Oh, New Years Eve, one of my favorites! Nothing screams New Years Eve like a nice cocktail. Forget the wine, never mind the beer – you need a nicely made, stiff drink to enjoy and fight that winter chill. This year I may not be enjoying such pleasures (jeez thanks a lot, baby). So I’m living vicariously through a list of my favorites:
Dirty Martini. Gin only, my friends (don’t mess with that vodka garbage). Extra dirty too, pretty please. Dear hubs has a special way of making them, chilling the glass with ice and then giving it a splash of vermouth, twirling the glass to get the interior coated, then dumping out the excess vermouth with the ice before filling with that lovely olive juice/gin goodness. Yeah, he makes a mean dirty martini. The gin and olive are such perfect companions. In my younger years I was quite the Sweet Cocktail sort of girl (sling, isn’t that the more appropriate term?). Not anymore – that pine-salty flavor, mmmm.
Gin and Tonic. Another simple one: tonic water, good gin, a squeeze of lime. My dear friend Anna shares my enjoyment of the Gin and Tonic. I know this fizzy thing is more a summer drink, but I have no problem drinking them year-round: it is a nice foil to all those heavy winter appetizers you’ll be snacking on New Years Eve.
Cucumber Dill Martini. I have no photo of this actual concoction to share, which is too bad. It is not always available, but on the rare occasion that it is on their cocktail menu you MUST order this drink at Pachamamas. They use a cucumber-infused vodka, poured over a large dill sprig, and garnish with a cucumber slice (rimming the glass with salt). It is AMAZING, salty and cucumber-y and a hint of dill. It sounds summery but the taste is surprisingly hefty. Good stuff.
Manhattan. Everyone has their favorite version, and I must admit I’m more of a bourbon girl when it comes to my Manhattans. Blame it on this charming boyfriend I once had, who introduced me to the fine world of bourbons: he taught me take it neat in a glass, and sip the amber liquid slowly to fully appreciate the flavor. Thanks for being such a great tutor Hubs darling, thanks to you the Manhattan is now truly my absolute favorite cocktail (the beauty of a Manhattan is that it highlights the whiskey rather than masks the flavor).
A mix of whisky, sweet vermouth, and bitters – while you could mix it up in a hot water bottle, I admit I prefer it over ice in a short glass. It’s sharp and bitter but has a very subtle sweetness thanks to the bourbon and maraschino garnish. And as an added bonus – I usually get a double-take from the bartender for ordering such a stiff drink.
Champagne. The quintessential New Years quaff. Toast in the New Year with a nice glass of bubbly. Yeah yeah yeah, not a cocktail blah blah: it’s a nice (light!) change from the alcohol-heavy cocktails, so there 😉
A safe and happy New Year to all! See ya next decade.