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thampik

New Years Eve cocktails

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I am holding a New Year Eve party at my house and intend to serve cocktails for a change. I do not want to buy spirits/ingredients that I will probably not use for the rest of the year so this would have to be based on what I already have in my drinks cupboard.

Smirnoff Vodka

Bacardi

3-year old French Brandy

Creme de Cassis

Grand Marnier

Cointreau

All ideas/suggestions gratefully received (and hopefully will be road tested between now and the 31st)!

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Kir royal? Kinda boring but it works.

When are you going to serve the drinks? At the time your guests arrive, before dinner or att midnight?

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I'd go with Sidecars. You could do a Deluxe Sidecar with the Grand Marnier, and a standard Sidecar with the Cointreau.


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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Danne, the plan is to serve fizz as the guests arrive and then follow that with cocktails.

brinza, how would you make a sidecar - as below?

1 1/2 measure Cognac

1 measure Cointreau/Grand Marnier

1/2 measure lemon juice

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Danne, the plan is to serve fizz as the guests arrive and then follow that with cocktails.

brinza, how would you make a sidecar - as below?

1 1/2 measure Cognac

1 measure Cointreau/Grand Marnier

1/2 measure lemon juice

Exactly. However, use that as a starting point for determining how sweet you want them to be. Those proportions might be little too sweet for some. If you know you're guests tastes, you can adjust the ratio of Cointreau to lemon accordingly. And remember to use fresh lemon juice. It will make a world of difference. Some people will wonder how you made them so good, when all you did was use fresh juice (of course the use of Cointreau rather than cheap Triple Sec certainly helps, too!).


Edited by brinza (log)

Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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FrogPrincesse, Thanks for the link and suggestion, but the "recipe" requires ingredients not in my list?

brinza, Sidecar is definitely on the short list and will be road tested with the missus today!

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A Sidecar sounds like a good choice.

I would also recommend a Punch. For example, a variation on the Fish House Punch. It's delicious and you can prepare everything in advance and have fun with you guests instead of being stuck at the bar!

A punch sounds like an interesting option. I always wonder how hard and fast one should try to stick to specific types of liquor in a recipe.

So is Myers or perhaps Coruba dark rum adequate here? Appleton I tend to think of as more of a "gold" rum unless you get to the higher end stuff like the 21yo which I probably wouldn't want to put in a punch anyway!

Are there other "Jamaican" dark rums I should consider for this punch that are reasonably available? Or perhaps a dark rum that isn't necessarily Jamaican would do?


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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FrogPrincesse, Thanks for the link and suggestion, but the "recipe" requires ingredients not in my list?

brinza, Sidecar is definitely on the short list and will be road tested with the missus today!

Given the quantities involved, with the exception of the peach brandy, you could potentially buy what you need and fill a punch bowl so that you would not have any leftovers and thus no extra bottles lying about for the rest of the year. Assuming a punch for New Year's appeals to you.

I think I might include it on my list of beverages for our New Year's Eve open house though I might try to cut it down to using 750ml size bottles of rum and cognac. Shouldn't be that hard to do and I already have the peach brandy anyway.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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A Sidecar sounds like a good choice.

I would also recommend a Punch. For example, a variation on the Fish House Punch. It's delicious and you can prepare everything in advance and have fun with you guests instead of being stuck at the bar!

A punch sounds like an interesting option. I always wonder how hard and fast one should try to stick to specific types of liquor in a recipe.

So is Myers or perhaps Coruba dark rum adequate here? Appleton I tend to think of as more of a "gold" rum unless you get to the higher end stuff like the 21yo which I probably wouldn't want to put in a punch anyway!

Are there other "Jamaican" dark rums I should consider for this punch that are reasonably available? Or perhaps a dark rum that isn't necessarily Jamaican would do?

Personally, I've been very happy with Appleton 12-year in this recipe. For large batches, I've used the very reasonably-priced Whaler's rum from Trader Joe's with good results. I am sure that other rums would work well in this punch.

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Somehow I have it in my mind that I want to serve cocktails made "a la minute" - so the punch option does not quite fit the bill here.

Any other suggestions?

PS: I know very little about making cocktails so please do elaborate when it comes to recipes etc

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You could try a vodka version of the Bramble:

1.5 oz vodka

.75 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

.5 oz simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water gently heated together until combined)

Shake all ingredients and pour over a glass filled with crushed ice. Take .75 oz of Creme de Cassis and slowly pour over top of the drink.

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If you'll have sparkling wine around also, you could make French 75s. It's normally made with gin or cognac - I've usually seen it with gin, but I think cognac is also traditional; the brandy you have should be fine. I'm not sure what you call the same thing made with vodka in place of gin. Worth seeking out some fancy cocktail cherries for garnish if you have a chance, or a lemon twist would work. I think it would be a good choice for New Years Eve.

Couple recipe options here:

http://savoycocktails.appspot.com/show?cocktail=ag5zYXZveWNvY2t0YWlsc3IPCxIIQ29ja3RhaWwYwAoM

http://cocktaildb.com/recipe_detail?id=3082

I think you would want to either use powdered sugar, or make simple syrup.

