Most revelers have a longstanding date with sparkling wine or Champagne on New Year’s Eve. However, as supposed shortages (reading about it more than seeing it) impact what brands and styles are available, putting the bubbles you find into a cocktail does two things: stretches your supply and provides a fun, colorful, and creative drink to sip over straight fizz—especially if what’s left at the store is perfectly, er, fine. Of course, if you’ve got your prestige cuvées on ice, disregard these suggestions.
I spoke with several experts on their favorite sparkling wine cocktails for New Year’s Eve. They provided their favorite recipes, including one that’s full-flavored but alcohol-free.
Shared by Prairie Rose, a Los Angeles-based drinks writer and podcast host, and Commerce Editor at Liquor.com.
“I love using dry sparkling wine in cocktails. It not only adds effervescence to a drink, but it can also reduce sweetness, add depth of flavor, and soften and integrate the other ingredients. Not to mention, bubbles automatically up the festive factor” says Rose.
Rose includes a recipe for the French 75 in her new book, Mixology for Beginners. Below is a partial excerpt explaining the history of the drink.
“The French 75 has long been considered one of the most delicious sparkling wine cocktails ever created, and yet it is also known to pack quite the punch. Named after a light field gun used frequently by the French army during World War I, in reference to its powerful…effects, this sparkler dates to the early 1900s.”
- Gin, 1 oz
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice, .5 oz
- Simple Syrup, .5 oz
- Sparkling wine, 3 oz
- Lemon twist, for garnish
Prepare and Serve
- Measure the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup into an ice-filled shaker
- Shake until well chilled
- Strain into a coupe glass
- Top with sparkling wine
- Garnish with the lemon twist
Follow Rose @bitbyafox
Blitzen & Spritzen
Created by Eric Scott, Beverage Director and Sommelier at Thyme X Table in Bay Village, Ohio.
“This drink is inspired by two classics: Mulled Wine and the Champagne Cocktail” says Scott. “It highlights holiday flavors while staying light and fresh and still allows for the Champagne to shine through. It takes a little bit of simple prep on the front end, but once that’s done you can serve up a dozen of these very quickly and easily” he says.
Ingredients for 12 Cocktails
- Lemons, 2
- Sugar, ¾ cup
- Dry red wine, 12 oz
- Cinnamon sticks, 2
- Whole cloves, 3
- Angostura bitters, two dashes
- Sparkling wine, 5-6 oz per cocktail
- Orange, 1
Mulled Wine Shrub Preparation
- Zest or peel two lemons and one orange into a sealable container. Cover with 3/4 cup sugar and let sit at room temp for min 6 hours or overnight.
- After sitting, bring 12oz dry red wine to a boil along with two cinnamon sticks, three whole cloves and a slice of the orange. Reduce by around 1/3 (approximately 7-10 min)
- Combine reduced wine with sugar and peels, stir until dissolved. Juice the two lemons and add to mixture. Strain and refrigerate.
- Add two dashes of Angostura Bitters and about one ounce of the shrub to a flute glass
- Top with 5-6 oz of Champagne or a French Crémant Sparkling Wine.
- Garnish with orange peel if desired. À votre santé!
Raise the Status
Created by Steven D. Hirschauer, San Diego-based freelance beverage specialist and founder of Responsible Glutton.
Steven D. Hirschauer created this spritz/negroni hybrid for a contest during which it was served at Kettner Exchange in San Diego. Hirschauer wanted to merge the flavors and seasons of California with an Italian Aperitivo.
“Avocados reference San Diego; Sanger is the nation’s Christmas Tree City and the location of the Argonaut Brandy’s McCall distillery. Select, an Italian Amaro, gives a nod to Little Italy. It introduces a spicy, tropical, and citrus profile with a cardamon and vanilla element. The rosé crémant from Bordeaux brings strawberries, raspberries, plums, and brioche to create an effervescent, refreshing, complex, enjoyable lower ABV beverage” says Hirschauer. In other words, the cocktail “allows you to be a responsible glutton and ‘raise the status’ of your gathering” he adds.
- Amelia Brut Rosé Cremant de Bordeaux (or other dry rosé sparkling wine), 2.5 oz
- Select Aperitivo, (or other bitter red aperitivo like Campari) 1.5 oz
- Argonaut Saloon Strength Brandy, (or other brandy) 1 oz
- Club soda, 1 oz
- Avocado oil, 2 spritzes (cooking spray, for example)
- Pine sprig, to garnish
Prepare and Serve
- Spritz the avocado oil in the glass and build ice into glass
- Add brandy, aperitivo, and sparkling wine
- Top with club soda, any additional ice, and add one additional spritz of avocado oil
- Garnish with a pine sprig
Follow Hirschauer @responsibleglutton
Created by Drew Record, Managing Partner Chezchez, San Francisco.
“I love champagne and often feel it is best completely unadorned at it is the nearly perfect celebratory beverage” says Record. “I also admit that sometimes after an entire holiday season of imbibing you might need something a little less boozy to ring in the new year” he adds.
“Making that first New Year’s Day run of your newly resolved lifestyle is all the easier accomplished if you ring in your New Year’s Eve with a delicious non-alcoholic sparkling drink. That doesn’t mean you need to content yourself with an apple cider from the kids’ table. There are plenty of delicious alcohol-free sparkling wines on the market. At Chezchez in San Francisco we use Leitz sparking dry Riesling as the base of our Nah’liato” says Record.
- Leitz sparking dry Riesling, 4 oz
- Giffard Aperetif syrup, .5 oz
- Fever Tree lemon tonic, 2 oz
Combine in your favorite champagne glass and garnish with a thin peel of lemon.
Created by Troy S. Clarke, Corp. Director of Mixology & Spirit Education for Martignetti Companies
“Champagne is one of my favorite things to consume no matter the occasion and or season. It just goes with everything” says Clarke.
“As I thought about some of my favorite cocktails and how I could include bubbles, I came up with something fun and easy. I decided to create a mashup from my favorite consumed cocktails of 2021: the negroni, julep, and paloma. I love rose champagne and what it brings to a cocktail. You can drink this all night and pairs with everything” explains Clarke.
- Don Fulano Anjeo, (or other Anejo tequila).75 oz
- *Bitter Agave Syrup, .75 oz
- Basil leaves, 6
- Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne, (or other rose Champagne) 5 oz
Prepare and Serve
- Chill serving glass, preferably a double old-fashioned, for 20 minutes
- Remove glass from freezer. In the bottom of glass, gently muddle basil and bitter agave syrup
- Add tequila and pack glass with crushed iced. Stir briskly until glass is frosted
- Add Champagne, top with more crushed ice
- Garnish with fresh basil sprig
*Bitter Agave Syrup
- Galliano L’Aperitivo, 1 part
- Light Agave Nectar, 2 parts
Mix together in a bottle. Good for 1 month unrefrigerated or up to 3 months stored in refrigerator.