3-ingredient cocktails for NYE, since we're likely to be celebrating indoors
Hic, hic hooray
Like the rest of the world, we imagined sending 2021 off in style. Booking the corner table at our favourite bar with champagne flowing all night and regrettable photos surfacing the next day. Hosting a terrace party with finger food that proclaims ‘I’m adulting successfully’. But with multiple cities announcing restrictions to nip Omnicron in the bud, it looks like we’re going to be spending NYE at home, within our social bubble.
It may seem like a dampener to end the year with, the equivalent of finding a box of cookies in your snack, only to realise the ants found them first. But we’re here to put a shine on that dull feeling. As a year-end bonus from us to you, we have curated a list of fuss-free cocktails that can be made using three ingredients or less and can be easily stored.
From a frozen negroni and watermelon margarita to a mint julep, pick through our list of delicious and shockingly easy-to-make cocktails. You can thank us for this crash course in mixology by ringing in the new year in high spirits.
Three-ingredient fuss-free cocktails to make NYE more palatable
Daquiri from Liquor.com
The first cocktail on our list has a fourth ingredient- elegance. The beauty of a daiquiri lies in its simplicity and its ability to effortlessly transform someone as stiff as my father into Prabhu Deva. Also, if it’s good enough for Ernest Hemingway, who are we to say otherwise?
360 ml light rum
180 ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed
132 ml sugar syrup
- Add the rum, lime juice and sugar syrup to a shaker with ice, and shake well.
- Strain into a chilled glass
- Garnish with a lime twist
Tweak tip: If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also make a strawberry or banana daiquiri with this recipe. Just add the fruit to your basic concoction and take it for a spin in the blender
The mint julep from chewoutloud.com
A cocktail that is as chilled out as it is potent, the mint julep has earned its spot on our list. Considering its ingredients, the drink is easy to make and even easier to store. The only question is, are you ready to have a refreshingly relaxed NYE?
For the infused simple syrup
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups whole, fresh mint leaves
For the cocktail
- Crushed ice
- 354 ml Bourbon
- Over medium heat, add sugar and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Add the 1 cup mint leaves and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let it sit for 30 minutes to infuse. Strain infused syrup into a container and set aside.
- To a highball glass or silver julep cup, add the desired amount of cooled infused simple syrup. Add 1 cup crushed ice, bourbon, and a splash of water.
- Add the remaining ice to almost fill the glass
Tweak tip: Garnish your cocktail with mint leaves
Bee’s Knees by Liquor.com
Considering the ingredients, bee’s knees is a good option to make when you’re entertaining. It’s the very definition of fuss-free with a side of lemon and a dash of honey. And gin, of course. This Prohibition-era cocktail is easy-going, refreshing and smoothing enough to get the job done without you even realising it.
- 360 ml gin
- 132 ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 90 ml honey syrup (½ cup honey added to ½ cup water mixed in a small saucepan over medium flame. Stir until honey is dissolved)
- Add the gin, lemon juice and honey syrup to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
- Garnish with a lemon twist
Cranberry Orange Bellini from crazyforcrust.com
This may sound like a cocktail you would enjoy over brunch with your girlfriends but who is to say that you can’t enjoy it while bringing in the New Year? It’s fruity, light and incredibly potent all at once. If you think about it, this drink is basically a health juice. Cranberries are rich in antioxidants, orange juice is full of vitamin C goodness and well, the sparkling wine or champagne (whichever is your preferred poison) is like the fizzy year-end bonus that boosts our serotonin levels.
- 1.5 cups cranberry juice
- 0.75 cup orange juice
- 0.75 bottle of Champagne or Prosecco
- Add juices to a pitcher, then add the bottle of sparkling wine or champagne and mix well
Tweak tip: Garnish with cranberries and orange slices. To make and store a larger quantity, mix all the juices in a pitcher, then add the sparkling wine or champagne right before serving.
Watermelon Margarita from minimalsitbaker.com
It’s easy, boozy and the natural sweetness of the watermelon is perfectly balanced with the zing of the lime juice. It’s summertime happy hours in a glass. But if I am being honest, given my Meredith Gray-level affinity towards tequila, I wouldn’t mind having these all year round.
- 3.75 cups watermelon juice
- 7.5 tbsp lime juice
- 15 tbsp silver tequila
- To make margaritas, add watermelon juice, lime juice, tequila and a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously to combine
- Sample a small amount and adjust flavour as needed, adding more watermelon juice for sweetness, lime juice for acidity, or tequila for booziness.
