If you’re like me, NYE is a cause for a toast, or twelve. And while my plans see me firmly planted in either my hot tub with my friends, or on a couch watching Netflix waiting for the ball to drop, our festivities always include lots of options. Any good host knows to switch things up- you can’t chug champagne all night, and offering a variety of alcoholic, and non-alcoholic beverages is key to any good shin-dig.
Here at Chez Roach, we like to set up a mocktail bar right beside the booze, it’s a good reminder to maybe stagger rounds and opt in for a non-alcoholic beverage instead. I swap Sodastream canisters in and out on the fly and make sure there’s an assortment of garnishes and flavours on hand to create a fully customizable bar. It also saves me from playing bartender all night, allowing guests to freely roam and top up their drinks at their inclination. Top picks? Earthy herbs prove as a floral and decorative touch, pair rosemary + pomegranate seeds, dried blood orange rounds with freshly grated ginger, or go sweet with crushed strawberries with a drop of balsamic- trust.
The customary champagne toast at midnight sets the tone for the year. Get everyone included on the clinking of glasses with a drink fit for a cheers. Robin Goodfellow and Evelyn Chick from PrettyUgly Bar have concocted a special drink just for that occasion in partnership with the LCBO. The aptly named Warrior Punch can be served hot or cold, so maybe double up the batch and save some for a thermos and a hike on New Year’s Day.
3 1/4 cups Sweetened organic apple cider
3 1/4 cups Organic apple cider vinegar with the mother*
1 1/3 cup Honey
1 1/3 cup Hot water
15 bags Loose leaf oolong tea bags
1 1/4 cups Lemon juice
2 1/3 cups Verjus*
4 to 6 cinnamon sticks
Lemon wheels (to garnish)
Rosemary sprigs (to garnish)
To serve cold:
Combine hot water, honey and tea bags in large bowl, stir until honey dissolves. Add the apple cider, vinegar, lemon juice, verjus and stir. Let sit for 2 hours. Remove tea bags. Serve over ice with a rosemary sprig and lemon wheel.
To serve hot:
Combine all ingredients (except garnishes) in a large pot set over medium-high. Stir until honey dissolves. Take out tea bags and toss in lemon wheels (to desired tartness). Serve with rosemary or thyme sprig
*Sold at health food stores