5 Classic Cocktail Recipes to Ring in the New Year

Are you ready to raise your glasses and welcome the New Year with a touch of sophistication and a burst of flavor? As we bid farewell to the old and embrace the possibilities of the coming year, what better way to celebrate than with a collection of classic cocktails that stand the test of time.

From the elegance of a Martini to the zesty kick of a Margarita, we've curated a selection of five iconic recipes that will elevate your New Year's Eve festivities. So grab your favorite barware tools, unleash your inner mixologist, and let's craft these delicious concoctions that will undoubtedly add a touch of sparkle to your celebration.

Classic Cocktail Recipe #1: The Martini

The Martini is the epitome of elegance. With a base of gin or vodka and a hint of dry vermouth, it offers a crisp and clean taste. 

While this is a “spirit-forward” cocktail, the garnish of a lemon twist or olive adds your choice of a subtle citrus or savory note, enhancing the overall experience.


  • 2 oz gin or vodka
  • ½ oz dry vermouth
  • ice cubes
  • lemon twist or olive garnish
Martini Cocktail


  1. Fill your shaker halfway with ice cubes.
  2. Pour gin or vodka and the dry vermouth into your shaker.
  3. Stir with your bar spoon 15-20 sec, until the mixture is well chilled OR shake your martini for 10 sec.
  4. Strain the liquid in a chilled martini glass and garnish.

(Interested in the “shaken or stirred” debate?  Check out this article.)

Classic Cocktail Recipe #2: The Margarita

This lively and vibrant cocktail balances the earthy agave notes of tequila with the bright citrusy kick of triple sec and fresh lime juice. 

Served over ice and optionally rimmed with salt, it delivers a perfect blend of sweetness, tartness, and a touch of salinity, creating a refreshing and invigorating drink.


  • 2 oz tequila 
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • ¾ oz fresh lime juice
  • salt (for rimming the glass)
  • ice cubes
Margarita Cocktail


  1. Moisten the rim of the glass and dip into the salt.
  2. Fill your shaker with ice cubes.
  3. Layer the tequila, triple sec, and fresh lime juice.
  4. Shake for 10 sec (or until the shaker becomes nice and frosty).
  5. Strain the mixture into the prepared glass over ice.

(Want to learn more about layering your cocktails? Check out this article.)

Classic Cocktail Recipe #3: The Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is a rich and robust cocktail that celebrates the depth of bourbon or rye whiskey. With the addition of a sugar cube, a few dashes of bitters, and a twist of orange, it achieves the perfect balance of sweetness, bitterness, and the warm comfort of aged spirits. 

This cocktail is a true sipper, perfect for those who appreciate the timeless allure of a well-crafted drink.


  • 2 0z bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange twist for garnish
  • Ice cubes
Old Fashioned Cocktail


  1. Place a sugar cube in a “rocks glass” (or any glass with a weighty bottom)
  2. Add dashes of bitters to the sugar cube.
  3. Muddle the sugar cube and bitters.
  4. Fill the glass with ice cubes.
  5. Pour bourbon or rye over the ice and stir with your bar spoon.
  6. Garnish with an orange twist.

Classic Cocktail Recipe #4: Negroni

The iconic Italian cocktail is renowned for its bold and bitter profile. The herbal citrus notes from the gin mingle with the sweet complexity of the vermouth, while the intense bitterness of the Campari adds a sophisticated edge. 

This drink is perfect for those who appreciate aperitivo culture at its finest.


  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz Campari
  • orange twist for garnish
  • ice cubes


  1. Fill your shaker with ice cubes,
  2. Layer gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari into the shaker.
  3. Using your bar spoon, stir for 20 sec.
  4. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  5. Garnish with an orange twist.

(Curious about the origins of this classic cocktail? Check out this article.)

Classic Cocktail Recipe #5: Champagne Cocktail

The Champagne Cocktail is a sparking sensation that elevates your bubbley experience. With a base of Champagne or sparkling wine, a sugar cube soaked in Angostura bitters adds a subtle sweetness and aromatic complexity. 

Topped with a twist of lemon, the cocktail is effervescent, and light, and brings a delightful touch to your celebratory toast!


  • 1 sugar cube
  • Angostura bitters
  • Champagne or sparking wine
  • lemon twist for garnish
Champagne Cocktail


  1. Place a sugar cube in a champagne flute.
  2. Add a few dashes of Angostura bitters onto the sugar cube.
  3. Fill the glass with Champagne or sparkling wine.
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist.


As you embark on this spirited journey, crafting any of these classic cocktails and usher in the New Year with flair, remember that every sip is a toast to new beginnings and the endless possibilities that await!

Whether you are a seasoned cocktail enthusiast or a budding mixologist, may your glasses be filled with joy, laughter, and the delightful concoctions you've created. Here's to celebrating the successes, learning from the challenges, and embracing the vibrant tapestry of flavors that life - and these cocktails - have to offer.

C&D Tools Co founders Kris Forrest and Rebecca Beardsley toasting with friends at a cocktail party

As the clock strikes midnight, let's raise our glasses high, not just to the passing year but to the unwritten chapters of the one ahead. Cheers to the dazzling New Year filled with love, laughter, and unforgettable moments.

Please remember to drink responsibly and save the magic of the night. Happy New Year and may the next year be as extraordinary as the cocktails you've crafted to celebrate!

Kris & Rebecca, C&D Tools Co-Founders

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