Five Festive Libations to Ring in the New Year

If you don't get a kick from champagne, there is still time to run out and buy bourbon, brandy and sherbet to mix up a memorable New Year's Eve punch from the pages of Oak Lawn's vintage community cookbooks.

Having a New Year's Eve party at your home? A champagne (or sparkling wine) is the traditional way to toast the New Year. But unless you're planning on serving bubbly all night long, you'll want some other beverage options to keep your guests in good spirits. If you're looking for a nice nog or a wonderful wassail for your New Year's Eve soirée, we have a few of festive libations gleaned from the pages of Oak Lawn's community cookbooks to help give your party some punch. 

1. Cold Duck Punch

Maryellen DeBartolo

Catherine's Cooking Continued… (1978)

St. Catherine's of Alexandria Church

1 (10 oz) pkg frozen strawberries, thawed

1 (6 oz) can frozen lemonade, thawed

2 bottles Cold Duck, chilled

1 bottle California rose' wine, chilled

Combine the strawberries, lemonade and rose' in a large punch bowl. Cover and let stand for one hour. Add Cold Duck with a decorative ice ring or ice cubes. Serve.

2. Holiday Eggnog

Cheryln Lowe

Happiness is Homemade (1988)

Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ

6 eggs

1 qt. milk or light cream

2/3 c. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 to 1 c. rum, brandy,

or whiskey, (optional)

1 c. heavy cream


Separate 6 eggs. Reserve the whites in a separate bowl. Beat together the 6 yolks, 1 quart milk or light cream, 2/3 cup of sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and, if desired, ¾ to 1 cup rum, brandy, or whiskey. Chill this mixture for three to four hours to allow the flavors to mellow, and blend. Then, with an electric mixer, whip the reserved egg whites until stiff but not dry. In a separate bowl, whip 1 cup heavy cream until stiff. Fold the chilled eggnog mixture into the whipped cream. Then gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cream mixture. Serve the eggnog immediately, ladling it into small cups and topping each serving with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Makes 16 to 20 ½ cup servings.

3. Champagne Punch

Kathy Moravec

Cooking With St. Paul (1969)

St. Paul Lutheran Church and School

Ladies Guild and Parent-Teacher League

2 bottles Champagne

2 liters ginger ale

2 cup apricot brandy

Chill all ingredients and mix them together in a punch bowl.

4. Wassail Bowl

Ev Goltz

Happiness is Homemade (1988)

Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ

In a small pan, make syrup of:

½ c sugar

½ c water

12 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

Simmer 10 minutes. In a large pan, heat:

2 cans frozen orange juice

2 cans frozen lemonade

1 (46 oz can/bottle apple juice or cider

Strain syrup into fruit juices. Add one cup brandy or run. May be served with clove-studded orange or orange slices in a punch bowl. Serve hot in mugs.

5.  Delicious Party Punch


Linus' Limited Edition(1971)

Saint Linus Guild

1 large, 46 oz can pineapple juice

1 pint lime sherbet

2 bottles cream soda (28 oz size)

1 pint orange sherbet


½ bottle vodka or ½ bottle gin

To make the punch more attractive, spoon sherbet in round tube Jello mold pan. Leave in freezer until punch is ready to be served. Remove from mold and float on top of punch.

One for the kids…

Make Believe Champagne

Dorothy Salazar

Happiness is Homemade (1988)

Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ

1 c. sugar

1 c. water

1 qt. ginger ale chilled

Boil sugar and water for 5 and cool. Add fruit juices and refrigerate for several hours. Stir in cold ginger ale just before

…And something for the next day:

Bounce Back Cocktail

Judi Friebel

Happiness is Homemade (1988)

Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ

Puree in blender: ½ c orange juice

¼ c milk

1 small ripe banana

2 ice cubes

Here's to 2011 and to you, Patch readers! And remember: Whether you're the host or the guest this New Year's Eve, be responsible. Cheers and happy New Year from Oak Lawn Patch.

Don't forget the food!

The pages of Oak Lawn's community cookbooks are full of festive foods to pair with your party punch or to set on your New Year's Eve buffet. The 1939 Oak Lawn PTA Cookbook offers a menu suggestion for your main meal:  Scalloped oysters, jellied vegetable salad, cornbread squares, warm mincemeat pie, and coffee.

For fun finger food ideas for your party tablet the Oak Lawn Public Library local history database has at least 20 cookbooks you can view online.

You'll find recipes for sauerkraut, liverwurst, cream cheese and other moldable shaped into logs, balls, and rolls, and for appetizers that offer just the right touch of tasty after a couple of cups of cheer. Here's a sample:

  • Hanky Pankies—uses 1 lb each of Velveeta cheese, ground beef, and pork sausage.
  • Roquefort beets— hollowed out beets filled with blue cheese.
  • Boozy dogs— basically cocktail weenies swimming in bourbon.
  • Zippy beef olive spread—ball of cream cheese and mayo smashed together with olives and chopped beef, with an added zip of dry sherry.


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