NYE Cocktails & Appetizer Ideas

By Henry Gould – December 31st, 2018

Well, well, well… almost time to wave “Bye Felicia” to 2018 and begrudgingly open the door to 2019! New Years Eve in high school used to be the BIGGEST deal (“Who’s having a party? Are my friends allowed to come? Can we walk from Creekside to Whistler Village on the highway???”) but as one gets older, the novelty can fade, with parties becoming smaller, ending earlier, and encouraging more civilized behavior.

Booooooring. Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to extinguish the fun flame. Whether it’s a gathering of friends, family, or complete strangers, come equipped with some of the ideas below to help spice things up and make the end of the year more enjoyable.

Seeing as this is Yard Athletics, the recipes are all on the “healthier” side. That being said, you can always toast to your health in 2019 while still indulging one last time…


  • Black Velvet
    • A weirdly delicious combination of ~2 parts Guinness (or dry Irish Stout Beer) and 1 part Champagne or Prosecco
    • Simply pour the Guinness in the bottom of a large mug or glass, then top with the Champagne or Prosecco
    • This helps stretch your champagne further, and the yeasty sweetness of the sparkling wine helps compliment the beer
  • Zombie
    • The name suggests one too many will turn you half dead-half alive, but nevertheless this drink is a Tiki Bar classic invented by Don the Beachbomber during the Tiki craze of the 30’s and 40’s
      • 0.5 shot white rum
      • 1.5 shots golden rum
      • 1 shot dark rum
      • 0.5 shot 151 proof rum
      • 1 shot fresh lime juice
      • 1 tsp pineapple juice
      • 1 tsp papaya juice
      • white sugar
      • mint leaves
        • Stir the rums (except 151) and juice together with a little sugar, taste, and adjust the mixture with more lime or sugar as needed
        • Pour into a large glass full of ice, garnish with mint, then float the 151 on top. Light on fire with a match if you’re feeling crazy


  • Oven Roasted Tomatoes
    • These are delicious on crackers, baguette, or simply on their own
    • The tomatoes themselves are vegan, but if you wanna amp it up serve them with burrata cheese and aged prosciutto
      • Roma tomatoes
      • Bulb of garlic, cut in half
      • Fresh rosemary
      • Sea Salt
      • Pepper
      • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
        • Cut the tomatoes in half and gently put into a large bowl with the garlic bulb and rosemary. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, drizzle generously with olive oil.
        • Put onto a roasting pan and stick in a 325 oven for about an hour. Make sure all the tomatoes are skin side down, otherwise they will stick to the pan
        • Allow to cool and serve drizzled with more olive oil
  • Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
    • A nice salty snack that’s better (and cheaper) than a huge bowl of mixed nuts
    • Usually I’d say soak dried chickpeas and cook them first, but honestly save yourself the aggravation and use canned chickpeas
      • 1 large can of chickpeas
      • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
      • Sea Salt
      • Dried chili flakes
      • Ground Cumin
      • Ground Corainder
        • Drain the can of chickpeas, put in a bowl and drizzle generously with olive oil. Pour onto a roasting pan and stick in a 450F oven. Cook for 10 minutes then check them, shaking the pan so they roll around
        • Keep cooking until they get dark brown and crispy
        • Once done, take out of the oven and season heavily with salt, chili and the spices, then shake around in the pan so they all get coated
        • Allow to cool then serve in a bowl
  • Tuna Dip
    • Sounds strange, tastes amazing. This is the basis of the “Tonnato” part of Vitello Tonnato, an Italian dish of cold poached veal with a tuna mayonnaise
    • This dip is lovely on cold roast meats, or with vegetables, bread, and crackers
      • 1 large can of Rio Mare Italian Tuna (or any tuna packed in olive oil)
      • Mayonnaise
      • Capers
      • Sea Salt
      • Pepper
      • 1 lemon
      • Black Pepper
      • 1 small shallot, chopped
        • Open the can of tuna and pour the whole thing, olive oil and all, into a food processor
        • Add roughly an equal volume of mayonnaise, erring on the side of more than the tuna
        • Zest half the lemon, and squeeze in half the juice
        • Throw in a spoonful of capers, some black pepper, and a little more olive oil, and the chopped shallot
        • Blend for 2-3 minutes until very smooth. Adjust the seasoning with more lemon, salt, capers, olive oil and pepper as you feel it needs
        • Chill in the fridge until serving

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