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Shake Up Some Special Cocktails for Your New Year's Party

'Tis the season to try a new twist for your big bash.

The final few bashes of the holiday-party season will kick off this weekend. Hosts hoping their fiesta is memorable can make an impression by offering creative cocktails to their guests.

Patch spent hours of grueling research coming up with new recipes for party cheer, and below we present the three best that our mixologists came up with.

The Cosmo and Cranberry Old Fashioned is a traditional cocktail with a seasonal flavor, and the Hot Holiday Wine takes a little time but was the hands-down favorite of the three among our testers.

Master bartender Sooty Hetrick opened her kitchen and demonstrates the drinks in three videos (in the media box).

Cosmo

Chilled martini glass

¾ ounce lemon juice

One heaping spoonful cranberry sauce

¾ ounce Cointreau

2 ounces Ketel citron vodka

Add ingredients into a pint-size mixing glass. Add ice and shake well to break up the cranberry sauce. Double strain into a chilled martini glass. Add lemon twist and serve.

Cranberry Old Fashioned

3-4 fresh cranberries

1 sugar cube

Splash of club soda

2 dashes Angostura bitters

1 dash orange bitters

2 ounces rye whiskey

1 lemon twist

Add cranberries, sugar cube and club soda to a small glass. Muddle thoroughly. Add Angostura and orange bitters. Muddle thoroughly again. Add rye, ice and stir with a cocktail spoon. Serve with a lemon twist.

Hot Holiday Wine

2 dehydrated orange peels

1 star anise

2 cardamom seeds

1 allspice pod

2 cloves

Dash of fresh nutmeg

Half a cinnamon stick

1 persimmon

4 ounces brandy

2 cups red wine

Juice from 1 orange

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon agave nectar

Warm up a large saucepan and add orange peels, star anise, cardamom seeds, allspice pod, cloves, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, persimmon, brandy and wine. Keep on medium heat until it boils.

Add sugar and stir in agave nectar. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.

Add orange juice and stir thoroughly over medium heat. Strain into a large glass pitcher or jar and pour into small coffee cups.

Makes about 8 servings.  

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