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New Years Eve Beverage Guide

 

 


Setting Up Your Bar

Drink Dictionary

Beer Basics

Non-alcoholic drinks

Wine Basics

How to Open Champagne

 

 

 

Setting Up Your Bar         > Back to Top <

People are drinking less alcohol now, you'll probably need more wine, bottled waters, and soft drinks than you may expect and less hard liquor.  Make sure you have plenty of mixers -- carbonated water, tonic water, lemon-lime carbonated beverage, and gingerale.

Choose only the liquors you know your guests will drink. If you're unsure, here’s a list of the basics: whiskey, Scotch, gin, vodka, tequila, rum, or vermouth for cocktails; wine and beer to drink alone.

Make a variety of nonalcoholic beverages available for nondrinkers. Sodas, fruit and vegetable juices, bottled water, iced tea, and hot coffee and tea are all popular. So be sure to have coffee mugs around along with martini, wine, and other various glasses. Keep in mind that many guests will drink both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks.

If you’ll be making cocktails, be sure to have plenty of maraschino cherries and olives, on hand. You also may want to cut lemon peels and lime and lemon wedges in advance. And buy plenty of ice. Allow about a pound of cubes per person, a little more for longer parties (or for parties on hot days).

Ten- or 12-ounce all-purpose glasses and 9- or 10-ounce stemmed wineglasses will work for nearly every drink. If you'd like, you can rent old-fashioned glasses, highball glasses, brandy snifters, and cordial glasses for your party. Disposable plastic glasses, available in various sizes, are convenient to use, especially for a big party.

Be sure to have a bottle opener, corkscrew, cocktail napkins, small towel, sponge, and wastebasket handy. You may want to have a blender nearby, if you plan to serve blended drinks, such as frozen margaritas or daiquiris.


Drink Dictionary         > Back to Top <


Bloody Mary: In a cocktail shaker, combine ice cubes, 1/3 cup chilled tomato juice, 3 tablespoons vodka, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, dash Worcestershire sauce, dash celery salt, and dash pepper or bottled hot pepper sauce. Shake well to mix. Pour into a chilled glass; add ice cubes, if desired. Garnish with a celery stalk. Makes 1 serving. (Note: You may prefer to make Bloody Marys ahead and chill for flavors to blend. Stir before serving.)

Bourbon Sour: In a cocktail shaker, combine ice cubes; 1/4 cup bourbon, Scotch whisky, or rye whiskey; 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice; and 2 teaspoons powdered sugar. Shake well to mix. Strain into a chilled glass. Pour 2 tablespoons chilled grapefruit carbonated beverage down the side of the glass; stir gently to mix. Add ice cubes, if desired. Garnish with an orange twist and a maraschino cherry on a skewer. Makes 1 serving. Vodka Sour: Prepare Bourbon Sour as directed, except substitute 1/4 cup vodka for the bourbon.

Collins: In a tall glass, stir together 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar or Simple Syrup (see recipe below). Stir in 3 tablespoons gin, vodka, or light rum. Add ice cubes. Pour 3/4 cup chilled carbonated water down the side of the glass. Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry. Makes 1 serving.

Daiquiri: In a cocktail shaker, combine cracked ice, 3 tablespoons light rum, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon orange liqueur. Shake well to mix. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Makes 1 serving.

Frozen Daiquiris: In a blender container, combine one 6-ounce can frozen limeade or lemonade concentrate and 2/3 cup run. Cover and blend until smooth. With blender running, add 2-1/2 to 3 cups ice cubes, 1 at a time, through opening in lid. Blend until slushy. Makes 6 (about 4-ounce) servings. Raspberry or Strawberry Daiquiris: Prepare Daiquiris as directed, except use half of a 6-ounce can (1/3 cup) frozen limeade or lemonade concentrate. Add one 10-ounce package frozen red raspberries or sliced strawberries and, if desired, 1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar. Makes 7 (4-ounce) servings. Peach Daiquiris: Prepare Daiquiris as directed, except use half of a 6-ounce can (1/3 cup) frozen limeade or lemonade concentrate. Add 3 ripe medium peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut up (1-1/2 cups) or 1-1/2 cups frozen unsweetened peach slices. If desired, add 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar. Makes 8 (about 4-ounce) servings.

Gimlet: In a cocktail shaker, combine ice cubes, 3 tablespoons gin or vodka, and 1 tablespoon bottled sweetened lime juice. Shake well to mix. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Makes 1 serving.

Gin and Tonic: Place ice cubes in a glass. Add 1/4 cup gin. Pour 1/2 cup chilled tonic water (quinine water) down the side. Squeeze a lime wedge into glass; stir gently. Add wedge to drink. Makes 1 serving.

Kir: Pour 3/4 cup chilled dry white wine into a chilled wine glass. Add 1 tablespoon creme de cassis; stir gently to mix. If desired, add ice cubes. Garnish with a lemon twist, if desired. Makes 1 serving.

