If you’re ringing in the new year with a New Year’s Eve party then having a special cocktail to serve at midnight is a fun treat. Champagne is a traditional way to wish your friends and family a happy year ahead but it can be expensive. Not all wallet friendly bottles of bubbly are to everyone’s taste. I’ve seen more abandoned glasses of sparkling wine than is right and it’s money down the drain. Fear not, there are many options for including traditional bubbly in your celebrations that everyone will enjoy.
A gin and Champagne cocktail is my favorite because I love how easy it is. Simply replace the tonic water in your classic gin and tonic with sparkling wine. Add whichever garnish you like – wedges of lime, crushed cranberries, strawberries or even slices of orange for a pretty and delicious cocktail.
Mimosas are another easy option and while orange juice is typically used at brunch, why not switch things up to revamp this simple drink for a special night? Instead of OJ try pineapple juice, cranberry juice or pomegranate juice!
If you’re looking to make a presentation of serving these drinks then a cotton candy cocktail is the way to go. Put a nice big puff of candy into the glass and let your guests watch it dissolve away as you pour champagne over the top. Add in a bit of pretty syrup or a liquor such Chambord for colour. The candy sweetens up very dry sparkling wine and will allow you to use a less expensive bottle for your party but nobody will know because these are divine!
Add a little spice to the night with an Iced Toddy. Similar to it’s warmer counterpart, the Hot Toddy, this beverage begins with apple cider and bourbon but ends with a splash of spiced rum and topped with Champagne. Measurements are: 2oz apple cider, ¾ oz bourbon, splash spiced rum and 3oz of Champagne.
If your party is a dinner party, consider a float as dessert. Use your favourite fruity sorbet and float it in Champagne!
If you’d like to do a bit of prep, a blackberry simple syrup makes the prettiest cocktail because the heavier syrup lays in the bottom of the glass as the Champagne floats on top for a layered look. To make the syrup add equal parts water and sugar to a sauce pot. Add crushed blackberries to the mix and heat just until the sugar has dissolved. Strain the fruit out of your syrup and cool before serving. To make your cocktail, add 1oz of syrup at the bottom of your glass and top with bubbly, pouring it down the side of the glass to avoid disturbing the syrup too much. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and a fresh blackberry!
St Germain liquor is a classic accompaniment to Champagne and it makes a lovely cocktail as well. Simply add 1 part St. Germain and 3 parts bubbly and garnish with something light – lemon is lovely but grapefruit or lavender or berries are nice too.
However you celebrate please be sure to drink responsibly and arrange for party guests to have a safe ride home. Happy New Year to you and yours!