After looking at so many recipes these past few weeks, I needed something to get inspired to celebrate New Years Eve. And since I am still full from two days of indulgent family meals for the Holidays, I wanted to focus on the cocktails for the occasion. There’s just nothing that sparks celebration quite like popping open a bottle of bubbles. With several different types of bubbles at all different price points and even non-alcoholic varieties you can’t help but get in the New Year’s Eve spirit. The most popular, and priced to match this time of year, is Champagne. It has the distinction of being from the Champagne region of France and uses Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or Chardonnay grapes. It can span the sweetness spectrum from dessert (bland de bland) to super dry (extra brut). Look, I would never begrudge someone simply sailing that cork across the room and pouring in a flute to enjoy, but Champagne also offers a great base for some fun New Year’s Eve cocktails. Here are a few to dazzle your guests or your SO.
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Keep it simple and don’t disturb the elegance with the Traditional Champagne Cocktail.
- 1 sugar cube
- 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
- brut champagne
Directions: Start with a chilled champagne flute and place a sugar cube in the bottom. Tap 2 to 3 dashes of bitters on the cube and finally fill the glass with the brut champagne. For garnish, you can add a simple lemon twist.
If it’s on the menu, I often order the French 75, and may try to perfect it at home.
- 2 oz. London dry gin
- 1 tsp. superfine sugar
- 1/2 oz. lemon juice
- 5 oz. brut champagne
Directions: Add ice to a cocktail shaker and combine gin, lemon juice, and sugar. Shake well and strain into the champagne glass of your choice. While a flute is customary, a goblet style also makes this cocktail festive. Top with champagne and garnish with a lemon spiral and a cocktail cherry.
Bubbles that make you feel like you’re on vacation are the best! Cava is that for me. The Catalonia region of Spain produces the majority of Cava that makes its way to the US in a Brut style. They use the same fermentation process as champagne and Cava is generally less expensive. This makes it a perfect vacay from the Holidays cocktail option.
Make your margarita festive with Cava! This twist on the traditional is a fun way to ring in the New Year.
- 1 oz. Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
- 1 oz. lime juice
- 2 oz. Tequila
- 1 oz sugar syrup
- Pinch Salt
- Cava Brut
Directions: Moisten the rim of a cocktail glass and roll it in salt. Add all ingredients except the champagne to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well for 10-15 seconds or until the outside of the shaker becomes frosted. Strain into your salt-rimmed cocktail glass, then top up with Cava. Garnish with a lime wheel and serve.
The Moonwalk is a very refreshing cocktail to add some pep to the evening. It combines the best of grapefruit flavor with the incredible sweetness of Cava.
- 1 oz. Grand Marnier
- 1 oz. Grapefruit Juice
- 1 splash of rose water
Place the ice, grand marnier, grapefruit juice and rose water in a cocktail shaker and shake for a few seconds. Pick a fun glass, strain and garnish with a cocktail cherry.
A reigning “by the glass” favorite and standard brunch staple is Prosecco. These bubbles come to you from the Veneto region of Italy using the Glera grape and can be a bit sweeter than Cavas and Champagnes. You may even still have a bottle in your fridge or pantry after serving up mimosas or poinsettias through the Holidays. Never fear, Proseco can bring you more cocktail cheer.
Elegant and cheery is how I would describe this next one.
- 1/2 oz Cointreau
- 1 oz Limoncello
Directions: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add Cointreau and the Limoncello. Shake until chilled and well combined. Strain into a classic flute or use a cordial glass. Top it off with Prosecco and garnish with a lemon twist.
The mimosa Queen outdoes herself with the Apple Cider Mimosa. It will have you feeling festive through New Year’s and cozy too!
- 4 oz. brut champagne
- 2 oz. all-natural apple cider
- 1 oz. cinnamon whiskey
- 1 slice of apple, for garnish
Directions: Mix cider and cinnamon whiskey in a champagne flute. Top with champagne, then stir lightly until incorporated. Garnish with an apple slice.
Needless to say, I am very inspired now and will be dusting off the fancy glasses to try out some of these recipes for New Year’s Eve. Now to get stocked up and cross our fingers we make it to midnight!
What are your go-to New Year’s Eve cocktails?