If there were ever an occasion to raise a glass, bidding farewell to 2020 would be it. I mean, honestly, have you ever been happier for a particular year to come to an end? Celebrate with a cocktail or two — Champagne Punch, Champagne cocktails, eggnog cocktails, beer cocktails, mocktails — whatever feels right.
And while we’re thinking about Dec. 31, stay-at-home New Year’s Eve is a perfect opportunity to take a break from heavy-duty cooking and relax a little. Rather than preparing an elaborate, formal meal only to be hungry again just before the countdown starts, make an array of simple, flavorful foods that you and your housemates can graze on throughout the evening. My mother used to call it a dinner of hors d’oeuvres, a.k.a. all the fun dips and breads and finger foods that you’re usually not supposed to fill up on before dinner.
Think about assembling a platter of colorful crudités. Make some dips and spreads like Smoky Eggplant Dip With Ginger and Tomato Chutney, Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip, Spicy Avocado Smash or Bavel’s Hummus Masabacha. Add some breads and crackers to complement. If you are feeling creative, make pita bread or mana’esh. Or pull some of that sourdough you made last summer out of the freezer.
As it nears midnight, how can you pass up a flute of “It’s the End of the Year as We Know It”? If beer is more your type of bubbly, try an Adult Espresso Nightcap or a Pinkerton. If you’ve had enough liquor by then, make it a Citrus Hot Toddy and leave out the booze. Whatever is in your glass, at midnight raise it high and kiss 2020 goodbye.