December 31st, 2011

{recipe flashback} New Year’s Eve Ideas Cocktail/Mocktail Pairs

cranberry thyme martinis

Remember these drinks? Time to pull out the recipes tonight! I’m on vacation and have already made the mulled wine. Tonight we’re going with pomegranate and pear bellinis/sparklers. Whatever you eat or drink tonight, happy new year. Wishing you a healthy and fun-filled 2012 with lots of delicious, good-for-you eats. More soon, friends. Stacie, xox

There’s something fantastically satisfying about sipping a fine cocktail at home. A regular night turns into a special night when you take a little time to concoct something “fancy” and actually pull out the nice glasses. (Don’t tell me there aren’t nights when you sip wine out of a water glass because you’re too tired to clean your nice stemware!) And a special night—like New Year’s Eve—actually feels special, even if you’re just staying home with the kids. So, actually, don’t think of these drinks as just New Year’s Eve ideas, but as ideas for any night of the week. Because sometimes, at the end of a long day with the kiddos, a glamorous drink, with or without alcohol, is in order.

Since drinking isn’t what it used to be, I decided to come up with cocktail/mocktail pairs. The non-alcoholic versions will keep your non-drinkers, big or small, in a festive mood. Or, if you’re like me, they’ll keep the party going even when you’ve reached your alcohol limit (ahem, 2 drinks).

Perfect Mulled Wine / Mulled Punch
Pomegranate Pear Bellini / Pomegranate Pear Sparkling Lemonade
Cranberry Thyme Martini / Cranberry Thyme Sparkler

Without further ado, let’s start drinking!!!

To begin with, you can get the recipe for my Cranberry Thyme Martinis and Cranberry Thyme Sparkler (pictured above) on The Family Kitchen.

mulled wine

Perfect Mulled Wine
should only be served to folks of drinking age!
makes about 6 servings

1 bottle red wine (I like using an inexpensive, medium-bodied wine without too much oak flavor)
1/2 c water
2 oranges, each cut into quarters
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick
8 cloves
5 prunes

1. Add wine and water to a medium pot. Squeeze the juice of each orange quarter into the wine and water, then dump the quarters into the pot, too. Add all remaining ingredients and turn heat to medium high. Bring to the edge of a boil, stirring once or twice to help dissolve the sugar, then turn heat to low. Allow wine to sit on heat for another 10 minutes before beginning to serve. Leave it on very low heat for as long as people will be drinking it. The longer it sits, the better the flavor.

If you have leftover (not likely!), allow the wine to cool completely before lidding the pot and storing in the fridge for up to 5 days.

mulled punch

Perfect Mulled Punch (or Cider!)
Can be shared with kids 10+ mos)*

You can find my recipe for Perfect Mulled Punch on Momformation. You’ll need:

apple cider
pomegranate or cranberry juice
oranges
2 prunes
cinnamon sticks
whole cloves
fresh ginger

You can also turn this into a Ginger Mulled Cider by skipping the pomegranate juice.

pomegranate pear bellini

Pomegranate Pear Bellini
should only be served to folks of drinking age!
makes 1 cocktail

2 Tbsp pear puree
Champagne or sparkling wine
splash pomegranate juice
pomegranate seeds for garnish, optional

1. Pour pear puree into the bottom of a champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine. Add a splash of pomegranate juice. Drop in a few pomegranate seeds.

Pomegranate Pear Sparkling Lemonade
(can be shared with kids 10+ mos*)
makes 1 drink

2 Tbsp pear puree
sparkling lemonade
splash pomegranate juice
pomegranate seeds for garnish, optional

1. Pour pear puree into the bottom of a champagne flute. Top with sparkling lemonade. Add a splash of pomegranate juice. Drop in a few pomegranate seeds.

*Note: There is nothing in any of the mocktail (i.e., non-alcoholic) drink recipes that can’t technically be shared with kids younger than 10 months, but I don’t recommend serving them to very little ones due to the high sugar content. If you do serve little ones, even those over 10 months old, be sure to give them an age appropriate portion. Very little can go a long way. Also, none of these drinks should take the place of their regular intake of breast milk, formula and/or water.

7 Responses

  1. Sonya Mills says:

    This is the second time I’ve tried to click over to one of your The Family Kitchen links when there’s nothing there… Love the “mocktails” idea. Guess we’re going with bellinis since that’s what I have on hand, but I’d love to find the recipes for Cranberry Thyme martinis/sparklers

  2. One Hungry Mama says:

    SONYA! Thank you for the heads up. FIXED. Go on over if you want to make yummy Cranberry Thyme drinks. Happy new year! xo

  3. Mariah says:

    I love the ideas of the mocktails. These recipes sound amazing!

  4. rebecca says:

    my wine is mulling :) xo

  5. Miri Leigh says:

    These are some great ideas- thanks for sharing! Happy new year to you and yours!

  6. Nicole J says:

    Where do you get the pear purée? Just purée a pear in the blender? Thanks!!! I love these recipes!!

  7. One Hungry Mama says:

    yes! just seed and puree in a blender. you can also sometimes find pear nectar at the supermarket.

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