NYE Cocktail Ideas: Add Some Kick to Your Toast

— by Caroline on Crack

Flickr Shot by cecily7

Flickr Shot by cecily7

OK, yes, I still have cocktails on the brain. They like ’em really sweet and syrupy up here in Sacto and don’t even know what a whiskey cocktail is. Bah! Anyway, with nothing else to do but dream of good cocktails, I assembled this list of 10 cocktail alternatives for those bored with plain bubbly on NYE.

It’ll be your first drink of 2008 so it oughta be something special (read: stronger), don’t you think? Nothing too complicated here, though, since you’ll want to get something ready in time before the clock strikes 12. Apart from the champagne, some recipes may require a run to the store beforehand if your wet bar isn’t already stocked with bitters, Grand Marnier and the like.

Cited by some to be an excellent, albeit oh-so stylish, hangover cure. But why save it for the morning after when you can have the good stuff immediately?

  • 1/2 ounce cognac
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
  • 4 ounces Brut champagne

Pour cognac (or another brandy) and Grand Marnier into a champagne flute, top up with brut champagne or a reasonable facsimile thereof (no need to go overboard in terms of quality, but you don’t want something that you could use in a vapor degreaser, either).

Black Velvet
Originally created to memorialize Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s hubby, this cocktail became a favorite of the Jazz Age making it a swank and yummy cocktail to toast the new year.

  • champagne
  • Guinness stout

Fill a tilted, chilled champagne flute slightly less than halfway with cold champagne, and wait for foam to subside; slowly add an equal part cold stout.

Chambord Champagne Cocktail
A girly champagne cocktail, and I mean that in a good way. Great for those who find champagne to be too bitter for their tastes.

  • 3/4 teaspoon Chambord
  • champagne
  • 2 raspberries

Pour Chambord into champagne flute. Fill with chilled champagne. Add 2 small raspberries.

Classic Champagne Cocktail
If you’re having an elegant party where everyone’s dressed to the nines in their ’50s cocktail attire, this would compliment the vibe beautifully.

  • 6 ounces Champagne
  • 1 cube sugar
  • Angostura bitters

Soak a sugar cube with Angostura bitters. Place the cube in the bottom of a chilled Champagne flute. Fill with Champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Death in the Afternoon
Yes, perhaps the name is a bit morbid-sounding for a new year’s champagne toast but the writer in me appreciates this Hemingway-created cocktail and with absinthe it definitely adds an extra something naughty to your bubbly. Since the green fairy is now legit, let it flow.

  • 1 jigger of absinthe (I recommend Kubler)
  • champagne

Pour absinthe in a champagne flute and then add iced champagne until it has an opalescent milkiness. (If you can’t find absinthe you can substitute it with pastis.)

You might remember this girl fave from Sex and the City. There are lots of Flirtini recipes out there but this was the simplest of the bunch.

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 2 ounces champagne
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice

Combine vodka, champagne, and pineapple juice in a highball or collins glass filled with ice.

French 77
A variation of the French 75 cocktail, this one adds the elegant new French liqueur to the mix.

  • 1 shot St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 1/2 shot fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Champagne

Pour first two ingredients into chilled champagne flute. Top with champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.

Lava Lamp
For all those who can never take their eyes off champagne bubbles (pretty!), this is the drink for you.

  • 6 ounces chilled champagne
  • 1 tablespoon Ocean Spray Craisins Sweetened Dried Cranberries
  • 1/6 ounce fresh lemon juice

Pour chilled champagne into a champagne flute. Add sweetened dried cranberries. Let it sit for a moment. Cranberries will begin to slowly float up and down in glass. Serve while chilled.

St. Germain & Champagne
Got only 2 minutes til midnight?

  • 1 1/2 shot of St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
  • Brut champagne
  • strawberry

Pour St. Germain liqueur into a chilled champagne flute and top up with Brut champagne. Garnish with a strawberry on the rim.

Wild Hibiscus Champagne Cocktail
For a beautiful blooming cocktail, try a little floral in your bubbly.

Place one of the blooms at the bottom of a champagne flute. Spoon some of the syrup from the jar into the glass and then pour the champagne over it. The bubbles stream off the petals and the syrup contributes a festive holiday red color as well as a raspberry/rhubarb taste to the champagne.