New Year's Eve 2013: 7 cocktail recipes you said we should drink this NYE

Photo of the Hot Bajan Holiday cocktail by Krista Simmons/LAist.
Photo of the Hot Bajan Holiday cocktail by Krista Simmons/LAist. Krista Simmons/LAist

So you've decided to host a few friends at the pad and ditch the pricey NYE party. Good idea. You've purchased the party hats, created a solid Spotify playlist and arranged an impressive cheese platter. Now, what to drink? 

We reached out to some of our favorite boozing buddies for creative cocktail recipes, including Spare Room Hollywood beverage director Naomi SchimekLAist food writer Krista Simmons and you — our listeners. 

Here's a list of 7 cocktails — from fancy to fruity — that will help you drink your way through the New Year. 


What you'll need for the cocktail: 

  • Cotes du Rhone, Cognac, fresh citrus, sugar, mulling spices
  • Into your cocktail tin, muddle one lemon wedge and one orange wedge.
  • Add .75 oz. mulling syrup*
  • .5 oz. Cognac Park V.S.
  • 2.5 oz. red Cotes du Rhone (I use Marius, 2011)
  • Roll with 3-4 times with crushed ice, pour all into wine goblet.
  • Top with more crushed ice if necessary, garnish with a mint flower and fresh grated nutmeg.

*How to make the mulling spice syrup:

In a large saucepan toast 8 cinnamon sticks 2 T whole cloves 2 tsp. green cardamom pods, cracked 2 whole nutmegs cracked into small pieces Add 16 oz water and bring to a boil turn down to low and simmer for 45 minutes add 16 oz sugar strain and bottle Add 1 oz Cognac as preservative and it keeps 2 weeks, refrigerated.

“You have the lovely, festive flavor profile of a mulled wine with Cognac, but it is served cool, as a cobbler,” — Naomi Schimek


  • 1 oz Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum 
  • 1 oz unfiltered spiced apple cider (we used Trader Joe's brand)
  • .5 oz spicy ginger beer (like Bundaberg or Reed's)
  • 2 dashes Fee's West Indian Orange Bitters
  • candied ginger to garnish

Combine all ingredients except for ginger beer in a Boston shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into coupe glass, top with ginger beer, and garnish with candied ginger. 

Krista Simmons


What you'll need for the cocktail:

  • 2 tbsp organic cocoa powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 oz Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum 
  • 1 oz Bajan spiced simple syrup *
  • cinnamon stick for garnish

How to make Bajan spiced simple syrup:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, halved, deveined and deseeded
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange juice

To make the simple syrup, combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and continue to stir until the sugar has dissolved. (We are making a 3:1 simple syrup for this recipe so that it's sweet enough to sweeten the hot cocoa without adding more sugar.)

In a separate small pan, combine cocoa powder, milk, and Bajan spiced simple syrup over low heat, whisking continually. Once the mixture has become piping hot just before boiling, add rum and whisk. Remove from the heat carefully pour into a mug. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Krista Simmons


What you'll need for cocktail:

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 oz homemade ginger syrup*
  • 4 oz Fever Tree ginger beer

Pour ingredients, except ginger beer, into a shaker and add ice.  Shake well and strain into a 16 oz solid copper moscow mule mug filled with ice. Top off with ginger beer and garnish with a lime wedge. 

*How to make ginger syrup:

  • 2 cups of peeled or unpeeled, washed, fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 6 cups of water
  • Makes around 2 - 2 1/2 cups of ginger syrup. 

Process ginger chunks in a food processor or blender until ginger is finely chopped. Put ginger, sugar and water into a large stock pot. Bring to a boil before reducing heat to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour.  

Remove from heat and strain syrup twice through a fine mesh strainer into a bottle. Cool completely before use.  Good for 2-3 weeks refrigerated. 

Jake Staley


  • 3 parts Absolut vanilla vodka
  • 1 part pineapple juice
  • A healthy splash of Galliano

—Ray Capiral 


  • Muddle 3-4 lime wedges in a glass with ice
  • Add 1-1/2 jiggers good gin and shake in cocktail shaker.
  • Strain into martini glass
  • Garnish with lime wedge
  • No more Rose's lime from a bottle! 

—Bette Farley Hagerty 


  • Tequila
  • Lime juice 
  • A bit of agave
  • Champagne 
  • Drunk in 5 seconds flat.

—Vanessa Walker 

What's your cocktail of choice? Got an outstanding recipe to wash down 2013? Share it with us! 

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