Let’s face it: We’ll all be happily waving bye-bye-bye to 2020. In normal times, you’d probably be dressed in your finest, planning which parties to hit, and whooping it up all over Los Angeles to the usher in a new year. But as we’ve heard over and over — this year is a little bit different. That means more Zoom NYE parties with your besties, ordering in dinner and counting down the clock with your Covid-safe bubble in your new apartment, or celebrating with a virtual DTLA dance party. The positive: Pretty much anything goes. Dress up, stay in your PJs, no judgment.
No matter what you have planned, you’ll need something to celebrate with. While drinking bubbles is de rigueur for New Year’s Eve, it doesn’t always have to be Champagne (although there’s nothing wrong with the classic). From sparkling wines to non-alcoholic cocktails, here are a few ideas for what to drink on December 31 (or any time, really), and where to get them. Don’t forget to check out ordering options for safe delivery and easy pickup — and plan ahead.
Bubbles + Sparklers
There are always the celebratory go-tos — who doesn’t love Krug, Dom and Cristal — but why not celebrate with something unique? Here are just a few bubbles for every budget.
Dignatat Brut Cava ($14): When you want more bubbles for your buck, Cava is the way to go. This one is vibrant and full of ripe fruit and citrus flavors. And at only $14 a bottle, you can buy a few for everyday-sparkling reserves. Find it at Everson Royce in Pasadena, also available at sibling Silverlake Wine in Highland Park and Silver Lake.
Domaine Du Facteur ‘La Bulle Du Facteur Rosé’ Pet-Nat ($25): We’ve never seen a year like this one, so sip a NYE sparkler that’s just as unique. What’s a pet-nat? It’s one of those natural wines you keep hearing about, basically a still wine that’s fermented only in the bottle, thus creating bubbles. This certified organic wine is a bit wild — tastes like wild strawberries, that is — with hints of cranberries and even a touch of cream. Find it at Flask + Field at The Row.
Canard-Duchêne “Charles VII – Grande Cuvée le Victorieux” Brut Champagne ($39.99): Gary Westby at K&L Wine Merchants calls this toasty Champagne “a little affordable luxury for the end of the year.” It’s floral, dry, crisp — everything you want when you want for early-in-the-night hors d’oeuvres. This is one of those bottles that will impress someone without even trying.
Cocktails + Kits
Let someone else shake up the night for a change. Pre-batched cocktails and DIY kits will help you ring in the new year in style.
The Eve of NYE at Genever: There are a slew of options at the Historic Filipino spot, all available for pickup or delivery (on December 30). The Paglipad is a nod to the owner’s Filipino roots a lovely martini made with the first gin distilled in the Philippines; the Not-So-Late Tonic is like a sparkling iced coffee, albeit one spiked with tequila and Cynar; and their take on a classic vesper is perfect for toasting. Cocktails must be ordered with food, which happens to be paella. Check out the full menu here.
Seasonal Cocktails at Thunderbolt: The Echo Park bar offers pre-batched cocktails and kits, including bottles of “freezer martinis”; canned Sham-pagne, a sparkling blend of Cognac and Armagnac with clarified grape juice; and vegan hot buttered rum made with Madeira, chai and turmeric. All are available for pickup or delivery.
Non-Alcoholic Options: You’ll have to do a little more DIY here, but creating non-boozy options for you or guests (kids included!) can be just as fun as knowing your way around a bar cart. Think: Cherry crush mocktails, lemon lavender mocktinis, and festive sparkling cranberry drinks.
Featured image by Amy Shamblen/Unsplash