Ring in '09 with the right drinks
Photo credit: Celebrations.com
New Years Eve may be the only holiday where the cocktails are just as important some might say more important than the food.
Leanne Shear and Tracey Toomey, cocktail therapists for Celebrations.com, provided tips for getting the drinks just right.
Going out on New Years Eve is really expensive. Having people over is really the more affordable option, Toomey said.To make your home bar cost effective, Toomey and Shear, authors of Cocktail Therapy and The Perfect Manhattan, suggested setting up a Bellini bar, with a range of fresh or frozen fruit purees and Champagne. For an even more affordable option, substitute Champagne with Prosecco or Cava.
Serving one specialty cocktail like Shear and Toomeys signature cranberry margarita is another way to save some cash; its also less overwhelming than a fully stocked bar.
We always advise people to try a simple twist on the classic cocktail, Toomey said. If youre making a mint mojito, add basil.
You dont want to have to start making drinks at 11:59, so you want to have plenty prepared in advance, Shear said. Its all about the host having fun that really sets the tone for the party.
When it comes to the morning after, Toomey and Shear said hangovers are avoidable. The cardinal rule is not to mix drinks too much; stick to one thing, Toomey said.
If you have a glass of water with every cocktail its nearly impossible to have a hangover.
She added,We always like to remind people, its a marathon, not a sprint.
To make the purees, simply defrost a bag of frozen fruit and cook it in a saucepan with a little lemon juice and some sugar until the fruit starts to break down and the sugar dissolves. Then pulse in a blender or food processor until smooth and strain through a sieve to get out all the seeds. Purees can be made weeks in advance and frozen.
Cointreau (or triple sec)
To make the mix, cook cranberries with the simple syrup (sugar and water)
until the cranberries start to break down and get mushy. Remove from heat
and add the lime juice and the lime zest and orange zest. Then blend until
smooth and strain through a sieve. Next, mix in the cointreau and tequila.
(Amounts vary depending on how many drinks you are preparing, but the ratio
should be 2 parts mix to 1 part tequila and 1/2 part cointreau). Shake over
ice and serve up in a martini glass. Garnish with three whole cranberries
*This cocktail is available at Braeburn restaurant in the west village (at
Perry and Greenwich St.) where Troomey is behind the bar - if anyone wants to
come by and sample before making for a crowd!