Entertaining and lifestyle expert Maureen Petrosky is stopping by to give us great tips and recipes to help ring in the New Year. She shows how to host a fabulous New Year's Eve cocktail party, make a classic Manhattan and mix up a spiked coffee drink to help your guests stay awake until midnight.
Set up a bubbly bar.
Set up a festive bar cart or bar area and decorate with balloons (stick with silver and gold and maybe a pop of hot pink). Balloons are easy and inexpensive and can be found at most grocery stores' floral departments or any party supply store.
Put out a Champagne bucket with ice and a great bottle of sparkling wine, along with trays of flutes or coupes. Choose a few simple spirits to combine with the sparkling wine for easy two-ingredient bubbly cocktails. First, add one ounce of any of these spirits to a glass: Amaro Nonino, Aperol, crème de cassis, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, limoncello or Chambord. Top the glass off with chilled sparkling wine for a fun and festive sparkling cocktail.
Dress up your drinks.
Put out small bowls of pomegranate seeds, frozen cranberries, rosemary sprigs, rock candy stirrers, citrus slices and/or hibiscus flowers on the bar cart or bar area. Encourage guests to add flair to their flutes.
Make a classic cocktail.
It is estimated over a million people watch the ball drop in New York City's Times Square on New Year's Eve. This classic Manhattan cocktail is a great toast to the Big Apple when you can't be there yourself. You can make a big batch and place it in the refrigerator ahead of time so you don't have to make cocktails throughout the night.
A great Manhattan cocktail needs just 3 things: to be thoroughly chilled, well balanced and enjoyed amongst friends.
Amp things up before midnight.
Serve up these coffee-infused sippers to help guests stay up late enough to count down to the New Year.
This is my 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.