In just a few days, the world will be ringing in a brand new year, and a whole host of new opportunities for self-improvement. So why not try making your first change a beverage-based one?
Instead of just downing whatever middle-quality champagne is being passed around, add a little excitement to your life with one of these unique, original cocktails.
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Happy New Year: You can't have a list of good cocktails to ring in a brand new year, and not start with the Happy New Year. It's an easy, delicious alternative to the traditional glass of champagne.
¼ oz. brandy
¾ oz. port wine
¾ oz. orange juice
4 oz. champagne
Pour the brandy, port, and orange juice into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain the mix into a flute glass and then top with champagne.
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Cognac Sparklers: If you want a little bit of the bubbly on New Year's Eve, but you don't want to follow the crowds, check out these fizzy cognac cocktails that will give the special evening just the right kind of sparkle.
½ oz. cognac
6 oz. chilled sparkling apple cider
A few dashes of bitters
Pour the cognac into a chilled champagne flute, then top with the sparkling cider. Add a few dashes of bitters, then stir gently and enjoy.
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Raspberry Chocolate Kiss Cocktail: One of the best holiday traditions is kissing your date right when the clock strikes midnight, to ring in the new, exciting year. In celebration of that age-old custom, here's a sweet cocktail kiss.
2 oz. mint-infused simple syrup
Additional simple syrup to use for rim
3 Chocolate cookies (finely crushed, for the rim)
2 oz. vodka
2 tbsp. cranberry juice
Pour the additional simple syrup into a shallow dish, coating the bottom. In a separate shallow dish, lay out the chocolate cookie crumbs. Dip the rim of a martini glass into the syrup, then into the crumbs to coat the rim. Now it's time to make the actual drink. Drop the raspberries into a cocktail shaker and crush them with a muddler. Add the 2 oz. of mint simple syrup and muddle it all some more. Then add vodka and cranberry juice, and fill with ice. Shake well and strain into the prepared martini glass.
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Millennium Cocktail: You should treat every New Year's Eve like it's the start of a new millennium, and the best way to do that is with this fruity, refreshing drink.
1 oz. gin
½ oz. cherry brandy
1 ½ oz. orange juice
1 splash ginger ale
Pour the gin, cherry brandy, orange juice and splash of ginger ale into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and then strain the mix into a chilled martini glass and enjoy.
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Midori Golden Fizz: Sometimes, you want to just relax and enjoy some champagne with your friends and family – but champagne by itself still seems boring. Well, here's a fix for that!
4 oz. champagne
1 oz. Midori melon liqueur
Pour the Midori into a flute glass, and then top with champagne. Then drink it!
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Tequila Sunrise: The best New Year's Eve party goes until the sun rises. To celebrate staying up long past any reasonable bedtime, try this tasty refreshment.
2 oz. tequila
4 oz. orange juice
¾ oz. grenadine
Place ice cubes in a highball glass, and then pour tequila and orange juice over the ice. Slowly, pour in the grenadine and then let the drink sit for a few moments, allowing the grenadine to settle at the bottom of the glass. Don't stir - just drink and enjoy.
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Remember to drink responsibly this New Year's Eve!
Keep in mind, when you're purchasing liquor for your end-of-the-year extravaganza, that some of those brands of booze might be owned by your favorite celebrities. Check out the video below to see which stars have launched their own liquor companies.
For more fun stories and wild news to make your 2015 better, follow Zach Seemayer on Twitter @ZachSeemayer.