Ringing in the new year among friends and family is one of the things I cherish most about the holiday season. Thanksgiving may mark the start of the holiday festivities but it is New Year’s Eve that is the season’s true culmination. Old and new friends, family and strangers gather close to toast the passing of one year and to usher in the start of one anew. For me, nothing symbolizes this right of passage better than lifting the proverbial glass of bubbly. But a whole night of one drink can get a bit repetitive, so why not mix it up a little with sparkling wine cocktails!
I know for some, sparkling wine is sacred; a treat best left pure and unadulterated. However, there is always part of me that is always searching for a way to create traditions that incorporate the aspects of how I live. I love respecting the past, but sometimes you need to merge the old with the new to create new traditions. In this case, I wanted to give champagne a twist so I asked several of my mixologist friends for what they thought were the best champagne cocktail recipes. What I got were three very different cocktails that are fun, easy and will totally impress your guests….
Who says that mojitos are only for hot weather? Why not surprise your guests with a Champagne Mojito? Choose a slightly sweet sparkling wine like a demi-sec to really play up the lime elements in this drink. The best thing about this drink? You can make a pitcher in advance and set it up for guests to serve themselves! Now you are free to salsa the night away are you welcome the new year……
Like many of you, I have friends who prefer beer over wine and my recipe for a Raspberry Champagne Fizz meet my fermented grain-loving friends half way since the secret ingredient in this recipe is raspberry wheat beer or lambic. The addition of rosemary garnish adds a nice herbal note that cuts what could be an overly sweet drink….
But for those of you who do like your drinks on the sweet side, then get your sugar fix with the Cherry Bomb. The combination cherry liqueur, cherry syrup and yup, you guessed it….cherries make this the perfect drink for those guests who love big flavor. I promise you, it is like a fruit bomb going off in your mouth….
So as the clock strikes 12, raise one of these cocktails to the coming year and I am positive your guests will have stories to tell the next day.