New Years Eve would not be complete without champagne. We're showing how to up-the-ante with a stunning champagne cocktail bar
by Amanda Walsh
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That New Year’s Eve bash of yours is going to need a little something, something to make it stand out from the rest. Add more than a little sparkle to your NYE soiree with a bar focused on the fizzy fun of champagne to keep the mood festive:
- Classic Champagne Cocktail: This classic drink is sparkling and elegant with the addition of cognac and bitters. Place a sugar cube at the bottom of each champagne glass; add three drops of bitters onto the sugar, an ounce of cognac and then top with champagne. Consider pink champagne. It looks pretty and is perfect for the midnight toast.
- Outrageous Orange: You can use your favourite orange liqueur or juice to create a delicious and festive champagne cocktail to ring in the New Year. Add an ounce of orange liqueur of your choice and top with four ounces of champagne. A twist of orange peel dropped into the glass looks like the streamers tossed around at midnight without the annoying mess. You can also have a mimosa, which is usually served on New Year’s Day for brunch. However to make it a little more party friendly for New Year’s Eve use just a splash of blood orange juice so the champagne (and booze) is the star.
- Slushy Sorbet: Bring out an assortment of firmly frozen sorbets to create yummy little cocktails that are fizzy and fruity. Use a melon baller to scoop out just enough sorbet to add flavour without making the drink too thick to sip.
- Current Kir: The cheerful red of crème de cassis is the trademark of this iconic cocktail. Crème de cassis is made with black currants and it just takes a tablespoon of the liqueur to transform a glass of champagne into a bright and cheerful cocktail. To make it more current and less currant use Smirnoff Pomegranate Martini instead of the thick, overly sweet crème de cassis. Add some Meyer lemon peel to bring in the essence of citrus and drop in a few pomegranate arils to look like little rubies in the bottom of the glass.
- Gingery Gusto: For a cocktail with a spicy exotic kick to it, prepare simple syrup infused with fresh grated ginger. Simmer 1/4 cup of water with 1/2 cup of sugar and two teaspoons of freshly grated ginger until it thickens slightly (about 2 minutes). Run through a fine sieve to remove the ginger and then allow to cool in the fridge. This can be done the night before your party. You then add a tablespoon of the ginger syrup to champagne glasses, add the champagne and stir.
A champagne bar allows guests to choose between a straight up glass of bubbly or slightly cheeky concoctions that look good and taste even better. Cheers!
Tip: If your budget is a little too slim to serve champagne, look at more affordable sparkling wine options. Two perfectly respectable sparkling Ontario wines under $30 are Grange of Prince Edward Sparkling Riesling and Jackson-Triggs Entourage Grand Reserve Brut 2011. You can even consider using sparkling hard ciders. Just keep in mind they will be sweeter than traditional champagne so might be a little too sweet when paired with liqueurs and syrups.
→ Check out our article on 5 Stellar Canadian-Made Sparkling Wines here!