I know that Christmas was just yesterday and I hope you had a wonderful day with those you loved. Now it’s time to turn our thoughts toward celebrating the new year that is ~ can you believe ~ less than a week away. Nothing is more iconic on New Year’s Eve than a toast with Champagne. Those sparkling bubbles just shout celebration. The first New Year’s Eve that Sweet Shark and I ever spent together was in Paris. (When he asked me on Halloween night if I would spend New Year’s Eve with him in Paris, I knew he wasn’t talking about Paris, Texas.) We arrived in Paris the morning of the 31st, and that night after a fabulous dinner in a French bistro, we walked over to the Champs–Élysées ~ that’s shah zay-lee-zey, not champs el-e-sees for us Americans. The most beautiful boulevard in the world was lit with white twinkling lights and a million people (I think it was a million.) surrounded us. Happy Parisians and tourists carried bottles of champagne and glasses and shared a sip and kissed and shouted Bonne Année. It was magical and beautiful and enchanting and still the most amazing New Year’s Eve we’ll ever have. It was also the coldest ~ Europe was experiencing a “Siberian front”. That Champagne helped keep everyone warm. We love Champagne drinks and Sweet Shark and I want to share with you these 5 Champagne Drinks for New Year’s Eve.
They are easy to make. But you have to remember to have chilled Champagne glasses and very cold Champagne or Sparkling Wine. We love Prosecco and Cava.
First, you will like this article from Tasting Table about Champagne which lists some really affordable and delicious suggestions for your Champagne buying. Run out right now and purchase a few. Put them in the fridge and put your prettiest Champagne flutes or coupes in the freezer.
Just for clarification: all Champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is Champagne. Champagne must come from the Champagne region of France and is made from either chardonnay or pinot noir grapes. Prosecco (from Italy), Cava (from Spain) and all other sparkling wines by law can’t be called Champagne. For all these drinks, use whatever sparkling wine fits your budget. But buy the best you can. Remember, Champagne should be served and enjoyed immediately. You can’t let those bubbles disappear!
Many versions of this drink, dating back to WWI, exist. There is even a bar in New Orleans called French 75. Chris Hanna is the bartender there and he is know for his version. This version is from Chez Fonfon in Birmingham, Alabama. Sweet Shark found it in Southern Living years ago.
- 3 tablespoons brandy
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
- crushed ice cubes
- 1 lemon wedge
- 1 small lemon twist
- Champagne or sparkling wine
- Combine first 3 ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Cover with lid and shake 30 seconds or until thoroughly chilled. Remove lid and strain into a Champagne glass.
- Squeeze the juice form the lemon wedge into the glass.
- Rub lemon twist around rim of glass and drop into glass.
- Add Champagne and serve immediately
This recipe is from Martha Stewart. Of course, Sweet Shark had to tweak it. This is the easiest drink you can make. The crystalized ginger makes the Champagne have even more bubbles. He likes to pour it in front of guests for “ooh’s and ah’s”.
- 2 strips crystallized ginger, each 1¼" X ¼"
- 4 dashes bitters (preferably orange)
- Sparkling wine
- Place the crystalized ginger into the bottom of the champagne flute.
- Add the bitters.
- Pour in Sparkling Wine to fill glass.
Tickled Pink Cocktail
How cute is that name? And doesn’t a glass of bubbly tickle your nose a bit? Sweet Shark found this drink recipe in Bon Appetit. It comes from a bar in Philadelphia. It’s a great way to start an evening. Just one!
- ice cubes
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
- 1 tablespoon pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon Malibu rom or other coconut-flavored rum
- ½ teaspoon grenadine
- Place first 5 ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake 15 seconds, then strain into a Champagne glass.
- Add Champagne to glass and serve.
What girl doesn’t love a Cosmo? The addition of the Champagne makes this drink a great starter to a festive meal; raise your glasses to this party-perfect take on a Cosmopolitan. From Fine Cooking Magazine.
- 1½ tablespoons cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 lime twist
- Combine the cranberry juice, Grand Marnier, and lime juice in a small pitcher or cocktail shaker. Mix well.
- Hold a lime strip over a champagne flute and twist or tie it into a single knot to release the essential oils. Drop the lime twist into the flute.
- Add the cranberry juice mixture to the flute. Top with Champagne and serve immediately.
I was really proud of myself for finding this recipe a couple of years ago. Although featured in a Southern Living article, the drink comes from Julia Reed, one of my very favorite Southern writers. She is the author of: But Mama Always Put Vodka in the Sangria: Adventures in Eating, Drinking and Making Merry; The House on First Street, My New Orleans Story; Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns and Other Southern Specialties: An Entertaining Life with Recipes; and Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena. Originally from Greenville, Mississippi, Julia has lived in New Orleans for many years (We have walked by the house that she wrote about in the Garden District.). She has an irreverent sense of humor and writes for Southern Living and Garden and Gun. I served this punch at a Christmas Tea I hosted our first year in our house. It’s fruity, but not sweet. It got rave reviews and I think I got accepted into the neighborhood. We Southern girls do love a good punch. Be sure to use your prettiest punch bowl and cups.
- 1 can frozen cranberry juice concentrate (12 ounces)
- 1 can frozen pink lemonade concentrate (12 ounces)
- 1 can frozen limeade concentrate (6 ounces)
- 1 bottle white wine, chilled
- 1 liter carbonated water, chilled
- 2 bottles Champagne (750 milliliter), chilled
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish
- ½ cup fresh mint, for garnish
- To keep the punch cold, make an ice ring ahead of time. Add to large punch bowl.
- To the punch bowl, combine the three juice concentrates, white wine, club soda, and Champagne.
- Garnish with lemon slices and fresh mint leaves.
Before the new year, enjoy this “between the holidays” time.