Originally published October 25, 2018 on SmartMeetings.com

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Champagne has been the drink of royalty going back to the 1800s. In fact, Winston Churchill once said of World War II, “Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne.”

It is the go-to beverage for toasting the new year. But what about people who don’t like champagne or just want to try something different this year? As New Year’s Eve plans already start to fall into place, here are some of the best alternatives to spice up any gathering.

Cognac Sparklers

One final taste of the holiday season, sparkling apple cider combined with a quick pour of brandy, rings in the New Year with a tasty pop. It sizzles with the feeling of celebration without skimping on flavor.


Moscow Mule Punch

It’s hard to deny the surge in popularity that the copper-mug-clad cocktail has seen in recent years. Why not lean into it? Made in mass, with copper mugs, lime and mint for attendees’ pleasure, the vodka classic could be much more than just something to sip on.


Apple Cider and Rum

For a heartier drink befitting the warmth of smaller, more intimate New Year’s Eve parties, look no further. Rum, spiced apple cider, vermouth and a sprinkle of fresh fruit is all you need.


Sparkling Cherry Mocktails

For a nonalcoholic option that is still a delight to drink, a combination of grenadine, lemon and soda goes a long way. Garnished with a few cherries for good measure, it can strike the perfect balance of sour and sweet.


Tequila Tom Collins

Take the long-time classic of a Tom Collins, but switch the gin for a splash of something a bit more party-minded. It’s light, refreshing and simple, but with just enough of a twist to mark a special occasion.


Cranberry Mojitos

Tart, sweet, minty and just plain fun, these are perfect for the crescendo toward midnight. The sparkling water is a great stand-in for traditional bubbly and the cool taste will have attendees ready to keep the party going.


Grapefruit Ginger Mocktails

When it comes to scratching the need for something tart, nothing manages it quite like grapefruit. Combine it with ginger beer and some garnish for an excellent, nonalcoholic pick-me-up as the clock ticks down.


Champagne Floats

If the allure of the New Year’s king is simply too much, there is nothing wrong with spicing it up. Whether it is vanilla, raspberry, strawberry or any other fruity favorites, a dollop of ice cream is all it takes to create something as memorable as it is unexpected.