2011 is just around the corner and, besides dreaming up resolutions, have you put any thought into what you'll be serving – or just drinking -- at your New Year's Eve bash?
If you're in search of unique drinks, you've come to the right place. In anticipation of 2011's birthday, we found local experts willing to share recipes for a few drinks worth trying in the future.
At Cranberry's North Park Lounge on Route 19, bar manager Chris Brady recommends either a Snowman Martini or a Peppermint Patty Martini to get the party started.
Featured only during the holidays, the Snowman Martini has been a tradition at the Lounge for years. A combination of vanilla vodka with White Crème de Cocoa and a healthy dose of cream that's sprinkled with cinnamon, it gets the thumbs up from Frosty.
While the Snowman is a classic, Brady said she prefers the Peppermint Patty, which she compares to drinking one of those thin mint cookies the Girl Scouts are famous for.
The North Park Lounge staff agrees.
When the martini was first trotted out, Brady said, everyone at the restaurant was asked to sample the newest addition and the Snowman staple. The result was unanimously in favor of the peppermint concoction.
"They all liked it better too," she said.
A mixture of chocolate and peppermint liquor with cream, the Peppermint Patty is served in a sugar-rimmed glass.
At the Springfield Grille on Route 228, bartender Ron Kappy said the restaurant features a new martini every month. This month's choice is the Holiday Martini, an appropriately named brew of vanilla vodka, peppermint schnapps, green crème de menthe and cream. The glass is garnished with a candy cane.
While The Springfield Grille won't have any New Year's Eve specials, David Benson, general manager, said he expects the restaurant to be as packed as it was last year. In that case, better make your reservations now.
Benson said the restaurant would accept reservations until three quarters of the building is filled. After that, it's first come, first serve.
"We're basically just doing our normal night," he said.
Not so over at the Lounge.
Brady said the restaurant, which includes the separate outdoor venue, Bamboo Bar, is planning a New Year's Eve extravaganza.
Besides drink and dinner specials, Brady said, patrons will get party favors, including hats, horns and other noisemakers. D.J. Tanner also will be on-hand to spin tunes. At midnight, the entire place will participate in a champagne toast.
Brady expects a good turn out for the party. The night, she said, is even more special because it will be the first New Year's party at the Lounge since it reopened in February after extensive remodeling.
The restaurant's phone lines, she said, have been burning up all week with patrons eager to place reservations.
"Everyone is asking now that Christmas is over," she said.
The official North Park Lounge Snowman Martini
- Vanilla Vodka
- White Crème de Cocoa
- Add two parts vodka, one part crème de cocoa and one part cream in a cocktail shaker half full of ice.
- Strain the mixture into a martini glass
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve
Peppermint Patty Martini by The North Park Lounge
- Godiva Dark Chocolate liqueur
- Crème de Menthe
- Add one part Godiva Dark Chocolate liqueur with two part Crème de Menthe and two parts cream in a cocktail shaker half full of ice.
- Strain the mixture into a martini glass rimmed with sugar
The Springfield Grille's Holiday Martini
- Vanilla Vodka
- Peppermint schnapps
- Green Crème de Menthe
- Candy canes
- Combine one and a half parts vanilla vodka with half parts peppermint schnapps, half parts green crème de menthe and half parts cream in a cocktail shaker half filled with ice.
- Strain mixture into a martini glass rimmed with crushed candy canes.