The One Ingredient That Will Punch Up Your Holiday Bar

Welcome to Nifty, Gifty Holidays, our guide for all the little, magical ways we make the season sparkle. Today, we’re getting ready to ring in the New Year with a simple but special cocktail.

If you’re like me, you prefer to stay in on New Year’s Eve. In New York City especially, pricey restaurant menus and crowded bars are far less appealing than house parties or cozy get-togethers at home. But not going out can sometimes feel not really special. Over the years, I’ve landed on a few reliable ways to make any casual gathering (even just for two) still feel fun and celebratory. Really good snacks is one way—think deviled eggs, pigs in blankets, cheesy dips—but you probably could’ve guessed that. Games is another (a few faves: Catch Phrase, Joking Hazard, Codenames, Five Crowns, and charades, of course.) And a fancy drink is the last. Wine, beer, and straight liquor are solid bar standbys, but having a punch or a signature cocktail is a nice way to make any evening feel a little out of the ordinary. My go-to is usually a punch—it’s large format, so there’s very little to do after you make it, and an ice ring always impresses. But this year I’m going with something different—and you only need one ingredient to make it.