It’s that time of year again: Time for Champagne, party hats and, most importantly, the comical mistakes that can only happen during four consecutive hours of live television. Whether you like your New Year’s countdown programs quietly ticking off the seconds until midnight in the background or loudly blaring the latest Zayn hit over your surround sound, they are an important part of any end of year celebration. And so is having the right drink in your hand as you watch. So whether you’re a Ryan Seacrest fan or you can’t get enough of Anderson Cooper giggling as the ball drops in Times Square, here are the cocktails you should drink with your New Year’s program of choice.
ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest – Martini
In some ways Ryan Seacrest is the Martini of television hosts. He’s timeless, he’s smooth, he’s so white he’s basically clear. The other thing about the Martini? It’s nice and strong, which is an important characteristic for any drink consumed before watching Mariah Carey’s return to the New Year’s stage this year.
Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey – Long Island Iced Tea
After you finish pouring out a fifth of Voli Vodka for Pitbull and his New Year’s Revolution (why have you left us Mr. Worldwide?), settle in with a Long Island Iced Tea. After a couple of them you’ll be making the same faces he does whenever someone’s grandma doesn’t understand a double entendre on Family Feud.
CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen – Paloma
If you were going to base your drinking choice on Anderson Cooper’s preferred tipple, apologies. The man didn’t even have a Martini until 2016. Clearly he doesn’t have much of a track record when it comes to drinking. Andy Cohen, on the other hand, drinks on live television regularly (this should really be a prerequisite for hosting any sort of New Year’s show). And, as it happens, Cohen does have a favorite drink on set: tequila and Fresca (a grapefruit soda). Maybe he knows, maybe he doesn’t, but those two ingredients make up about 80% of a Paloma. Andy, think of it as your cocktail of choice, just better.
If you’re looking for it on your TV Guide, you’ll find Public Television’s New Year’s Eve programming split up into two totally different shows: First, two hours live from Lincoln Center featuring Leonard Bernstein hits, followed by the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame induction with a performance from Willie Nelson, hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally. We’re partial to Offerman’s other New Year’s countdown work, but we’re sure the PBS evening will be a classy one, so your drink should be something classy and classic as well, and a Champagne cocktail is exactly that.
SyFy’s Twilight Zone Marathon – Hot Toddy
There is no countdown involved with the all-day Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy, but it is one of the best parts of New Year’s Eve. Especially if you are someone who eschews big parties, this is an excellent bit of binge watching to curl up by yourself or with your special someone and watch. And if you’re New Year’s plans include a cozy night in watching William Shatner battle an airplane gremlin, compliment it with a drink that’s just as cozy like a Hot Toddy.
NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly – Nothing
Sadly for hardcore Carson Daly fans, if they’re looking for him to count them down to midnight they’ll find a Dateline rerun instead. The NFL had a game scheduled for New Year’s Eve, but rescheduled it at the last minute, leaving the network to plug the hole in the schedule with whatever it could find. But never fear Daly-aniacs, you can still catch Carson during his other four-hours-a-day of television.