It’s almost New Year’s, and you know what that means — bubbles. Lots of bubbles. And while we have nothing against unadulterated sparkling wine, sparkling cocktails are even more fun. Here we’ve devised three simple cocktails to dress up your bubbly. (Need more inspiration? Check out our ideas from last year and the year before.)
Easy: Sparkling Pomegranate
We love pomegranate juice for a number of reasons — it’s delicious, duh, but also, you can buy a high-quality bottle at any grocery store. Sweeten it up a little, stiffen its backbone with some vodka, and you’ve got a simple bubbly cocktail you can sip on all night.
Instructions: In a flute, pour 1 ounce of vodka, 1 ounce of pomegranate juice, and 1/4 ounce of simple syrup. Add 1 dash of orange bitters. Give that a quick stir, then top with 2 ounces of sparkling wine. Garnish with a few pomegranate seeds.
Intermediate: Winter Cider Sparkle
Apple cider is among the most comforting flavors this time of year, even more so when paired with its good friend — bourbon. With a little honey and lots of bubbles, it’s a sophisticated, even gutsy cocktail with a good dose of whiskey, but enough sparkle to keep it merry and bright.
Instructions: In a flute, pour 1 ounce of bourbon, 1 ounce of apple cider, and 1/4 ounce honey syrup (that’s honey cut 1:1 with hot water, so it dissolves more easily). Add 1 dash of Angostura bitters. Give that a quick stir, then top with 2 ounces of sparkling wine. Garnish with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick.
Advanced: French 75
We don’t talk about the French 75 enough. Lemon, gin, bubbles — what’s not to love? In this holiday version, we’re garnishing with a rosemary sprig; just the scent of the garnish is enough to bring out the gin’s herbal flavor even more strongly. Caution: these go down easy.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 ounce of gin (use a classic London Dry like Beefeater), 1/2 an ounce of fresh lemon juice, and 1/2 an ounce of of simple syrup. Shake until well-chilled and strain into a flute or cocktail glass, then 2 with two ounces of sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a rosemary sprig.