Manhattan: In a cocktail shaker, combine cracked ice, 3 tablespoons blended whiskey, 1 tablespoon sweet vermouth, and dash aromatic bitters. Shake well to mix. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry. Makes 1 serving. Dry Manhattan: Prepare Manhattan as directed, except substitute dry vermouth for the sweet vermouth. Garnish with a green olive.

Margarita: In a cocktail shaker, combine ice cubes, 3 tablespoons tequila, 2 tablespoons orange liqueur, and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Shake well to mix. For a salt-rimmed glass, rub the rim of a chilled cocktail glass with a lime wedge; invert into a dish of coarse salt. Strain drink into glass. Makes 1 serving.

Frozen Margaritas: In a blender container, combine one 6-ounce can frozen limeade concentrate, 2/3 cup tequila, and 1/2 cup orange liqueur. Cover and blend until smooth. With blender running, add 4 cups ice cubes, 1 at a time, through opening in lid. Blend until slushy. Serve in salt-rimmed glasses. Garnish with lime slices, if desired. Makes 8 (4-ounce) servings.

Martini (classic): In a cocktail shaker, combine cracked ice, 1/4 cup gin, and 1 tablespoon dry vermouth. Shake well to mix. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a green olive or a lemon twist. Makes 1 serving.

Old-Fashioned: Pour 1 tablespoon Simple Syrup (see recipe below) into an old-fashioned glass. Stir in dash aromatic bitters. Add ice cubes and 3 tablespoons bourbon, brandy, Scotch whisky, or Southern Comfort. Pour in 3 tablespoons chilled carbonated water; stir gently to mix. Garnish with an orange twist and a maraschino cherry on a skewer. Makes 1 serving.

Orange Champagne: Thinly peel 1/2 of a medium orange into a spiral of peel about 12 inches long; place in a chilled champagne glass. Add 2 teaspoons orange liqueur; pour in 1/2 cup chilled champagne. Stir gently to mix. Makes 1 serving.

Rusty Nail: Place 2 ice cubes in a cocktail glass. Pour in 1/4 cup Scotch whisky and 2 tablespoons Drambuie; stir to mix. Makes 1 serving.

Screwdriver: Place 3 or 4 ice cubes in a tall glass. Add 3 tablespoons vodka and, if desired, 1 tablespoon orange liqueur. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup orange juice to fill the glass; stir to mix. Makes 1 serving.

Whiskey Sour: In a cocktail shaker, combine cracked ice, 3 tablespoons bourbon or blended whiskey, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons Simple Syrup (see recipe below). Shake well to mix. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. If desired, add cracked ice. Garnish with an orange twist and a maraschino cherry on a skewer. Makes 1 serving.

Wine Spritzer: Combine 3/4 cup chilled dry white, red, or rose wine with ¼ cup chilled club soda or lemon-lime carbonated beverage. Serve over ice. Makes 1 (8-ounce) serving.

Simple Syrup: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 cup sugar; stir until sugar dissolves. Chill in the refrigerator before using; store in the refrigerator.

Drinks Without Alcohol

Lime and Tonic: Place ice cubes in a tall glass. Add 2 teaspoons lime juice. Pour 1 cup chilled tonic water (quinine water) down the side of the glass; stir gently with an up-and-down motion to mix. Garnish with a lime wedge. Makes 1 serving.

Orange Collins: Squeeze the juice from 1 medium orange (about 1/3 cup). Combine the freshly squeezed orange juice and 1/4 cup chilled collins mixer. Pour over ice cubes in a tall glass. Pour chilled carbonated water (about 1/2 cup) down the side of the glass to fill; stir gently with an up-and-down motion to mix. Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry. Makes 1 serving.

Zippy Tomato Cocktail: In a cocktail shaker, combine several ice cubes, one chilled 9-ounce can vegetable juice, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, dash bottled hot pepper sauce, and dash celery salt. Shake well to mix. Strain over ice cubes in a tall glass. Garnish with a celery stalk. Makes 1 serving.












Beer Basics         > Back to Top <

Among the many choices of beer are lager beer, pilsner or light lager beer, light beer, premium beer, dark lager or Munich-type beer, bock beer, keg beer, nonalcoholic beer, and alcohol-free beer.


Most beers produced in the United States are lager beers. They usually range between 3.2 and 4.0 percent alcohol. Pilsner or light lager beers are lighter in color than regular lager beer.


A "light lager beer" is not the same thing as a "light beer," which usually
has about half the calories of regular beer (brands will vary in their alcoholic content). Premium beer often simply refers to a particular brewer's best beer.


Imported beers are often more bitter than American beers. Dark lager or Munich-type beers are heavy and rich tasting. They're chocolate brown in color. Bock beer is a special brew of heavy beer, somewhat darker and sweeter than regular beer. It's made in the winter especially for the six-week-long bock beer season that beer lovers date as the beginning of spring. The alcohol content may be more than double that of lager beers.


Although the term nonalcoholic beer suggests that it is completely free of alcohol, it isn't necessarily so. By law, nonalcoholic beer must contain less than 0.5 percent alcohol. Don't look for the word beer on the label. These types of beer are called malt beverages, cereal beverages, or near beer.


