Julibox Founder Courtne Jones Dishes on How to Drink at Home on New Year’s Eve

You don't have to be complicated to be good, our expert says

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Chances are you’re rushing around, trying to figure out what you’re going to do for your guests for your New Year’s Eve gathering. Don’t know what or how much to buy? How do you impress? Do you have to break the bank? Are you just overwhelmed?

In the spirit of easing some of the anxiety that goes along with hosting a party of any size or intensity, we’ve enlisted the help of Julibox founder Courtne Jones for a few tips about how to make the best out of your time and resources!

We can’t say it any better than they can: “Julibox is your passport to cocktail discovery. Each month, you will discover two great cocktails, curated by our world class mixologists and designed especially for easy home preparation. You’ll get enough ingredients to make two of each cocktail; four cocktails in sum. And you get all of the spirits and mixers you’ll need to make ‘em.”

In short, Julibox is fantastic — and, by the way, a great way for guys and gals to do something fun, inexpensive and cool on a date night/movie night at home. Just saying.

But Courtne has the goods, so here’s what she had to say.

1) Don’t Blow the Budget: You don’t have to spend a fortune on champagne to have a stellar celebration. There are lots of sparking wines that taste great and are affordable too. Give one of these Proseccos a try at your NYE event: Mionetto Treviso Brut, LaMarca Extra Dry or Lunetta Brut.

2) Mix & Batch: If you have a few folks who would rather sip on cocktails than champagne, you can make them happy too without spending the night behind the bar. Pre-batch your cocktail ingredients pitcher-style and leave finishing touches for your guest to complete. For example, you can batch a Pear Flower (St. Germain, Grey Goose La Poire and lemon juice) and leave the ice and bubbly topper for your guest to create a fresh drink.

3) A Bit of Flair: A garnish can go a long way to elevate your cocktail experience. They add color, aroma and texture to your cocktail. A twist of citrus is a great aromatic addition to most cocktails and helps to enliven the tasting experience. Pomegranate seeds are a great way to add a touch of elegance and color to a champagne cocktail without a lot of effort.

4) Glassware: Part of a great cocktail experience is the presentation. Don’t get caught serving a martini in a wine glass or a Tom Collins in a Solo cup this year! Step up your glassware with a few additions that will make all the difference in your cocktail strut. Coupe glasses are versatile, elegant and perfect for champagne, martinis and a host of other cocktails. A good set of Old fashioned and Collins glasses should round out your basic needs.

5) Ice, Ice, Baby: Ice is an important component of any cocktail and does a lot more than just keep your drink cold. It helps dilute the spirits (a good thing, trust us) and bring all of the ingredients into harmony. Be sure to match your ice to your cocktail. For example, an old fashioned requires a large slow melting cube that can go the distance and achieve the right amount of dilution with every sip. A julep or bramble requires crushed ice to keep the drink extra cold and for dilution to occur at a slower pace. And remember, never use old ice. Always use fresh ice after shaking up your libations.

6) Have fun: Serving cocktails at your next event doesn’t have to be a pain. Fresh squeezed citrus, sugar or modifier liqueurs like St Germain and Chambord go a long way to change your “spirit and soda” game to a quality cocktail experience.

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