Nthing Sidecars. I like them up rather than over ice. The 1.5 - 1 - .5 ratio works pretty well for me most of the time, but you'll want to taste and adjust as necessary. I find that ungarnished sidecars look kind of ugly, maybe because of all the brown color from the brandy; if you want to make it look nicer, I'd suggest:

* Rim the glass with sugar

* Express a swath of citrus peel (a veg peeler will usually do an Ok job at doing this, or use a paring knife) over the finished drink; optionally you can also garnish with the citrus peel, or with a citrus twist. I'd use lemon, but orange would also make some sense (since there's orange liquor in the drink).

* Pre-chill your cocktail glasses in the freezer.

Also, use dry, fresh ice.

If you buy some rye or bourbon, even a cheap or mid-level one, and some sweet vermouth, maybe some kind of pastis or absinthe, you will open up a range of other possibilities (Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Hot Toddy, Gold Rush, etc.)

If you've got some not-too-expensive red wine, you could also consider making some glogg, or another kind of mulled wine, which you could optionally fortify with some brandy or some of the orange liqueur.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/11/magazine/glogg-before-nog.html


Edited by Will (log)

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The sidecar recipe has been road tested now and is a definite candidate.

Thanks for the garnish tip Will, as it is not the most enticing looking drink and for the other suggestions.

sbumgarner, The bramble recipe sounds interesting - one to try later tonight!

weinoo, I have several bourbons and malts which I prefer drinking straight and which I cannot contemplate (rightly or wrongly) using in a cocktail. Though, there is a horrible Makers Mark lurking in the cupboard (gift) that I could throw into the mix!

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Though, there is a horrible Makers Mark lurking in the cupboard (gift) that I could throw into the mix!

Smirnoff topped your list immediately followed by Bacardi but you're hesitant to mention the Maker's Mark in your list of available ingredients? :blink: The bourbon would open up a great number of additional possibilities.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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+1 on the Maker's Mark. A very nice, easy-to-drink bourbon. I'd buy a fresh bottle of sweet vermouth (maybe something interesting if it's available, like Cocchi Torino) and a jar of Luxardo Maraschino cherries (if they have them) and a bottle of Angostura bitters and make Manhattans. Very popular, easy to mix, no juicing, and they appeal to little old ladies and cutting-edge drinkers alike. If someone wants a sweeter drink, add more sweet vermouth or even a bit of syrup from the Luxardo cherries.

The sweet vermouth and bitters and seltzer and a squeeze of lemon gives you a fizzy, light cocktail, good for when your guests might want something to sip but not drink much more alcohol.

If that Cassis is a crappy brand, I would throw it out, particularly if it isn't fresh. It oxidizes rapidly. Cheap Cassis is nasty stuff.


Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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EvergreenDan, This is a slippery slope, but I am adding the Manhattan to my list even though it means buying some sweet vermouth - I'm sold by the

and they appeal to little old ladies and cutting-edge drinkers alike
.

Running out of road test days!

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Depending on the number of guests and the number of guests drinking I would batch/bottle the cocktail you choose.

Sidecars and Manhattans are great choices.

You could easily add the Oriental cocktail if you get that sweet vermouth.

Batching could give you the option of easily serving 2 different drinks, an aromatic/stirred cocktail and a sour/shaken cocktail.


Edited by Steamtrain (log)

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This is a slippery slope ... even though it means buying some sweet vermouth

In the history of the universe, no one ever regretted adding Sweet Vermouth to their bar. Ok, maybe 3 people, but that was just after Lincoln was shot and they were upset about that no doubt. No one since then. I'm absolutely positive.


Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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This is a slippery slope ... even though it means buying some sweet vermouth

In the history of the universe, no one ever regretted adding Sweet Vermouth to their bar. Ok, maybe 3 people, but that was just after Lincoln was shot and they were upset about that no doubt. No one since then. I'm absolutely positive.

Ah, but is it truly a Manhattan if you don't get some nice rye to compliment that sweet vermouth and relegate the Makers Mark back to the depths of the liquor cabinet? It is not only a bourbon but a wheated bourbon to boot!

:raz:

But I can certainly second the notion that it is useful to make up some batch cocktails unless you want to spend the whole night behind the bar. I tried to make a half a dozen different cocktails to order for guests at one of my gatherings not long ago and never seemed to stop squeezin', shakin' and stirrin'!

One reason why I am strongly considering the Fish House Punch for New Year's.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Ah, but is it truly a Manhattan if you don't get some nice rye to compliment that sweet vermouth and relegate the Makers Mark back to the depths of the liquor cabinet?

Piffle... of course it's a Manhattan. :biggrin:


Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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If you've got a bottle of Maker's Mark laying around, I'd go a City Sidecar. It's equal parts bourbon, Frangelico and a little bit of orange juice. You could also soak some cherries in the Maker's and throw them in. Rim the glass with some sugar. The Frangelico is also very versatile in other drinks so it probably wouldn't go unused.

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KathyP, What kind of cherries does one go for? There are some "cocktail cherries" on the supermarket shelf or I also have the option of fresh cherries.

But I am going to draw the line firmly at any (further) extra ingredients ( :biggrin: ), so City Sidecar and Frangelico is out.

The Manhattan was road tested yesterday (2 measures Makers Mark, 1/2 measure Martini Rosso vermouth) and seemed a bit fierce - certainly cannot see it appealing readily to any of the "little old ladies" of my acquaintance! Are these the correct quantities to be using? I subsequently realised that I had given it a good old shake, whereas it should be stirred?

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