Celebrating New Year's Eve Is Easier Than Ever Thanks to This Make-Ahead Party Menu
Cheers to this scrumptious and strategic plan with recipes and a playlist.
It's been quite a year; on that we can all agree. So, come December 31, let's pass out the 2020 party hats and bid it a fond and delicious farewell. This make-ahead menu of savory nibbles (and one gorgeous sparkling tipple) was designed for maximum revelry. Prep like a pro, and you can mix, mingle, and dance it up with your nearest and dearest, from the first arrival to the final countdown. All of the recipes can be prepped hours or even days in advance, and several can be popped in a 425-degree oven together minutes before showtime (a pro catering move). Follow our tips to streamline your evening more, and press play!
Make a Splash
New Year's Eve fêtes last longer than other shindigs, and you don't want your friends half in the bag before the ball drops. This citrus punch, pictured above, is lively but light. Bay-leaf simple syrup lends herbaceous flavor; fresh grapefruit juice and clear cranberry juice create the blushy hue. And—should old acquaintance be forgot—the cranberries you usually see bobbing in holiday drinks are replaced by sunny sliced kumquats. We'll take a cup of kindness yet!
Delight with Good Bites
These hors d'oeuvres aren't dinner, but they're fantastically satiating. (In other words, guests won't have to pick up a slice of pizza on the way home.)
Spanish Chorizo Balls
Japanese Shrimp Toasts
Mild miso packs little shrimp toasts with big umami, while toasted sesame seeds bring crunch.
Potato-Chip-and-Pimiento Mini Crab Cake
High-brow meets low in tiny balls of jumbo lump crab coated in potato chips and kissed with pimiento-and Old Bay-spiced mayo.
Gooey Gouda Puff-Pastry Bites
Gouda pillows are like baked Brie in a handheld parcel, with a dollop of lingonberry jam for sweetness.
"Twice Baked" Baby Potatoes with Caviar
They pair oh so well with a glass of Champagne, these creamy baby potatoes crowned with sour cream and caviar are black-tie beauties in crisp skins.
Prep a Playlist
We may be well past Y2K, but Prince’s "1999" never fails to fire people up. Here, a few more staff picks to get your party started.
- "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" Ella Fitzgerald
- "The Little Drummer Boy," Kenny Burrell
- "What Christmas Means to Me," Stevie Wonder
- "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
- "Last Christmas," Wham!
- "Mistletoe & Holly," The Hot Sardines
- "Merry Christmas, Baby," Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
- "Auld Lang Syne," Andrew Bird