Making a dope bar for a New Year’s Eve party is all about keeping it easy. There are a million cocktail recipes out there that call for all sorts of crazy expensive bottles, time-consuming garnishes, and way, way too much sugar. New Year’s Eve is the party where you need to be focusing on the dance floor, not a f*cking recipe.
Our recommendation: Buy a few classic bottles, some easy garnish, make a menu of ten drinks for your crew, and let the party flow. You can make a very long list of (great) drinks from a mere few bottles of booze. If you’re willing to spend around $150-$200 on your drinks budget for New Year’s Eve (0r if your bar is stocked), you’ll have options that’ll satisfy every type of drinker at your party.
Here’s how it’s done.
- Bottle of Bourbon or Rye
- Bottle of Gin
- Bottle of Vodka
- Bottle of Bubbly
- Bottle of Dry Vermouth
- Bottle of Sweet Vermouth
- Bottle of Campari
- Bottle of Angostura Bitters
- Bottle of Simple Syrup
- Case of Sparkling Water
This gives you a huge selection of drinks that are very easily made. As far as supplies go, get plenty of ice, a mixing jug (an old jar will do), a mixing spoon, and a strainer. That’s all you need. If you want to get very fancy, grab some oranges, lemons, green olives, limes, and Amarena cherries for garnishes. And, you know, if you can’t find a mixing jug and strainer, just build the drinks in the glass. It’ll be fine.
Don’t worry about “the right” glass for each drink. Every drink can be served in a rocks glass if you want. Also, don’t worry about pre-chilling glasses. No one has room in their freezer to chill 20 or 30 glasses and then the time to keep rotating them in. Just chill glasses with ice cubes as you mix. So, here are the ten perfect cocktails you’ll be able to make, easily, all New Year’s Eve long.
This is probably the easiest crowd-pleaser for wintery good times. An old fashioned is also super easy to make.
Grab a rocks glass (or any glass really), add in a spoon of Simple Syrup and six dashes of Bitters. Stir in two-ounces of Whiskey until it’s completely blended. Next, top off with ice and stir until the glass is ice cold to touch. Add an orange peel (spritz the oils if you’re fancy) and drop in a cherry. Done.