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).
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.
- 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
- 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)
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.)
- 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.
- 1 shot St. Germain elderflower liqueur
- 1/2 shot fresh squeezed lemon juice
Pour first two ingredients into chilled champagne flute. Top with champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.
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
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.
- Wild Hibiscus Flowers (You can pick this Australian import up at Bristol Farms)
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.