New Year’s Eve Cocktails

2012 is almost drawing to a close. Christmas is behind us and I’m planning some New Year’s Eve cocktails. Since having children, we’ve softened. Torn between going out for the evening and staying home to cuddle the children at midnight. This year, we’re staying home, but I always like to have a few nibbles and some elegant cocktails to hand. 

New Year's Eve Cocktails

Although a popular spirit to go for is vodka, and I have to admit a little Polish bias here, I’ve recently discovered No. 3 London Dry Gin, which has one of the most interesting and complex blends of botanical flavours of any gin I’ve tried – juniper, Spanish orange peel, grapefruit peel, angelica root, Moroccan coriander seed and cardamom. It packs a real punch and you’ll notice the strength, too, 46% volume in a 700ml bottle, so you’ll genuinely only need a shot or two of this! To make matters slightly more interesting, I tried the gin with a rhubarb and apple juice by Cawston Press. You’ll find these British juices by the cordials, not in the chiller section. Gin has definitely moved on from its iconic partner, tonic. For New Year’s Eve, add a splash of Prosecco and a twist of orange peel and you’ll be ready to party.  

Ren’s Gin & Rhubarb Fizz

  • 25ml No. 3 London Dry Gin
  • 100ml Cawston Press Apple and Rhubarb Juice
  • Prosecco, Champagne or Sparkling wine to top up
  • A twist of orange peel
  1. Mix the gin and apple & rhubarb juice in a cocktail shaker. Pour the contents into a Champagne flute. Top up with champagne.
  2. Add a twist of orange peel and serve

No.3 London Dry Gin

If you are looking for something a little more comforting and warming, try a hot toddy made with tea, honey and vodka. For a twist, I tried them with a Masala Chai by Tea India, a splash of my pomegranate and vanilla vodka, which made it as a featured recipe post on US site Blisstree.com! Although, you could just use plain vodka and add a few fresh pomegranate seeds to the warm tea. The particular blend of Masala Chai tea I tried was made up of black tea, ginger root, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, cloves and star anise. For good measure, I added some fresh orange zest and a whole star anise to my hot toddy.

Masala Chai Hot Toddy

Ren’s Vodka & Masala Chai Hot Toddy

  • 1 cup hot water + 1 tea bag
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sugar
  • 25ml vodka or pomegranate and vanilla vodka
  • 1 star anise per cup
  • 1 twist orange peel per cup
  1. Pour freshly boiled hot water over the tea bag in a cup, allow to infuse a minute or so.
  2. Add a teaspoon of honey and a splash of vodka, stir. 
  3. Add a star anise and a twist of orange peel, drink whilst hot.

With many thanks to Martin at Piracy Corporation for the No.3 London Dry Gin and for the Cawston Press Samples and to Tea India Uk for the Masala Chai and Black Tea samples. I was under no obligation to feature these products or write positively about them.

I have one more post to share before we see the year out, featuring a guest photographer and some very simple five-minute dessert recipes. The New Year might see me taking a little break to focus on one or two writing projects I have up my sleeve, but I’ll keep you posted.

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve? Do you brave the elements and crazy prices or stay cosy at home?


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  1. That Gin and Rhubarb Fizz sounds awesome. I spent the new year away in the lake district. We stuck to good wine – mostly Rueda and sung the new year in with some cava as neither hubby or I like champage too much. Happy New year Ren x

    1. Thanks Urvashi, the bottle is almost gone and I also had my first taste of homemade sloe gin. Lovely to hear to had a relaxing time in the Lake District, such a lovely part of the world 🙂

  2. What lovely cocktails, I have recently discovered the delights of gin and went a bit mad for it over Christmas. I wish I had some left to make your lovely cocktail!
    We are staying in this year, we had planned on going to a friends house but they have had to cancel due to a sick child so last minute provision shopping will happen tomorrow. I always prefer staying in though, Newcastle on NYE is crazy! lol

    Happy New Year to you and yours. x

    1. Thank Nelly, this gin is super strong, I had about three gin and rhubarbs and then looked at the bottle to see it was 47% proof! We’re staying in too, hope you all have a nice evening x

  3. We’re staying home this year and will be enjoying some lovely home cooked veggie food and some champagne. Wishing you all a wonderful New Year xxx

    1. Thank you Clare, all the best to you, too x

  4. Gin: yes. Rhubarb: yes. Gin-and-rhubarb Fizz: possibly not! This combination probably tastes a lot nicer than it sounds. Quite a challenge for the Marketing Dept I think! Good luck with the writing projects.

    1. It works, I promise! An improvement on all the fish and dill of Christmas Eve?!

  5. other than the fact that i’m suffering from a dreadful hangover these look incredible!

    1. Thanks Dom, all the best to you and The Viking!

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