Come countdown time, the Western Living team will be toasting the New Year with one of these.


Oaxaca Old Fashioned

I like a slow sipper on NYE, and Old Fashioneds have been my drink of choice for a few years now. (I like my booze to taste like booze—fruity drinks are too dangerous.) This year, I’m going to relive a Mexican getaway by mixing up the ingredients a bit—a little smoke from a dash of mezcal, paired with some good tequila (life’s too short for bad tequila), and I’ve got my slow sipper of choice in an Oaxaca Old Fashioned. —Anicka Quin, Editor-in-Chief

Deschutes Brewery’s Fresh Squeezed IPA

Deschutes Brewery’s Fresh Squeezed IPA

If you think piney, citrusy PNW IPAs are over, a) stop listening to your moustachioed, suspendered barber; and b) drink Deschutes Brewery’s Fresh Squeezed IPA. Fresh Citra and Mosaic hops have never been paired more masterfully, and there’s none of the malty muddle found in lesser pales. This is a nectar for all seasons that can warm and energize when the rain and snow are blowing sideways. —Tom Gierasimczuk, Publisher and General Manager


Ramos Gin Fizz

Though New Year’s Eve may be about toasting a brand new year, there’s something about the revelry that always feels pleasantly retro to me. Bubbles, party dresses and fireworks: not much really changes over the years. I’m leaning in to that vintage party vibe this time around, and making this classic cocktail my drink of choice for the big night. The Ramos Gin Fizz is a lot more work than a glass of wine or three, sure, but special occasions call for a little bit of fanfare. Frothy egg whites, a splash of gin, fresh lemon and lime juice and confectioners sugar make for a perfect blend of sweet and sour (the ideal metaphor for your 2015 experience, perhaps?)—and topped with a little bit of soda water, you’ve still got that festive dose of bubbles. (Bonus: the recipe calls for shaking the ingredients for five minutes,which means you’ve got a jump start on your New Year’s resolution to get your sweat on.) —Stacey McLachlan, Associate Editor

villa maria lightly sparkling wine

Villa Maria Private Bin Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc

I was fortunate enough to take in an all-things bubbly tasting session at Cornucopia this year, and even though this was at 11 a.m. (and I had seven more sparkling wines to go), this little New Zealand number was so surprisingly tasty I couldn’t bare yielding any leftovers to the spittoon. In the past, I’ve never paid much attention to the free-wheeling bubbles hitting flutes at 10 minutes to midnight (much more than “pink champagne? Cool!”) but this tasting event was a real eye- and mouth-opener for me. I was taking notes at the time, and in my notebook I had scribbled a frenzied three stars next to the Villa Maria. It stood out above all others, for me as well as my table companions, because it was fresh, tangy and totally packed with flavours like gooseberry, passionfruit and fresh citrus. Not only that, but this lightly sparkling white—with an easy-to-operate-while-celebrating screw cap—is only $17 at local liquor stores. I’ll cheers to that! —Julia Dilworth, Staff Writer


The French 75

This New Year’s Eve I’ll be drinking a French 75. I tried it for the first time at the Fairmont Waterfront last year and instantly knew it was my drink. It mixes gin with lemon juice, sugar and champagne—though sometimes I’ll use prosecco if I fancy something sweeter. Slicing the peel at home is a bit tricky, so I usually leave that bit to the professionals. —Jenni Elliott, Contributing Writer