Anyone who has been following The Mother Hub for a while will know that we love a cocktail. And luckily for us, Juliet's husband, Ian, is absolutely cocktail obsessed! He's spent years pouring over cocktail books, ordering rare ingredients from eBay and experimenting with his semi-professional cocktail kit. We've all been benefiting from his #CocktailFriday concoctions for the last few months, so when we were looking for NYE drinks inspiration, there was only one guy to call on.
New Year's Eve these days seems to be less about going out and more about staying in... So we asked Ian to put together his top 10 easy yet impressive cocktail recipes for NYE. If you're hosting this year, or if you're looking for a show-stopping alternative to a bottle of champagne to take round to your mates' party, look no further! Whether you're partial to prosecco, aching for Aperol or even if you're the designated driver (!), we've got you covered!
This is my take on a bramble, taking inspiration from the amazing Tristan Stephenson and his Bramble redux. This is perfect for autumn and winter, using frozen winter berries and thyme to garnish a refreshing drink with a good kick of gin!
50 ml gin (I like Tanqueray No 10)
10 ml lemon juice
5-10 ml sugar syrup
10 ml cassis
Handful frozen winter berries
A few sprigs of thyme
Fill a tumbler with crushed ice and pour over the gin, lemon juice and syrup. Stir and add the berries, then pour over the cassis. Add a few more berries on top, along with the thyme.
Million Bucks Fizz
I wanted something a bit different to a Bucks Fizz for an early evening cocktail. This is boozy and very festive! To make mine extra special I’ve garnished it here with edible gold leaf but it’s not necessary (unless you like to show off!).
20 ml Cointreau
10 ml clementine juice
Champagne to top up
Clementine twist garnish (clementine peel, rosemary and clove)*
Stir Cointreau and clementine juice in a mixing glass or cocktail shaker (it’s easier to make up enough for all your guests here and share out evenly). Strain into martini glasses, coupes or flutes and top up with champagne. Then garnish with your clementine twist.
*To make the garnish twist a strip of clementine peel around a rosemary sprig and poke the clove through the peel to fasten together. Fiddly, yes, but it looks great!
The flip has been around for centuries and was originally made up of rum, beer and sugar, and served hot thanks to the dipping of a red-hot iron! Over time, it became sweeter, a whole egg was added and the beer was eliminated. It's a great alternative to eggnog and is perfect for an early evening festive tipple.
Generous measure of bourbon (double and a bit!)
Dash of Galliano or other vanilla liqueur
1 whole egg
1 tsp of honey or agave nectar
Dash of smokey bitters (Old Creole or something similar if you have them) - not necessary, but nice to have
Grated nutmeg and a sprinkle of cinnamon to garnish
Shake all ingredients except the nutmeg and cinnamon in a shaker with NO ice. Shake well to mix. Add ice and shake vigorously for a few minutes! Double strain into a glass (champagne coupes are perfect). Garnish with grated nutmeg and a pinch of cinnamon.
An alcohol free cocktail for the designated driver! This is deliciously refreshing and a great alternative to other soft drinks.
30ml rosemary & lemon syrup*
10 ml lemon juice
Pinch rock salt
Sprig of rosemary
Lemon & rosemary sprig to garnish
Lots of ice!
Muddle syrup, salt and 1 rosemary sprig in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass. Fill your drinks glass to the brim with ice (I like a gin glass but a long one works just as well) and strain the syrup over the ice. Add lemon juice and a few slices of lemon then pour over soda water. Give a rosemary sprig a good smack in your palms to release its oils and lovely aroma and add as a garnish. Put your straw next to the rosemary garnish!
*To make the lemon & rosemary simple syrup, add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, quarter lemon and 4 sprigs of rosemary to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently until the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn off the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve and leave to cool. Store in a bottle or airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to a month.
Spiced Apple Martini
This is a delicious drink either hot or cold. I love it as a martini but it can also be served warm in a wine glass with a stick of cinnamon as a lovely alternative to a hot toddy!
30 ml spiced apple juice*
30 ml gin
15 ml amaretto
Dash of white vermouth
Thin slice of apple or cinnamon stick to garnish
If hot: Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir while apple juice is still warm. Pour into a wine glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
If cold: Allow apple juice to cool and then add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a slice of apple.
*To make the spiced apple juice, heat apple juice on the stove with cinnamon, cloves, pinch of chilli powder/flakes or cayenne pepper and orange peel and simmer for 20 minutes or so (or as long as it takes for the spices to infuse). You can add the vermouth on the stove or in the shaker, depending on whether you want a non-alcoholic version of the apple (which is lovely on its own as well!).
A marvellous Christmas drink served every year by my father-in-law, Juliet’s dad! It's a family favourite, based on a recipe by Nigella Lawson. This looks gorgeously festive and goes down a treat!
1 bottle prosecco
125 ml Cointreau
500 ml chilled cranberry juice
Handful of frozen cranberries
Mix the prosecco, Cointreau, cranberry juice and cranberries in a pitcher over a generous helping of ice. Serve in champagne flutes or coupes and enjoy!
This is my festive version of one of my favourite recipes by the Experimental Cocktail Club. It's a spicy rhubarb drink with a bitter taste. Great all year round but I like to add Christmas spices for a more festive flavour!
40 ml Aperol
10 ml Hendrick’s gin
20 ml lemon juice
20 ml rhubarb syrup (with extra Christmas spice)*
Pinch of rock salt
Champagne, to top up
Place all the ingredients (except the Champagne) in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice cubes. Shake and strain into a wine glass with a few cubes of ice and top up with the Champagne. Garnish with a stick of rhubarb.
*To make the rhubarb syrup, add 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar and 4 cups chopped rhubarb to a saucepan. Add some Christmas spices (cloves, star anise and cinnamon work well). Bring to the boil and then simmer gently until sugar is dissolved and the rhubarb is nice and soft. Then strain through a sieve and leave to cool. Store in a bottle or airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to a month.
Another of my favourites by the Experimental cocktail club, this delicious sweet, floral cocktail is perfect for a party!
1 lemongrass stem
20 ml fresh lemon juice
20 ml elderflower cordial
50 ml vodka
2 basil leaves
Muddle some chopped lemongrass and basil with the lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Then add ice and the vodka and elderflower cordial. Shake and serve over a few cubes of ice. Garnish with a stick of lemongrass and (after giving it a good smack) a basil leaf.
My last tribute to the brilliant Experimental Cocktail Club... Spice-infused Aperol, sweet & acidic strawberry and champagne combined to make a perfect cocktail to for New Year's!
1 large strawberry
20 ml lemon juice
50 ml spiced Aperol*
Place the strawberry in a cocktail shaker, muddle, then add the lemon juice and the Aperol. Top up with ice and then shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled coupe and top up with Champagne.
* To make the spice-infused Aperol, place 1 star anise, 1 vanilla pod, 2-3 cloves, 1 whole nutmeg and 1 cinnamon stick in a bottle of Aperol. The longer you leave it, the more intense the flavour, so taste it from time to time.
This is the perfect drink for those looking to end the evening with a strong, warming nightcap! It's smokey, fruity and sweet all at the same time, and might just be the drink that sends you to sleep!
40 ml Bourbon
20 ml coffee liqueur
Dash of Galliano
Dash of Cointreau
Grated chocolate and orange slice or peel to garnish
Fill whiskey tumbler with ice then build the cocktail in the above order and stir. Grate some chocolate over the top and garnish with orange.