cocktails 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 (and dessert!), something special like a lemon drop, a Vesper or wintry Champagne cocktail would be ideal.

This roundup of our best New Year’s Eve drinks will make planning the festivities easy, no matter which cocktails makes the cut.

We always love a margarita, no matter the weather outside. When te holiday season comes, the spiced pear and ginger elements of this cocktail turn this into a New Year's Eve-ready tipple in an instant!

From martinis to Champagne to a classic scotch and soda, James Bond created icons across the world of beverage that still live large today — especially during our favorite festive times. One of the lesser known is the Vesper, which was originally made with Kina Lillet, which is no longer in production today, so today, Lillet Blanc is the best substitute (and probably more palatable for most, as quinine isn't so popular a flavor these days!).

Sometimes we want that festive holiday feel at a social gathering without the alcohol. This soda achieves that — with a beautiful, vibrant color to match.

This is a creative way to tablescape at your New Years Eve fête as well as offer a unique way to enjoy a little bubbly for the occasion!

These confetti cocktails simply scream “party!” They are festive, delectable and super cute to pass around. Because they’ve got some sweetness between the frosting, popping candy and simple syrup, they make for a great after-dinner drink as the countdown to midnight begins.

This wintery riff on a piña colada still has the pineapple but adds coconut for a wintery-white take that gives new meaning to the word blizzard.

This red wine hot chocolate is a hug in a cup — it'll warm you up from the inside out on a cold winter day.

Ina Garten's Cranberry Martini

With its stunning red color and tart cranberry flavor, Ina Garten's famous martini is a perfect festive drink for holiday entertaining.

Buenos Dias Cocktail

Together, tequila and coffee provide a vibrant and delicious addition to your day — any time of the day! The combination is spicy and invigorating. Serve with three coffee beans for good health, wealth and love.

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.

Classic Negroni Cocktail

A Negroni is best known for its delicate balance of bitter, citrusy and sweet flavors. Paired with some olives, it's the perfect pre-dinner drink.

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.

Ubiquity Cocktail

The perfect mix between a mule and a vodka sour, the Ubiquity is a spiked riff on a ginger lemonade. This cocktail is always a crowd-pleaser because of its light and citrus-forward flavor.

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.


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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.

Bourbon Sidecar

This is a very classic cocktail: It's fresh and classy, and the bourbon offers a spicy warmth that is perfect for the holiday season.

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

As the name indicates, this riff on the espresso martini will help you make it to midnight. It includes grappa, which 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.

Bella Spritz

This two-ingredient sipper is simple, elegant and easy to prepare. The elderflower liqueur adds depth and flavor to this sparkling 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.

Amaretti Cookie Toddy

Who needs candles? This big-batch cocktail will perfume your entire house with the smell of warm spices, sweet orange flavor and a hint of bourbon. The addition of amaretto liqueur adds a subtle almond note. Start this cocktail in the afternoon before your guests come and it will be the perfect crowd-pleaser to kick off the party.

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.

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.

Mulled Wine

This is the easiest slow-cooker mulled wine ever. 'Tis the season for mulled wine, and the best part about it — besides that it's delicious — is that it's so simple to make. All you need equipment-wise is a slow cooker or a pot and a ladle. Like any other cocktail, you can put your personal spin on this recipe with additions of sweeter ingredients like apple cider or pear nectar, or spice it up with fresh sliced ginger or cloves.

Peppermint Martini

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

This cocktail is a classic for a reason. In this version, the addition of orange bitters gives it an added citrus flavor and dimension — perfect for perking up your palate as the night wears on.

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

This drink features a delicious alcohol-free replacement for gin, plus rosemary syrup — together they remind the drink's creator, Ariana Madix, of taking a walk in a garden, soaking in all of life's beautiful moments.

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. Kumquats are tangy with a hint of sweetness and, when in peak season, they're so juicy they explode with freshness to wake you up from the winter blues.

Espresso and Chocolate

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Espresso and Chocolate

Lauren "LP" Paylor O'Brien

This is a delicious variation on the espresso martini. Although not true to the classic, it displays a great way to manipulate texture and add complexity to a nonalcoholic cocktail. Plus, it'll help keep you up past midnight.

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.