Create a simple yet sophisticated menu

We love no-fuss nosh for a relaxed and festive party, but New Year’s Eve calls for something a bit more special. Step up your spread with a menu of easy, elegant apps and snacks to suit everyone’s palate.

  • Prep fancier versions of comfort-food favourites, such as nachos baked on a cedar plank and served with chunky salsa; mushroom caps stuffed with creamy goat cheese; spicy grilled shrimp; and mini grilled cheese sandwiches stuffed with bacon, fruit or gourmet spreads.
  • Entice guests to the veggie tray with colourful kabobs stacked with sweet green peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives.
  • Sub in unexpected ingredients to jazz up standard party fare. For example, try serving sliders with tuna patties instead of beef.
  • A dwindling cheese plate can be a real party pooper. Keep yours well stocked with a selection of hard and soft cheeses, and cured meats. An overflowing basket of fresh artisan breads is a welcome touch.

Set the mood with music

The right tunes will keep the party rockin’ until midnight – or even later.

  • Find festive playlists on a free online music-streaming site, or ask guests to send you their requests, and custom-make your own party mix.
  • Count down to midnight by playing your top 10 favourite songs of the year.
  • Everyone wants to hear “Auld Lang Syne” at the stroke of 12, and you can’t argue with tradition, but we think playing a meaningful tune at the end of the night is an extra-special way to usher in the new year.

Shake up the cocktails

Be fearless with flavour when creating a signature drink your guests won’t soon forget.

  • Welcome chilly invitees with steamy mugs of seasonal favourites like mulled wine or hot cider.
  • Add a fragrant twist to citrus-based cocktails with a hint of fresh herbs such as basil or thyme.
  • Mix drinks with subtly fruity Italian-style sodas instead of standard pop or tonic water.

Celebrate with a midnight sweet table

Nothing keeps a party pumping like a late-night sugar rush. Your guests will feel like kids in a candy store when you roll out a selection of easy-to-nibble treats.

  • No need to get fancy – everyone adores goodies like Belgian chocolate cookies, tarts and homemade squares.
  • What goes great with Champagne? Truffles! Make them yourself, or save time with decadent Compliments Milk Chocolate Truffles.
  • Fill a few glass bowls with a variety of corner-store sweets, such as licorice strings, wine gums, sour fruit chews and candy-coated chocolates.

Toast with a mocktail

You can’t ring in the new year without popping the cork on a bottle of bubbly, but guests will also enjoy capping off the night with a flavourful virgin drink. (Plus, it’s a nice gesture to make designated drivers feel included in the final “cheers.”)

  • Sparkling citrus ends the night on a refreshing note. Offer to fill their flutes with chilled lemonade or clementine-ginger punch.
  • Send your guests off into the cold, cold night with warm bellies full of chai tea lattes or peppermint-tea hot chocolate.