Easy Does It New Year’s Eve

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Cheers!

Cheers!

It’s New Year’s Eve and you’re probably trying to come up with a game plan to get you through the biggest party night of the year. Don’t worry, whether you’re pregaming with friends, hosting an intimate gathering or throwing a party, the LUSHiouslife has you covered.

Easy Does It

Entry level partying means keeping things simple. Stock up on a few bottles of booze– vodka, gin, rum, and of course, sparkling wine (champagne, cava, prosecco)–and mixers like club soda, tonic water, ginger beer, ginger ale, orange, cranberry and grapefruit juices and a load of fresh limes and lemons. If your clique favors Hennessy (and odds are somebody does), don’t forget to stock up on that too, and if you want to add a wildcard spirit, go for bourbon.

From here you can take your spirit of choice and keep it simple by just mixing it with juice or drinking it straight, or you can upgrade your celebration instantly by adding combining your mixers and juices with a base spirit or two. Sounds complicated? It’s not really, all you need are a few recipes to get started.

 

First up is Simple Syrup. It’s a simple way to add sweetness to drinks and is a component of many classic cocktails. Nowadays you can buy a bottle of simple where you find other mixers. But it’s so easy to make, you should whip up a batch as you’re setting up for your bash.

1 part water

1 part sugar

Just combine equal amounts of water and sugar, place in a suacepan and heat on medium-high until all the sugar is dissolved. Then remove from heat and let cool completely. Pour cooled syrup into a bottle and add a 1-2 ounces of  vodka to prevent bacteria and mold growth. The batch can be refrigerated in a sealed bottle for a week.

 

Vodka…

and orange, cranberry and grapefruit juices gets  you to Screwdrivers, Cape Codders and Sea Breezes.

 

Gin…

tonic water, club soda, fresh limes can yield a G&T, Gimlet,  and Gin Rickey. Fresh lemons and mint, ginger beer and simple syrup and you can make a Gin-Gin Mule, Southside. Add a sparkling wine such as a prosecco, cava or brut champagne and you have the makings of a French 75.

 

Gimlet

2 -1/2  oz gin

1/2 oz fresh lime juice

1/2 oz simple syrup

OR  substitute the fresh lime and simple syrup with 1 oz Rose’s Lime

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

 

Gin Rickey

2 oz gin

1/2 oz lime juice

Club soda

1/2 lime for garnish

Fill a collins glass with ice. Add lime juice, then gin. Drop in the spent lime half in the glass and top off with club soda. Stir.

 

Gin-Gin Mule

Gin-Gin Mule

1 – 1/2 oz gin

10 mint leaves

1 oz simple syrup

3/4 oz lime juice

2 oz ginger beer

mint sprig for garnish

Muddle mint leaves, simple syrup and lime juice in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, Add gin and fill with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into an ice-filled cocktail glass. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a sprig of mint.

 

Southside

Southside

Southside

2 oz gin

10 mint leaves

3/4 oz lime juice

3/4 oz lemon juice

1 oz simple syrup

1 oz club soda

mint sprig for garnish

Add mint, lime and lemon juice, gin and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, cover and shake vigorously. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with mint sprig.

 

IMG_20141231_201333

 

French 75

2 oz sparkling wine (brut champagne, prosecco, cava, etc)

1 oz gin

1 oz lemon juice

1/2 oz simple syrup

lemon peel for garnish

Add gin, juice and simple syrup to cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain into collins glass or flute filled with ice. Add sparkling wine and lemon peel garnish.

 

Rum

Daiquiri

2 oz light rum

1 oz lime juice

3/4 oz simple syrup (OR 1 tsp superfine sugar)

1 wedge of lime for garnish

 

Mojito

2 oz light rum

3 oz club soda

1 oz lime juice (about 1 whole fresh lime, squeezed)

3/4 oz simple syrup

8-12 mint leaves

1 lime wedge and 1 sprig

 

Add simple syrup and mint leaves to collins glass and muddle (mush with a bar tool called a muddler or use the end of a wooden spoon). Add lime juice and drop one half of the spent lime shell in glass. Add rum and stir. Add club soda and ice. Garnish with mint sprig and serve.

 

Bubbly

It’s New Year’s Eve, so just popping a bottle of bubbly can be enough to get the party started. However, including a few sparkling cocktails, like the aforementioned French 75, to your repertoire can make yours the party they’ll be talking about long into 2015.

poppin bottle

 

Kir Royale

[You’ll have to stock one more bottle, Creme de Cassis, to make this drink but the IG-worthy pretty blush color of this drink will be more than worth it]

5 oz sparkling wine

1/2 oz Creme de Cassis

1 twist lemon

Add sparkling wine and cassis to champagne flute. Garnish with lemon twist.

 

small-st-germain

St Germain Cocktail

[OK, ok, one more bottle to add, but what a bottle! St-Germain is a liqueur made from elderflower. Placing this lovely bit of glassware on your table immediately elevates the surroundings. Your guests will be impressed and intrigued. They don’t need to know how dead easy it is to mix this drink. You can even make up a big batch in a pitcher ahead of time.]

2 parts brut champagne or dry sparkling wine

1 – 1/2 parts St-Germain

2 parts club soda

twist of lemon for garnish

Fill a tall collins glass with ice. Add ingredients in the order in which they are listed. Stir and garnish with a lemon twist.

 

Bourbon

Now unless you’re a regular bourbon drinker (and really, you should be) you’re probably wondering what you’re supposed to do with that wildcard bottle. Here is the one bourbon cocktail that will get you and your friends to rethink brown liquor. It’s absolutely delicious but it has a kick like a mule. The Suffering Bastard dates back to the late 1940s and was said to be a hangover remedy. The theory was to get rid of a hangover, one must get re-drunk. Now, I’m not sure that’s such a great idea but if you want to turn up your party, this is the drink that will do it. You have been warned.

The Suffering Bastard. A sorry/not sorry bourbon cocktail

The Suffering Bastard. A sorry/not sorry bourbon cocktail

 

Suffering Bastard

1 oz bourbon

1 oz gin

1 oz lime juice

4 oz ginger beer or ginger ale (Ginger beer tastes better IMHO)

1 dash Angostura Bitters

1 slice orange for garnish

Fill a collins glass with ice, add bourbon, gin, lime juice, bitters and top with ginger beer or ginger ale. Stir. Garnish with orange.

 

Have a very Happy New Year!

 

Let us know what you’re sipping on this evening in the comments.

thinmanhangover

sharonrboone

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