- Line the rim of two serving glasses with lime juice and salt then add ice and pour over margaritas.
Tweak tip: Best when made and served fresh. Watermelon juice can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days
Ginger Pear Cocktail from Lark and Linen
Who knew that pear juice, vodka and ginger ale could taste so good together? This drink is as serendipitous as spotting a YouTube video about a cat and a turtle being best friends. And since it’s so easy to make and involves little to no fuss, I would say that it is also the drink you should keep handy considering this last week of the year is full guests who just love to pop in. Wouldn’t you agree?
- 118 ml pear juice
- 177 ml vodka
- 207 ml ginger ale
- Mix pear juice and vodka in a pitcher
- Fill glasses 3/4 full (over ice, if desired)
- Top with ginger ale
Frozen Negroni from Serious Eats
The slushie version of a classic negroni, this recipe dials back Campari and the sweet vermouth so that the bitter flavours doesn’t overwhelm the gin. This drink is for all the people, like my mother, who need their glass to be filled to the brim with ice. It’s also for all the enthu-cutlet people who want to add a fun spin on a rather traditional cocktail.
- 130 ml gin
- 73 ml Campari
- 73 ml sweet vermouth
- Combine gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth in an airtight container. Place in the freezer for at least 8 hours. Can be prepared three days in advance.
- When ready to serve, add chilled alcohol and ice to the blender. Blend on high speed until uniform and smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour into rocks glasses or small wine glass. Garnish with an orange slice and serve immediately.
Cuba Libre from Serious Eats
If you relate rum and coke to your Old Monk party days, you aren’t alone. But don’t make the mistake of believing that a Cuba Libre is the same thing. The lime makes all the difference in the world. It pairs beautifully with the rum and coke by cutting down the sweetness of the drink. Besides, what better alcohol to have on a cold winter’s night than rum (its two best friends, lime and coke, are just part of the deal).
- 6 lime
- 360 ml dark rum
- Squeeze a lime into a Collins or highball glass.
- Drop half the spent lime shell into the glass and muddle the oils into the lime juice.
- Add ice and rum. Top with cola
Tweak tip: Stir the drink very briefly
Lemon Frosé from Julie Blanner
If you ask me, the best way to draw the curtain on 2021 is by having a low-key girls night. PJs, pizza, a good rom-com, lots of gossip and to top it off, a bottle of rosé. Because let’s face it, a slumber party without wine is like a cheese sandwich without cheese.
If you agree with me, then you will definitely agree with this recipe- a rosé lemon slushie. My mouth is watering like Pavlov’s dog as I write this. This frosé requires all of two ingredients and is extremely easy to batch and store to advance.
- 1 bottle rosé chilled
- 1 cup lemonade
- In a freezable container, combine rosé and lemonade.
- Freeze for 6+ hours. Mix well before serving
Tweak tip: If it over solidifies, wait 15 minutes to stir. You store this in your freezer for up to 3 months.
How to batch your favourite cocktail
How many of you remember the annoyance radiating off your mother when guests come over for Sunday lunch and she has to spend all her time in the kitchen instead of actually getting to have a full conversation with them? It’s to avoid situations like these that people prefer to batch their cocktails in advance. It makes entertaining less chaotic. You aren’t always fixing drinks or helping others fix their drink or cleaning up a mess that people made while trying to fix their drink. Sure, spills are likely to occur whether you batch your cocktails or not, but doing it gives you a fighting chance at enjoying your own party.
Contrary to popular belief, batching cocktails doesn’t have to resemble 10th-grade math problems. It would be helpful to keep a large pitcher (a mason jar, bowl, even an empty liquor bottle will work), a funnel, measuring cups and a long-handled spoon handy.
Maggie Hoffman, author of Batch Cocktails: Make-Ahead Pitcher Drinks for Every Occasion, reminds us that water is a key ingredient in any cocktail. She says, “When you’re making batched cocktails, you can’t just multiply every element that’s in the ingredient list on a single-serving recipe. Even if you chill that mix, it won’t taste right. You’ve got to add water somehow, whether it’s by pouring it over ice, stirring it with ice, or measuring the ideal amount of water (or, sometimes, soda or tea) and adding it to the initial pitcher”.
Keep in mind that drinks served over ice should be made a little stiff since they will dilute in the glass.
Once you’ve understood how much water your batch needs, it’s ready to be stored or served. The next step is to actually enjoy the fruits of your own labour and enjoy the cocktails as you welcome the new year.