Only malt beverages with no alcohol whatsoever may display the term alcohol-free beer. Typically made without fermentation, this product gets its beer taste from natural flavorings.

 

Storing Beer

Storing beer properly is important because it's perishable. Keep bottled beer in a dark, cool place, out of direct sunlight. Canned beer also needs cool surroundings, but is unaffected by light. Keg beer must be kept constantly about 45 degrees so the yeast won't start working again.

Serving Beer

Most beers are a good companion to just about any food except dessert; they're especially good with spicy foods. Dark lager beer, however, should be limited to strong-flavored, hearty foods.


Beer is best served at about 45 degrees for the lighter varieties and about 50 degrees for the heavier varieties.


For quick chilling, place the beer containers in a deep tub of ice.
Pouring Beer

Varying the distance between the can or bottle and the glass as well as the angle of the glass, will vary the height of the head. Pouring too fast may cause overfoaming. To keep the head, use a glass with a narrower bottom than top. And use a sparkling clean glass; a smudge of grease on a glass will ruin even the frothiest head.

Beer Cocktails

For a change of pace from plain beer, serve a cocktail made from beer. Starting with a chilled tall glass of chilled beer, add one of the following: 3 tablespoons rye whiskey, 3 tablespoons gin or vodka, or 1 tablespoon lime juice. Or, half-fill a chilled tall glass with chilled beer and add one of the following: chilled regular or hot-style tomato juice, chilled orange juice, or chilled gingerale.







Don't forget the non-alcoholic drinks          > Back to Top <


On the average, expect guests to drink 2 drinks or servings of a nonalcoholic beverage the first hour and 1 each hour thereafter. Remember, people drink more when the weather is warm.

If you plan to serve bar drinks, allow 1-1/2 ounces of liquor for each drink. Which means, you'll get about 16 drinks from each 750-milliliter bottle (fifth) of liquor. Allow about a quart of mixer -- carbonated water, tonic water, or gingerale -- for every 3 persons.

When serving wine, plan on one 750-milliliter bottle for every two guests (one bottle for every 3 to 4 guests if the wine will be served only during a meal). If you prefer to buy the large 1.5-liter bottle of wine, it will serve 4 guests (6 to 8 guests if served only during a meal).

When ordering beer for a party, allow about 12 ounces per guest for every half hour to hour. For a large crowd you might want to buy a keg.

Always have some nonalcoholic beverages on hand. Besides having juices, bottled water, lemonade, soda and/or ice tea, consider nonalcoholic wines and beers.

 

 

Wine Basics         > Back to Top <


All wines with bubbles are called sparkling; but the most popular is champagne. Other effervescent wines include cold duck, sparkling burgundy, and sparkling rose. There are even some nonalcoholic sparkling wines available.

Champagne is labeled by its level of sweetness. Brut is the driest champagne; extra dry is slightly sweeter than brut, but still fairly dry. Sec or dry is of medium sweetness, and demi sec is quite sweet.

  

Pairing Sparkling Wines with Food

Sparkling wines can be served before, during, or after a meal.  A sparkling wine can be substituted for a white wine.

Since the delicacy of most bottles of bubbly can be overpowered by foods with sharp flavors, and sweeter bottlings make most foods taste sweet, serve a brut sparkler with hors d'oeuvres.

With more acidic or spicy dishes, an extra-dry or demi-sec champagne with a hint of sweetness is ideal.

 

How Much to Buy

A 750-milliliter bottle of sparkling wine provides 6 generous glassfuls. If you're serving sparkling wine at a pre-dinner party, you'll want at least 1 bottle for every 3 or 4 guests. At a cocktail party with 6 guests, allow 2 or 3 bottles. For 24 guests, chill 8 to 12 bottles and for 45 guests, try for 15 to 22 bottles.

 


Serving Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wines must be cold for the bubbles to be the best. Chill bottles in your refrigerator for 3 hours or place bottles in a bucket, tub, or sink filled with ice and water for 30 minutes.

Use narrow crystal flutes or tulip glasses for serving sparkling wines because they help conserve the bubbles. Their smaller openings limit the exposed surface area, which helps keep the wine's bubbles lively longer.

How to Open Champagne          > Back to Top <

When opening a bottle of bubbly it is important to pay attention.  Most people, both in real life and in movies, open Champagne bottles in stupidly dangerous ways. Here's the correct method:

1. Cut the foil around the top of the bottle.


2. Place your hand or your thumb on top of the cork. Keep it there until the cork is out. Shooting corks all over the place is not cute.


3. Loosen the wire cage. No, you don't need three hands; the hand that holds the bottle can have its thumb on the cork.


4. Wrap a towel around the bottle to prevent slippage.


5. Ease the cork out gently by slowly twisting the bottle in one direction. You do not want the Champagne to foam or the cork to pop, or you will lose precious bubbles.

Remember to serve Champagne in either a flute or tulip-shaped glass to help preserve the bubbles which, after all, are what make Champagne unique!

 



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SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE

 

 


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