For an 8-year-old Questlove, the first song that acquainted him with the true party spirit of New Year’s Eve was hardly “Auld Lang Syne” — it was the Sugarhill Gang hip-hop classic “Rapper’s Delight.”
“My father’s act was booked at a nightclub in Pittsburgh called the Carlton House,” says the “Tonight Show” bandleader, whose late dad led the doo-wop group Lee Andrews & the Hearts. “Because it was December of ’79, ‘Rapper’s Delight’ was about four months old. I just jumped onstage and performed it in front of an audience of, like, 500 people as it was turning to 1980.”
Since that memorable midnight moment, the 48-year-old Roots drummer born Ahmir Thompson has gone on to work the New Year’s Eve party circuit as a celebrity DJ.
And after proving that his good taste extends from music to food in his new cookbook “Mixtape Potluck” (Abrams Image), Questlove has given The Post entertaining tips for your own ultimate New Year’s Eve party — plus a killer playlist.
Of course, any house or apartment party starts with a guest list. Questlove says that you have to first consider how many people your place can hold — especially in the tighter spaces of New York living.
“I keep in mind the fact that my place can only comfortably hold 60 people,” he says. “And to hold 60 people in a New York apartment is, like, an achievement.”
But after “making sure that you have the right mix of people” on the guest list, Questlove says you have to weigh “the dependability level” of your invitees to gauge how many will actually attend, RSVP or not.
You also have to factor in if anyone will show up with what he calls “the Drake entourage” — as in “somebody that rolls with, like, more than 20 people.”
Once you’ve figured out the right mix and number of people for your function, Questlove says games can work as a good icebreaker.
“I’m big on games,” he says. “Every party that I throw has a game thing to it.”
Games can be “no-apparatus-necessary activities” like charades, or classic board games like Monopoly.
They’re no doubt more fun with some drinks in the mix. To help alleviate “the biggest pressure” of a New Year’s Eve party, Questlove suggests hiring a bartender.
“When you hire the bartender,” he says, “you also have the option for him to bring his mixers over, provide cups and whatnot, so that saves a headache. I think it’s worth it.”
While you should have plenty of Champagne on standby for the midnight toast, Questlove says that what really keeps the party bubbling is some wine, “a steady flow of red and white.” His fave brands are J. Moss, Vision Cellars, Edelheiss, L’Objet and Markell-Bani.
As for those who prefer a brewski, he suggests something a little less basic for an occasion such as New Year’s Eve.
“There’s a really fancy beer I like called Framboise Lambic,” he says. “It’s a Belgian raspberry beer that tastes like if Welch’s grape [juice] had just a little bit of wine kick in it. It’s really great.”
And for a hard liquor twist, Questlove likes Skrewball peanut butter-infused whiskey, calling it “my treat of the decade.”
Naturally, you need food to soak up all that alcohol. Neat eats are the crucial quest for a standing affair, he says.
“It would behoove you to serve something that can be wrapped — that way you won’t look sloppy,” says Questlove.
“I’m also very sensitive about people’s dietary needs. And it’s beyond vegetarian and vegan: There are a lot of people who are keto; there are people who are paleo. And I always make sure that we have some sort of fish so that the pescatarians are cool.”
Questlove’s food fare for a New Year’s Eve soiree would include some “go-to’s” from the “After the After Party: Late Night Snacks” section of his “Mixtape Potluck” book, including grilled bologna sliders on Hawaiian rolls and Q-Tip’s mac ‘n’ cheese.
He also recommends the jalapeño salmon fish skins with blistered shishito peppers — the recipe courtesy of his personal chef, Ardenia Brown. “She deep-fries the skin of fish and makes it into the tastiest chip,” he explains.
In addition to a drink bar, Questlove suggests also having a dessert bar for New Year’s Eve. And for one really cool way to serve ice cream, he tips Brooklyn’s Ample Hills Creamery.
“They’re known for their ‘crack’ ice cream,” he says. “You can hit up Ample Hills four hours before your event and they will come. You have the option to order five different types of ice cream. They bring over the miniature cups, they bring over the spoons . . . and they do on-the-spot miniature sundaes.”
While the necessary New Year’s Eve party favors include noisemakers “that’ll make your neighbors wanna call the police on you,” Questlove says don’t forget less festive essentials such as an industrial-strength plunger, because “they will use and abuse your bathroom.”
Another party tip for when things get a little too crazy on New Year’s Eve?
“You should always know where everyone’s coat is — in case they have to get 86’d,” says Questlove.
Which brings us to another key component of New Year’s Eve entertaining.
“If you’re throwing the party, you can’t party,” says Questlove. “You have to be on watch 24/7. You have to man the fort. You can’t get high on your own supply.”