Ring in the New Year with Retro Cocktails!

Celebrate your favorite decade this New Year’s Eve with a drink from another era. _____________________________________________________________

2009: Captain Handsome

This sophisticated drink, mixed up at the popular Seattle bar Vessel, exemplifies the cocktail scene over the past year: It’s sophisticated, not too sweet, and at the same time kinda fun.Drink-Captain-Hansome

  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce creme de violette
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce limoncello
  • Absinthe, for the glass
  • Splash of chilled seltzer
  • Brandied cherry (sold in jars at gourmet stores), for garnish


Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the gin, creme de violette, lime juice and limoncello and shake well. Rinse the inside of a cocktail glass with absinthe. Strain the drink into the glass, add the seltzer and garnish with a brandied cherry.


1999: Peach CosmoDrink-Peach-Cosmo

The Signature Lounge in Chicago’s John Hancock Center has devised a cocktail to celebrate the ’90s. The Peach Cosmo is sweet, bright pink and unabashedly girly. And interestingly enough, it is the favorite drink of former President Bill Clinton — not!

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 3/4 ounce peach schnapps
  • 3/4 ounce cranberry juice cocktail
  • Lime wedge, for garnish (optional)


Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the vodka, peach schnapps and cranberry juice cocktail. Shake well, then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lime, if desired.


1979: Mama’s Little Helper

This fizzy, cucumber-flavored drink tastes like the cocktail equivalent of a Jell-O mold dessert — but in a good way.

Drink-Mama's Little Helper

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 1/4 ounces gin
  • Splash of fresh lime juice
  • Splash of simple syrup
  • Chilled seltzer


Slice a piece of cucumber and reserve for garnish. Peel, halve and seed the remaining cucumber. Puree in a blender until smooth, then strain through a fine mesh sieve.

Fill a highball glass three-quarters of the way with ice. Add 2 ounces cucumber puree, the gin, lime juice and simple syrup and stir. (To make a batch of simple syrup, simmer equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves, then cool.) Fill the glass with seltzer and stir again. Garnish with the reserved cucumber slice.


1959: Kokomo

The cool cats over at the Hala Kahiki in River Grove, Ill., really dig this kooky cocktail. So why not get hip to this tiki-bar trend — OK, Daddy-O?


  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce amaretto
  • 1 ounce creme de cacao
  • 1 ounce cream of coconut
  • 1 ounce heavy cream
  • Toasted shaved coconut, for garnish (optional)


Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the vodka, amaretto, creme de cacao, cream of coconut and heavy cream. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with coconut, if desired.


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