Small Bites & Dazzling Cocktails to bring in the New Year

The whirl wind holiday cocktail season is coming to a close and bringing in the New Year with tasty bites and stellar spirits is the perfect way to send 2012 on it’s way and welcome 2013.

Having great cuisine and cocktails for guests is always top priority, but as the last blast of the year and the first of the New Year, I really want to spend my time enjoying the company in my home.  So having bottles of bubbly, a few bottles of wine and premixed cocktails is a must so that I am not “behind the bar” all night.

I feel the same about the appetizers.  I don’t mind spending two days in the kitchen prior to the event to make sure I can enjoy mingling with my guests.  I haven’t nailed down my menu yet, however here are a few that are on the wish list.

Photo Credit: James Oseland for
Photo Credit: James Oseland for

This first appetizer is simple in both ingredients and preparation, yet full of flavor.  Guests will enjoy the creamy blue cheese spread and this recipe makes 32 gorgeous canapes.  Roquefort and Walnut Canapés ~  The shopping list;  16  1⁄4″-thick white bread slices,  preferably Pepperidge Farm, Very Thin Sliced Bread, unsalted butter, softened cream cheese, brandy, dried mustard powder,  crumbled blue cheese, preferably Roquefort, Kosher salt, flat-leaf parsley leaves, walnut halves.

Photo Credit: Anna Summa for
Photo Credit: Anna Summa for

There are times when the key to a successful soiree is to enlist the assistance of a friend or two. When creating a starter that is served hot, having partners in crime is a fabulous convenience.  This next preview is a great appetizer, the recipe makes 24, however, to ensure your set up is complete and your finger foods are hot when your guests arrive, assemble your crew and deep fry in batches.  Crab Rangoons ~ (yes, again) Delicious ingredients for your shopping list are; Snow Crab or other crab meat, cream cheese, garlic, steak sauce, white pepper, peanut oil and wonton skins.

A cocktail or two, pre-mixed of course, to ensure you are mixing and mingling with the crowd instead of tending bar for the evening.

Photo Credit: William Abranowicz for Bon Appetit
Photo Credit: William Abranowicz for Bon Appetit

Bon Appetit’s French 75 serves 8 and will dazzle your guests.


  • 1 cup gin
  • 1/2 cup No-Cook Simple Syrup (see below)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Champagne
  • Lemon twists (for garnish)


  • To make our No-Cook Simple Syrup, combine 2 cups each superfine sugar and water in an airtight container. Cover and shake until sugar dissolves. Makes 3 cups.
  • Stir gin, No-Cook Simple Syrup, and fresh lemon juice with ice in a medium pitcher for 10 seconds. Strain into Champagne flutes or coupe glasses.
  • Top with chilled Champagne (Prosecco or other sparkling wine works in a pinch). Garnish with lemon twists.
Photo Credit: Johnny Miller for Martha Stewart
Photo Credit: Johnny Miller for Martha Stewart

Another fantastic idea to keep you mixing in the crowd is a cocktail-punch.  Martha Stewart has two flavorful options that I am considering this year.

Elderflower-Champagne Punch ~ Martha Stewart.  Serves 8 – 10 with a simple ingredients list; lemon juice from 8 lemons, superfine sugar, 2 bottles Champagne or other sparkling wine, cranberry juice cocktail, elderflower liqueur, such as St-Germain and lemon slices.

Photo:  Martha Stewart
Photo: Martha Stewart

Another gorgeous option is  Martha Stewarts Lemon Drop Champagne Punch.  The shopping list is simple; Lemons, Champagne, Vodka and Candied Lemon Peels.  There are several options on Martha Stewart’s site for cocktail punch, take some time and poke around.

It’s been an amazing 2012 ~ thank you all for following and reading what I post ~ it is so much more appreciated than you can possibly know. :)  Here is to a stellar 2013.   Happy New Year!!

4 thoughts on “Small Bites & Dazzling Cocktails to bring in the New Year

  1. Karie! I truly have been waiting for this post!! I just knew you’d have something wonderful, and I’m really digging the canapes!! Thanks again for making life easier!! xo

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