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Bubbly sips and party tips for New Year’s Eve

Let’s end the year on a high note with a lovely, low stress cocktail party for New Year’s Eve. Shall we?

Diva Party Tips:

Prep ahead! Choose appetizers and drinks that can be made in advance, so you spend more time mixing with your guests than mixing drinks.

Low-proof and no-proof options. As fun as cocktails can be, be sure to have non-alcoholic alternatives on hand, too. Have plenty of water available for guests who are imbibing to minimize the morning after blues.

Travel Safe. If anyone enjoys a little too much holiday cheer, arrange for a taxi or other driving services. You can also ask some guests to be designated drivers for the night. Or change the sheets and plump the pillows on the guest bed before the party.

Bust out the punch bowl. Select drink recipes that are made in quantity and served communally so guests can serve themselves. A row of glasses and a punchbowl with ladle is a lovely way for guests to mix and mingle.

Another easy entertaining idea is to set up a mimosa bar and let your guests create their own inebriating innovation.

What is a Mimosa? Mimosas are made by combining equal parts champagne and fruit juice, typically a citrus juice. Some people like to use two parts champagne to one-part juice, so it just depends on your preference.

To set up your mimosa bar, choose a section of counter or a bar cart. You’ll need a couple of ice buckets to keep your sparkling wine chilled, and another ice bucket or container to keep your juices chilled. You should also plan space for lots of champagne flutes. Plastic flutes are available if you don’t want to store a bunch of special occasion glassware all year. Choose a spot close to the fridge, so you can easily replenish your mimosa bar as your guests help themselves.

Since variety is fun, provide several different juices and let your guests try different combinations. Orange juice is the gold standard for mimosas, but other juices are popular, too. A cranberry juice mimosa is called a Poinsettia. Grapefruit juice mimosa is also called a Megmosa. A peach purée mimosa is called a Bellini and is such a treat. Here’s a recipe for a personal favorite.

Orange-Cranberry Mimosas – to make 6 servings, before the party combine ½ cup each fresh squeezed orange or tangerine juice and cranberry juice and refrigerate. To serve, divide the juice between 6 glasses and top with seltzer water or sparkling wine. Serve with orange segments and cranberries.

Another fun addition is frozen fruit sorbet. Use a melon baller to make little scoops to place in the glass before you pour the sparkling wine. Lemon, grapefruit and raspberry all taste amazing with sparkling wine.

What kind of champagne is best for Mimosas? I recommend not using champagne at all for mimosas. Champagne is expensive and when your mixing it with juice it’s a total waste! Instead, use sparkling wine or prosecco.

As the year winds down, let’s raise a glass to a New Year filled with fresh starts and new beginnings.

Festive food by Patti Diamond from “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” – www.divasonadime.com Join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

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