Champagne is a festive staple. Millions of glasses of bubbly can be heard ringing around the world at the stroke of midnight. This year, elevate your toast using one or more of these stunning cocktails.
Grapefruit and Sage
The grapefruit in this recipe brightens a regular glass of champagne. Pair it with sage and a sweet Champagne or sparkling wine and have your self a refreshing New Years’ toast.
For the Simple Syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 bunches of fresh sage leaves
For the Cocktails
- Pink grapefruit juice
- Sage simple syrup
- Angostura bitters
- Ice cubes
- Champagne or other sparkling white wine
- Fresh sage leaves
- Make the simple syrup. Combine the sugar and water over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture starts to simmer and the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in the sage and cook for 30 seconds more. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside to cool. Once the simple syrup has cooled to room temperature, remove and discard the sage. Transfer the simple syrup to a clean re-sealable container and store it in your refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
- Make the cocktails. For a single cocktail, vigorously shake 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) grapefruit juice, 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) of the sage simple syrup and 2-3 dashes of bitters in a shaker with ice. Strain into a glass with fresh ice. Top with about 1/2 cup of champagne. Garnish with fresh sage leaves, if desired. Serve immediately.
Pomegranate and Orange
If you are trying to stay healthy during the holidays, then here’s a cocktail that helps you up your antioxidant intake. Blood Orange and pomegranates are great fruits on their own, throw them in a juicer and top off the glass with Champagne for a juicy New Years’ toast.
- 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice (from about 1 medium blood orange)
- 1 teaspoon sugar per glass (optional)
- 2 cups Prosecco sparkling wine (or champagne/sparkling wine of your choice)
- Additional blood orange slices & pomegranate arils for garnish
- Set out 4 champagne flutes – if they’re chilled, all the better!
- Divide juices between each glass (about 1 tablespoon of each type of juice per glass).
- Add sugar, if using, and stir until dissolved.
- Fill the cups almost to the top with Prosecco. Pour slowly – there will be fizz! Drop in a few pomegranate arils and top with an orange slice. Serve.
Blackberry and Thyme
The sharpness of blackberries is balanced well when paired with a champagne like Prosecco. Garnish with thyme or let me some sit in your drink and infuse as you sip for extra flavour.
Blackberry Simple Syrup
- 1/3 cup blackberries (plus eight more for garnish)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Prosecco or champagne
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme for garnish
- In a small sauce pan, combine the blackberries, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Turn to low and let simmer for 10 minutes until sugar has dissolved.
- Strain blackberries through a sieve and let syrup cool in the refrigerator.
- For one cocktail, add 2 tablespoons of syrup to glass, two blackberries and top with champagne and garnish with thyme.
Gin and Lemon Juice
Gin and champagne lovers can come together and enjoy this festive drink. The combination of gin, lemon juice and champagne can be described aptly in three words: tart, refreshing and effervescent.
- 2 ounces gin
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Champagne or sparkling wine
- Garnish: long thin lemon spiral and cocktail cherry
- Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Shake gin, lemon juice, and sugar in a cocktail shaker until well chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into a champagne flute.
- Top with Champagne. Stir gently, garnish with a long, thin lemon spiral and a cocktail cherry.
This recipe calls for the use of Poire Williams, a colourless fruit brandy made from Williams pears. However, the juice of locally available pears can be used as well for a light and not-so-sweet cocktail.
- Superfine sugar
- 1 ounce Poire Williams
- Champagne or dry sparkling wine (e.g. prosecco) chilled
- Rim the champagne glass with the superfine sugar.
- Add the Poire Williams, and then top up with champagne. Cheers!
Raspberry and Ginger beer
This is a great cocktail to make with any leftover champagne preferably limoncello. This champagne that elevates the flavours, pairing well with the raspberries and all this sweetness is mellowed by the ginger beer.
- 1/3 oz raspberry puree
- 1 1/2 oz ginger beer
- Splash of limoncello
- 4 oz champagne
- Fresh raspberries
- Squeeze of lime juice
- Stir raspberry puree, ginger beer, and limoncello in a champagne flute.
- Top with champagne and a squeeze of lime juice. Garnish with raspberries.