A Swanky Cocktail Party to Toast the New Year

By Carmen Collins
new years eve NYE photo booth!

It feels like a new hot spot opens in Austin every weekend (because it does), and our list of must-try restaurants is starting to get a bit out of control. After checking out Eberly’s bar for Landrie’s birthday bash last month, we were smitten, and couldn’t wait to get back to try their contemporary American cuisine in that stunning midcentury dining room. For our most recent girls’ night out, we toasted 2017 early with a New Years Eve-worthy cocktail party where Eberly’s mixology team showed us how to make two of their holiday classics, and to dress the part, we hit up Express to find the perfect festive outfits. From long sleeve bodysuits to a velvet romper, these fun pieces will be perfect for hitting the town and making it through this busy party season in style. Scroll down to check out our holiday happy hour and get some NYE outfit inspiration of your own!

This post is in partnership with Expressphotos by kristen kilpatrick

We kicked off the night by meeting up at Eberly for cocktails and small bites. This rounded booth was the perfect spot to come in from the cold and get cozy.

Our NYE inspired outfits were made of rich materials like velvet and boasted sparkles for days. When getting ready for New Years Eve, aim for dressing to the nines, but make sure you’re still comfortable enough for a late night of dancing!

Eberly’s chef knew the way to our hearts with this colorful charcuterie board. We snacked on fresh crudité, creamy cheeses, housemade patés, and those addictive fancy potato chips.

After devouring the array of cheeses, our tastebuds were put to the test as we sampled Eberly’s cow tongue and rabbit terrine!

Jenn Rose and I reminisced over funny stories from this past year. Isn’t her top hat the perfect NYE accessory?!

Shop her velvet romper, my appliqué blouse, and my wide leg pants here.

We wrote down our favorite memories from 2016 and then read them aloud to the group. From Chanel’s wedding in France to our Christmas trip to Fredericksburg, we’ve all had a busy year! When hosting your own New Years Eve party, this activity is a fun way for guests who have not met before to get to know each other.

Crafting up a delicious cocktail for New Years Eve makes the holidays feel special, but when in doubt you can’t go wrong with a bottle of bubbly!

Eberly mixologist Karl Fernandez taught us how to make two holiday cocktails featuring whiskey and cognac. The spicy warming flavors felt so perfect for the season.

Shop Chanel’s cutout maxi dress here!

We learned an impressive technique for layering red wine on the top of our cocktails. Get the recipe below!

Isn’t this gorgeous ombré effect to die for?!

Star of the Night


  • 2 oz Bulleit Rye
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz Earl Grey simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz Malbec
  • star anise

Combine rye, lemon juice, and simple syrup into a mixing glass with ice. Shake and strain over ice. Use a spoon to layer the Malbec over the ice. Garnish with a star anise pod.

Landrie and Chanel lounged in Eberly’s historic Cedar Tavern. The gorgeous architecture and grandeur decor had us feeling like we went back in time.

Shop Landrie’s long sleeve bodysuit and pleated, metallic skirt here!

Eberly’s 140-year-old mahogany bar is a New York City original. Back in the day it was the watering hole of choice for notable artists such as Jackson Pollock, Jack Kerouac, and Bob Dylan.

Camille sips on the second cocktail we learned – a creamy concoction with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Get the recipe below.

Shop Camille’s velvet bodysuit and embellished miniskirt here!

Cognac Alexander


  • 2 oz Courvoisier VSOP
  • 2 oz vanilla ice cream
  • 1 oz Ghirardelli chocolate sauce
  • 1/2 oz brown butter crumbles

Combine slightly melted vanilla ice cream with cognac and chocolate sauce in mixing glass with ice. Cover and give a long, hard shake until fully mixed. Strain into coupe glasses over a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle with brown butter crumbles.

It’s not a holiday party without a white elephant gift exchange! We had a little too much fun fighting over our favorite presents. To host your own, just ask each guest to bring an unmarked gift (we specified under $25.) At the party, each guest draws a number which determines the order they get to choose which gift they’d like to open. Or, drama ensues when they choose to “steal” someone else’s gift instead!

After a few cocktails, we let loose in the photo booth! A simple background, paper crowns, tassel balloons, and big smiles are all you need to set one up at your own New Years Eve party.

Camille and Chanel were New Years Eve ready thanks to their sparkling outfits and glimmering accessories.

Check out all of our outfit details below in the Shop The Post!

At the end of the night, I sent each girl home with a gift bag complete with a copper Moscow mule mug, ginger beer, dark chocolate, and confetti poppers. It was the perfect way to kick off the holiday party season… and look forward to a festive year ahead!