Sparkling wine is fitting for any occasion, but de rigueur on New Year’s Eve. While it certainly doesn’t need to be mixed with anything else, up the festivity factor this year by creating new takes on sparkling wine cocktails. If you are pouring for a crowd, opt for budget-friendly bubbles like Italian Prosecco, Spanish Cava or domestic bottles. Prosecco’s clean finish pairs well with floral elements and fruit juice, while the touch of complexity found in Cava and American sparklers allows them to hold their own alongside spicy or well-flavored ingredients. For the big night, select from our menu of effortless, effervescent creations with appetizers to match. You’ll clock in less time behind the bar, and more time with friends, counting down to 2009.
Use Zardetto Prosecco, Segura Viudas Aria Brut Cava, or California’s Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs for the following recipes, or ask your wine merchant for suggestions.
Ginger for What Ales You
For the racy, kicky flavor of fresh ginger, Domaine de Canton can’t be matched. Mix up a tray of these fragrant flutes, and serve alongside nigiri and sushi rolls (with lots of pickled ginger, naturally), as guests arrive.
Sparkling Cherry Jubilee
Cherry Heering’s tart cherry notes are mouthwatering, and its rich red color is simply stunning for the holidays. Serve the drink with crackers and Brie topped with tart cherry preserves.
½ oz. Cherry Heering Liqueur
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
Top with Prosecco.
Garnish with a cherry.
The wine’s bubbles deftly transport St. Germain’s heady, floral aroma, and a few drops of lemon bitters keep the drink crisp and refreshing. Top crostini with bleu cheese, lemon honey and a candied walnut for a deceptively simple and impressive hors d’oeuvre.
A Grander Pomander
Reminiscent of the bowls filled with clove-studded oranges that adorn houses around the holidays, this libation’s got citrus, spice and fizz—what more could you ask for in a drink this month? Offer guests spiced pâté and toast points to nibble on.
1 Tbs. St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
2 dashes The Bitter Truth orange bitters
Top with Cava or American sparkling wine.
Garnish with an orange twist.
Kelly Magyarics is a wine and spirits writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, DC area. She can be reached through her website, www.trywine.net.