Dazzle Your Friends with These New Year’s Eve Cocktails

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Six local bartenders share their celebratory drink recipes — and tips for surviving the inevitable hangover.

New Year’s Eve, an evening on which we look back on the year that was and drink heavily to try and forget it. If you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve party, you’ll probably want to serve up a special cocktail to send the year off in style. We talked to six of L.A.’s best bartenders about their favorite cocktails and how to make them so you can impress your guests. Perhaps more importantly, we also asked them for suggestions for what to do about that pesky hangover.


Beverage Director at Inko Nito

What cocktail on your menu would you recommend for New Year’s Eve?

The Palomita is one of our cocktails on tap, with Sakura blossom-infused blanco tequila, lime, pink grapefruit, agave and soda. It’s refreshing and has a lovely bitter-sweetness. It always makes me want to have one more.

How do you make it?

2 ounces Sakura blossom-infused blanco tequila

½ ounce lime juice

¼ ounce agave

2 ounces freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice

Top with soda

For the Sakura blossom infusion, we directly infuse the blanco tequila at room temperature for 2 hours with 4 tablespoons of Sakura blossom per one 750-milliliter bottle.

What is the best holiday hangover cure?

The best holiday hangover cure is probably to not drink excessive amounts of alcohol. However, if and when needed, try Seedlip – it’s a great replacement for a base spirit in some cocktails. Seedlip Spice 94 and ginger ale is very refreshing. At Inko Nito, we serve the Spring St. Punch with Seedlip Garden 108, shiso [and] pineapple and lemon tea for a dry, refreshing, non-alcoholic cocktail.


General Manager and Lead Bartender at MiniBar Hollywood

What cocktail from your menu would you recommend for New Year’s Eve?

Our Alpine Hippie Juice is a festive cocktail that is high and dry, tight and tart. We shake it hard until the tin gets almost cold enough to burn your hand and you can see cold fog escape as you open the tin, like the frosty Alps or your breath in winter. The baby pinecones harvested for the Austrian liqueur add dry tartness and tannin for a unique taste.

How do you make it?

1 ounce Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur of the Alps

1 ounce Clear Creek Cassis

½ ounce fresh lime juice

Splash of soda water

Shake until cold, then strain into a flute glass. Add a dash of soda water and serve.

What is the best holiday hangover cure?

There are two choices: submission and punishment.

Submission means you accept that you are not going to beat the hangover, so you give in and crack a cold can of Tecate. Punishment means you did a bad thing and you deserve to pay for it, so you will punish yourself with hard outdoor exercises — like a long run to Pasadena or a bike ride to the beach. Make sure to stop for green Gatorade along the way. You will not get those brain cells back, but you will feel physically better afterward and have some sense of accomplishment instead of throwing the day away. Also, option two works best when followed directly by option one.


Bartender at The Living Room bar at the W Hollywood Hotel

What cocktail on your menu would you recommend for New Year’s Eve?

I’d recommend our Make Out Music because it’s made with prosecco and served in a champagne glass.

How do you make it?

½ ounce Grey Goose vodka

½ ounce Aperol

½ ounce St. Germain

1-2 raspberries

3 ounces prosecco to top

Shake the first three ingredients with raspberry. Pour into a champagne glass and top with prosecco.

What’s the best holiday hangover cure?

A Michelada. I have hangovers a lot and a Michelada is always on the menu for me when I’m in trouble.


Beverage Director at Gracias Madre

What cocktail on your menu would you recommend for New Year’s Eve?

We’re running a New Year’s special that’s not one to be missed – a clarified sparkling margarita served in a champagne flute with invisible orange salt painted on the rim! I concocted it for the HomeState Margarita Showdown earlier this year.

How do you make it?

2 ounces Siete Leguas Blanco Tequila

1 ounce clarified lime juice (clarified in a centrifuge)

¾  ounce agave syrup

1 ounce purified water

3 dashes orange bitters

3 drops saline solution

What’s the best holiday hangover cure?

The best holiday hangover cure is the holiday spirit (pun unfortunately intended). Water and Advil will only take you so far, so you’ll need that extra holiday cheer to get up and at ’em in the new year.


Beverage Director at Ever Bar

What cocktail on your menu would you recommend for New Year’s Eve?

If you are looking to lean traditional with a hint of rebellion, we have a cocktail called Fade to Black that I’d highly recommend. It’s inspired by the classic Black Velvet  — sparkling wine with stout beer — and maintains that same celebratory effervescence you’d expect from a glass of bubbles on New Year’s. Our Black Velvet play is simply leveled up with a balance of bitter and sweet from the additions of Campari and Luxardo cherry liqueur and Blackened American Whiskey — a whiskey finished in black brandy barrels. The Anderson Valley oatmeal stout pairs perfectly here as well and really helps maintain that fluffy mouthfeel we were looking for.

How do you make it?

Build cocktail in a small, gold-rimmed Collins glass.

2 ½ ounces Kenwood Sparkling

2 ½ ounces Anderson Valley oatmeal stout

1 ½ ounce Blackened Whiskey

¾ ounce Campari

¾ ounce Luxardo cherry liqueur

3 Luxardo cherries

The cocktail is simply built in the glass and garnished with the cherries. Top with equal parts brut and stout if needed.

What’s the best holiday hangover cure?

Pedialyte is a gift sent from the heavens and is not just for baby humans.

Jordan Young

Beverage Director and Owner at Pinky’s

What cocktail from your menu would you recommend for New Year’s Eve?

I would recommend the Cold to the Touch for NYE. It’s one of our most light and refreshing cocktails. It consists of vodka, ume-infused sake, grapefruit cordial and sparkling yuzu. The cocktail is sessionable and bright, just like the start of a new year.

How do you make it?

1 ounce ume-infused Soto sake

¼ ounce Mulholland Vodka

¾ ounce Cocchi Americano

¾ ounce lemon juice

½ ounce grapefruit juice

¼ ounce simple syrup or 1 teaspoon fine sugar

2 ounces yuzu soda

2 mint sprigs

Stir with ice in a tall Collins glass.

Mulholland Vodka is a local L.A. vodka that has a silky mouthfeel with rich, evergreen and vanilla notes up front, with pepper and mint on the finish. The flavor holds just long enough to showcase the smooth, round character and great length. Clean and smooth, enjoy neat, on the rocks or in a drink. To make the ume-infused sake, combine 75 grams of fresh ume plums with 1,000 milliliters of sake and let sit for 24 hours, then fine-strain.

What’s the best holiday hangover cure?

I think the best hangover cure is a bowl of pho for breakfast. The warm broth with noodles and fresh herbs always soothes.

Los Angeleno