Soon enough, we can bid farewell to another year. For most of us, it wasn’t quite what we expected. But it did feel like a step in the right direction and we can’t help but be optimistic for the new year that’s rushing in. And if we’re gonna welcome a new year to the party, we better have some extra nice drinks in our collective custody.
We’re not going to discourage you from celebrating as soon as you feel ready. We continue to exist in a world that prizes its cocktails, beers, wines, and more. Here’s what to have on hand for all your NYE fun this year.
Best Splurge Drink: Sunday’s Finest Gold Fashioned
If you want to bring the party to the party, pack this high-end RTD cocktail with you. It’s far from cheap, but absolutely delicious, crafted with ingredients that span the planet, from a tasty bourbon bill to Tahitian vanilla, even saffron from Afghanistan. It’s a little ridiculous, we know (the bottle comes on a pedestal and there’s a spritzer to boot), but there’s no denying the deft touch that went into making this Old Fashioned.
Best Somm-Approved Wine: 2Naturkinder Fledermaus White
This is a go-to and what a lot of the sommeliers are drinking: A relatively low-alcohol skin-fermented white made from Müller-Thurgau and Silvaner grapes. It’s briny, delicate, esoteric, and overall delightful. Oh, and extra credit points for being a biodynamic outfit with responsible growing standards. If you haven’t introduced yourself to German wine yet, get with the program.
Best IPA Beer: Heady Topper
One of the highest-rated beers ever is that way for a reason. It’s a hop-tastic brew meant to be drunk right out of the can, for maximum enjoyment of its wild aromatics and layer after layer of bracing flavors. If it’s not available in your neck of the woods, ask around your favorite bottles shops as the brand has bumped production quite a bit as of late to try to deal with demand.
Best Crowd-Pleaser: Ornellaia Poggio alle Gazze
This outstanding wine makes you quickly realize that a good white can have all of the detail and nuance of a good red, or more. It hails from Tuscany and is made from Sauvignon Blanc. It gives even the best stuff coming out of France and New Zealand a run for the varietal’s money.
Best Sparkler: Amirault Cremant de Loire
A good bottle of bubble on NYE is a cliche for a reason and we’re not about to mess with all that. This French one delivers the feel-goodness and quality of Champagne at a fraction of the cost. It’s a tidy blend of Chenin Blanc, Cab Franc, and Chardonnay and touts nice minerality, a creamy texture, and fruit and nut flavors for days.
Best Holiday Beer: Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale
We love holiday beers. This year’s version of the longstanding Christmas Ale from Anchor is arguably the best. It’s great not only in that it wears a handsome label featuring a Joshua Tree, but offers wonderful dark chocolate and roasted coffee notes. Oh, and if you really feel like celebrating, it comes in larger format bottles.
Best Red Wine: Pio Cesare Barolo
If you’re looking for a red that will instantly win over the entire gathering, Barolo is a fine direction to head. The iconic Italian wine can hardly be contained by the bottle, simply bursting with character. Best, it’s great with food, in case you’re snacking or cooking up a celebratory steak.
Best Festive Cocktail: Agua Fresca
(Created by Toca Madera, West Hollywood)
This cocktail is a great one to toast with, tremendously flavorful and also transportive to some extent, sending you somewhere a bit more tropical (if you don’t happen to be there already). Batch it up a few notches if you’re having company.
- 2 ounces Ketel One Vodka
- 1 ounce coconut water
- 1 ounce Canela
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 1 ounce pineapple juice
- Combine all ingredients in a shaker and strain into a cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a pineapple wedge.
Best Macro Beer: Peroni
Sometimes, a classy and easy-to-find Italian beer is festive enough. Peroni is that brew, a clean and refreshing option you can sip into the wee hours without losing your mind. And if you’re feeling like a beer cocktail, try throwing in a little amaro or even some Prosecco and citrus.
Most Eye-Catching Cocktail: Sweet Liberty’s Grasshopper 2.0
We love classic cocktails and the Grasshopper is all-too-often neglected. It’s easy on the eyes and a great wintertime sipper, especially this recipe from Liquor.com.
- .75 ounce Tempus Fugit Crème de Menthe
- .75 ounce Giffard White Crème de Cacao
- .5 ounce Del Maguey ‘Vida’ Mezcal
- .25 ounce Branca Menta
- barspoon of absinthe
- 1.25 ounce heavy cream
- Combine all ingredients with ice.
- Shake and strain on crushed ice into a double rocks glass.
- Cap with more crushed ice and garnish with grated dark chocolate and mint sprig.
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