You could stick to the old cocktail standbys this New Year's ... or you could impress everyone with these tasty drinks from L.A. restaurants. They're pretty, too!
The first cocktail recipe comes from Fig & Olive. There's a lot of fruit in it, but with the scotch and the ginger beer (and the pepper, if you want), it's not too sweet.
Pear Au Poivre
2 oz Scotch (the restaurant uses Famous Grouse)
0.75 oz Lemon Juice
0.75 oz Pear Clove Syrup or Pear Purée
0.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
0.5 oz Ginger Beer
0.5 oz Egg White
In a mixing glass, layer the first four ingredients. Add the egg white and shake hard for 6 seconds.
Add ice and the ginger beer and shake hard till really cold. Strain and serve up in a martini glass.
Garnish with cracked black pepper and a mint leaf.
Our second cocktail recipe comes from Girasol in Studio City -- and it's a crowd pleaser. Omit the booze to make it kid-friendly, add tequila for a pretty margarita, or serve it New Year's Day as a mimosa. Whatever method you choose, you'll be using a southwestern fruit that's in season now -- neighborhood markets and farmers' markets should have it in stock.
Prickly Pear Agua Fresca or Mimosa Recipe
Makes 1 pitcher
12 Prickly Pear Fruits (peeled)
½ cup Mint (Bergamot is preferred)
1 ½ cup Granulated Sugar
Water as needed
Fresh Lime Juice to taste
Combine fruit, mint, and sugar. Purée and strain. Add water as needed.
To make into a Prickly Pear Mimosa, do not add water. Instead, add 2 oz. of prosecco to each serving. To make a margarita, do the same with tequila!