How To Plan A Great New Years Cocktail Party

Classic Cocktail Recipes

Planning a great New Year's Eve cocktail party is fun. From drinks to foods to using the proper tools, let this handy guide help. These tasty beverages are can help ensure a successful cocktail party any time.

This collection of yummy drinks are variations on classic cocktails that have remained popular over time. Pick your main liquors (tequila, gin, vodka, rum, bourbon) and then decide on the liqueurs, fruit juices and garnishes you would like to customize with.


Consider Your Guests

As you plan your cocktail party, consider the guests you have invited and their usual drink preferences. Some may prefer beer or wine over mixed drinks so plan accordingly.

If you have to be concerned with expenses (most of us do), focus on two or three signature cocktails with one or two main liquors and then add a medium quality wine and beer.

Responsible Hosting

As host of the party, it is your responsibility to make sure driving home or sleeping over arrangements are made or taxi cabs are available. For your non-alcohol drinkers and designated drivers, be a thoughtful host and plan some attractive "virgin" drinks or a tasty non alcoholic punch in a pretty glass punch bowl. Stop serving alcohol at least a half hour before the end of the party. Consider even serving a light breakfast and coffee.

Pink Panther Cocktail
Pink Panther Cocktail | Source
Pear Margarita
Pear Margarita | Source

Pink Panther

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce raspberry liqueur
  • 1 ounce orange juice

Combine ingredients in a shaker filled with ice; shake and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

Pear Margarita

  • 2 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 and 1/2 ounces silver liqueur
  • 3/4 ounces simple syrup *
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • pear slices

Combine all ingredients in a tall mixing glass. Add ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a pre chilled Margarita glass. Garnish with a pear slice.


New Old Fashioned Highball
New Old Fashioned Highball | Source

New Old-Fashioned

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 and 1/2 ounces pear liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup*
  • ripe but firm pear slices
  • Maraschino cherries
  • splash of fresh lemon juice
  • dash of bitters

Mash four slices of pear, one cherry and a splash of lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, bourbon, pear liqueur,simple syrup and bitters. Shake and strain into an old fashioned glass and garnish with skewered cherries and pear slice.

simple syrup: combine part white sugar to one part water in saucepan. Heat to boiling while stirring over medium heat and then cool.



Gin Rickey
Gin Rickey | Source

Gin Rickey

  • half a lime
  • 1 and 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • club soda

Squeeze half lime into high ball glass over ice. Drop the half shell of the lime into the glass. Add gin and syrup then stir. Fill glass with sparkling club soda.


Tropical Peach-Mango Martini
Tropical Peach-Mango Martini | Source

Tropical Peach- Mango Martini

  • one part coconut creme
  • one part peach-mango juice
  • one part banana liqueur
  • splash of coconut rum

Pre chill ingredients in freezer. Once cooled, pour the first three ingredients slowly, over the back side of a spoon into a martini glass. Top with a splash of coconut rum.


Blue Lagoon

  • 1 ounce blue curacao
  • 1 ounce citrus vodka
  • lemon-lime soda
  • maraschino cherry and lime slices

Pour the blue curacao and vodka into a highball glass filled with ice. Fill glass with lemon-lime soda. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and slice of lime.


Spicy Sausage Cheese Balls

Spicy Sausage Cheese Balls are a great choice for your cocktail party. Only three ingredients, make ahead and freeze.

Food For Your Party

You may want to have a cocktail hour before dinner and serve some light finger foods or you may have your cocktails along with heavy hor-d'oeuvres. Potluck dinners (where everyone brings a favorite dish) are popular. Either way, take some time to plan food to compliment your cocktails. It's impossible to have a great cocktail party without great food. You don't have to slave in the kitchen for days before the party. If you can, consider having a catering company to do your spread.More realistically there are many great recipes that are quick and easy to prepare. Below are a few to help get you started.


Types of Bar Glasses

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Collins glassBrandy snifferChampagne fluteChampagne saucercocktail glassHighball glassLowball glassMartini glassBeer glassWine glass
Collins glass
Collins glass | Source
Brandy sniffer
Brandy sniffer | Source
Champagne flute
Champagne flute | Source
Champagne saucer
Champagne saucer | Source
cocktail glass
cocktail glass | Source
Highball glass
Highball glass | Source
Lowball glass
Lowball glass | Source
Martini glass
Martini glass | Source
Beer glass
Beer glass | Source
Wine glass
Wine glass | Source

Other Helpful Tips

  • serve cocktails in sparkling clear clean glassware
  • use correct glass for cocktail type (see below)
  • never fill glasses completely full
  • garnish,garnish,garnish
  • provide drink stirs and cocktail napkins
  • always measure liquor using a jigger or measuring cup
  • consider practicing your cocktails before the party
  • use cocktail shaker with top, ice tongs, ice bucket, long handled mixing spoon

More by this Author


Comments 21 comments

mireland19 profile image

mireland19 4 years ago from Maine

We served a lot of those drinks at the resteraunt I worked at they were a lot of fun to make and very yummy =)!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thanks for commenting mireland19. Happy Holidays!


wonderingwoolley profile image

wonderingwoolley 4 years ago from Madison, WI

Great ideas! I can't wait to try the Pink Panther!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thanks for stopping by Happy Holidays!


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

I've bookmarked this page and plan to come back next time we plan a cocktail party. Your recipes look delicious!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Great! I am glad you visited my Hub! You gave me the idea of turning it in the an all seasonal one for the rest of the year. It's just been "sitting there for 2 months!Have a good cocktail party!


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

Yes, it's a great idea to make it an all-season hub. It's such useful information!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona

Super drink ideas! It's such a nice touch to include several mixed drinks to the standard beer and wine fare. Gives any party a touch of class to include a beverage bar! Thanks for the ideas. It's almost time for a spring cocktail party!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

What a neat and attractive hub! That Pink Panther looks great! :-)


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

thanks Victoria! Make yourself a pink panther to celebrate all your hard Hub work!


Global-Chica profile image

Global-Chica 4 years ago from New York, NY

Awesome guide to planning a cocktail party! I love how you even provided pictures of different bar glasses. I want to give the Pink Panther a try, even if I'm not planning a cocktail party any time soon.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thanks Global-Chica! Have one for me!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thanks! Happy New Year!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona

I think the Pink Panther sounds yummy! Although I didn't stay up to ring in the new year, I will bookmark these drink recipes for a special occasion in 2013. Great ideas for a party any time of the year!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thanks for book marking. I change the title to just great cocktail party during the rest of the year!


shin_rocka04 profile image

shin_rocka04 3 years ago from Maryland

I'm actually surprised I have not come across this hub yet =P. At any rate, this is a solid hub. Perfect for any holiday gathering with cocktails for the ladies and the gents. Share, vote , and pin worthy!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

HA! Thanks for reminding me shin. I always take out New Year;s Eve along about this time of the year.I owe you one!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

Great recipes, ideas, and advice. Pinned to my 'Drinks' board.

Happy New Year!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thanks, and Happy New Year to you!


kikalina profile image

kikalina 2 years ago from Europe

sharing this great hub. Happy new year :)


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thanks for the share and Happy New Year to you also!

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