Your Last Minute New Year's Eve Drinking Guide


[Photo: Brian Oh]

Got caught up in all those other holidays and didn't plan for New Year's Eve? No worries! You don't have to drink whatever bubbly they sell at 7-Eleven while you watch the ball drop. Here's our last minute guide to ringing in 2013 right.

Get Bubbly

Whether you're looking for cheap options for a big bash or a special bottle to share with your best friend, we've got you covered. Start with our basic guide to sparkling wine, and then check out our picks for affordable party bubbly, delicious sparkling wine under $25, and special bottles to pick up as a gift for your host. Of course, there's no substitute for real Champagne—here are a few of our favorite nonvintage options.

If you're going the affordable-bubbly route, consider offering the fixings for a signature sparkling cocktail (or two) as well.

Punch for a Crowd


[Photo: Naomi Bishop]

Parties are more fun when the cocktails are served in a giant punchbowl. We've got recipes aplenty: try a classic Fishhouse Punch made with rum, cognac, and loads of fresh lime, or get spicy with this clove and allspice punch from Rob Roy in Seattle. Fruity Aperol and citrus make for a fun holiday beverage, while pineapple and rum make for a tropical escape. Gin and cinnamon find common ground in this Poinsettia Punch while Scotch and cardamom get friendly in this shockingly easy-to-drink Scotch Regency Punch.

It's not too late to enjoy one more homemade batch of eggnog: try our version with Nutella, go exotic with toasted coconut, or lighten up with our lemon-buttermilk eggnog.

Warm Drinks for Cool Nights


[Photo: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Warm up the crowd with steaming mugs of grog or mulled spiked wine. (We also like this hot toddy made with white wine, and this Scotch hot toddy with honey.)

If you're into spiked hot cocoa, try one of these seven boozy variations.

Don't forget to offer non-alcoholic options, too, including sparkling cider or juice, holiday teas, spiced mulled cider or this delicious mulled pomegranate juice.