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Festive food, drink for New Year's Eve

Mojito is the cocktail of choice to ring in 2012

New Year's Eve is one of the biggest and most exciting nights of the year.

More and more of us are planning to host a New Year's Eve bash to ring in 2012 with close friends and family.

As our New Year's gift to our readers, we offer up a cocktail drink that looks cheery and might very well impress your guests.

We asked Taka Kuwata, food and beverage manager and mixologist at the Vancouver Airport Marriott hotel's American Grille Restaurant, for an easy festive drink recipe for one of his signature cocktails.

Kuwata kindly obliged. He told the News that his Aloe Vera Raspberry Mojito is a new and rather unique twist on the famous Cuban drink.

Enjoy and Happy New Year from all of us at the News.

Aloe Vera Raspberry Mojito


125 ml (1/2 cup) of fresh or frozen raspberries

125 ml (1/2 cup) of Aloe Vera juice (available at most grocery stores)

42 grams (1.5oz) premium vodka

2 bundles of fresh mint leaves

Splash of Sprite

Topped off with soda water


All muddled into a Boston shaker then shaken and poured over ice, garnish with fresh raspberries and mint. Recipe serves four.


You want to ring in the New Year with your most delicious dishes ever, however, the thought of slaving over a hot oven for hours holds little appeal to most of us. We asked Froilan Alejo, executive chef at Country Meadow Golf Course, for an appetizer that doesn't take a lot of prep time or cooking time either, and he offered up his signature lemon garlic prawns.

"These tasty tiger prawns are made with garlic and lemon, sprinkled with Parmesan and broiled under salamander or oven for a favourite finger food that's elegant enough for cocktail parties but simple enough for late-night snacks," said Alejo.

Lemon Garlic Prawns Ingredients:

6 pieces tiger prawns

3 minced garlic cloves

1 lemon, juiced

30 ml (1 oz) white wine

15 ml (½ oz) olive oil

60 ml (2 oz) heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

60 ml (2 oz) shaved Parmesan cheese

1 piece of garlic toast Method:

In a small saucepan, preheat the olive oil, then add prawns, garlic, white wine, lemon juice, heavy cream and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over shrimp. Place in the oven at 180 C (350 F) to get them golden brown for about four to five minutes, or until done. Place on a square plate and serve with garlic toast. Serves one.