3 festive sparkling wine cocktails for your New Years celebration
Whether you serve these on New Year's Eve or the next morning for brunch, these festive sparkling sippers are not only celebratory but incredibly delicious.
Pay attention to the yields in the recipes. For example, the Vesper-style mimosas serve two, while the Peachy Keen Sparkling Punch is more suited to a crowd of a dozen or more.
The festive Cranberry Fizz falls right in the middle, and will serve a small group of six people.
Traditionally made with gin, the Vesper gained prominence in the 1953 novel Casino Royale as James Bond’s drink of choice. We’re adding a little sparkling wine to make it extra festive.
Lillet Blanc and Cocchi Americano are both wine-based aperitifs. Lillet will provide more floral and citrusy notes, while Cocchi offers a slightly bitter finish. Use whichever one you would prefer.
Hands on time: 5 minutes
Total time: 5 minutes
4 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 ounces London dry gin
1/2 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano (see note)
6 ounces Champagne or other sparkling wine
In a cocktail shaker, combine the orange juice, gin, vodka and Lillet Blanc. Fill with ice and shake until ice cold. Strain into two Champagne flutes and top with Champagne.
Cranberry Fizz Cocktail
Hands on time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
This sparkling wine cocktail was originally created to feature bitter marasca cherries. While delicious, they’re almost impossible to find in the United States, so we’ve substituted fresh cranberries instead. Poaching them in simple syrup tempers some of their natural tartness, making the drink more cohesive.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 pods star anise
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup cranberries
1 bottle chilled sparkling wine, such as prosecco, cava or Champagne
In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, star anise and salt, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
While the syrup is heating, use the tip of a paring knife to pierce the center of each cranberry.
Add the cranberries to the syrup mixture, reduce the heat to low, and gently poach until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer the syrup mixture to a medium bowl and refrigerate until cold.
Place four cranberries in the bottom of each Champagne flute, along with a bar spoon of the syrup. Add three dashes of bitters to each flute, then top with sparkling wine. Serve.
Peachy Keen Sparkling Punch
This refreshing peach-filled punch is courtesy of Coopers' Craft "Bourbon Ambassador" Michael Ring.
Serves: 12 to 18
Hands on Time: 20 minutes
Total time: 13 hours
Herbed Simple Syrup
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
5 sprigs fresh mint
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
6 fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Coopers’ Craft Bourbon
20 frozen peach slices
4 cups fresh lemonade
1 cup Herbed Simple Syrup (above)
10 lemon rounds
1 ounce citrus bitters of your choice
5 pounds ice
5 fresh rosemary sprigs
5 fresh thyme sprigs
1 (375-ml bottle) extra dry Champagne
To make the herbed simple syrup: In a large saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Let steep for 1 hour and then strain into a storage container. Discard the spent herbs and store the syrup in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
To make the punch: In a large bowl, combine the peaches and bourbon. Cover, and let sit at room temperature overnight.
The next day, transfer the bourbon-soaked peaches and any remaining juice and bourbon to a punch bowl. Stir in the lemonade, herbed simple syrup, lemon rounds and bitters. Stir to combine and add the ice. Float the herbs on top of the punch and top with the Champagne. Serve.
Mackensy Lunsford is the food and culture storyteller for USA TODAY Network's South region and the editor of Southern Kitchen.
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