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5 champagne cocktail recipes to add to your New Year’s Eve party repertoire

New Year’s Eve is a time to reflect, rejoice, and prepare to start the year anew alongside your friends and loved ones.

As the poet, Alfred Tennyson, once said: “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering — it will be happier”.

It is a time to celebrate and look forward to all the good things to come. You may have a party planned, guests in mind, and much champagne on order. But it might just be the feather in your hosting cap if you can show off your mixology skills and wow your guests with a few cocktail recipes.

Read on to discover five champagne cocktail recipes to add to your New Year’s Eve party repertoire.

  1. Champagne Cocktail

First appearing in publication in 1855, the Champagne Cocktail is one of the first cocktail recipes ever recorded. The 19th century mixologist and author, Jerry Thomas, wrote one of the first refined recipes for the drink in his book How to Mix Drinks, or the Bon Vivant’s Companion. This would largely make up the basis of what is accepted as the classic recipe today, the main exception being the addition of cognac in later editions.

The Champagne Cocktail consists of:

  • One sugar cube
  • Three dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 30ml of cognac
  • 100ml of brut champagne

The sugar cube should be coated in the bitters and added to a champagne flute before adding the cognac and finally the champagne. For garnish, a piece of orange peel can be twisted over the top of the glass for aroma and discarded.

2. Death in the Afternoon

Created by the acclaimed novelist and notorious drinker, Ernest Hemingway, and named after his book of the same name, Death in the Afternoon first appeared in publications in 1935. It was said to have been concocted by Hemingway and three rowdy sailors after a long night of trying to get a beached fishing boat off an embankment.

The cocktail celebrates Hemingway’s love for both absinthe and champagne, among many other boozy tipples.

It consists of:

  • 20ml green absinthe (preferably a French variety)
  • 5ml sugar syrup
  • 135ml brut champagne

Add the first two ingredients to a champagne flute and stir, before adding to the champagne to top. For garnish, twist a piece of lemon over the top and discard.

It should be noted that a Death in the Afternoon packs a punch and should be imbibed slowly and within reason.

3. French 75

The French 75, or as its known in French “Soixante-quinze”, first appeared in publications during the first world war and was said to have been named after a French 75-millimeter light field gun, a formidable weapon that greatly helped the French war effort.

The British novelist, Alex Waugh, called it “the most powerful drink in all the world” in reference to its famed potency.

The French 75 consists of:

  • 45ml dry gin
  • 15ml fresh lemon juice
  • 5ml sugar syrup
  • 75ml brut champagne

The gin, lemon, and sugar should be added to a cocktail shaker with cubed ice and shaken hard until thoroughly mixed and the shaker feels cold to touch. The contents should be fine strained into a champagne flute to remove any ice shards and topped with champagne. A twist of lemon can be added to the rim of the glass for garnish and aroma.

4. Champagne Piña Colada

The Champagne Piña Colada is a modern award-winning recipe created by the London bartender, Chris Moore, at Coupette, Bethnal Green in 2017.

Combining the rich tropical creaminess of a classic Piña Colada with the dry fizz of a good champagne, Moore’s recipe adds something new and unusual to your cocktail repertoire, albeit with some more difficult to source ingredients.

The Champagne Piña Colada consists of:

  • 20ml gold rum
  • 10ml white rum
  • 40ml fresh pineapple juice
  • 35ml pineapple cordial
  • Three scoops of coconut sorbet or ice cream
  • 60ml brut champagne

Add the first five ingredients to a blender with cubed ice. Blend until chilled and smooth. Pour into a long tumbler, which should already have the champagne in it. Garnish with some desiccated coconut.

5. Jayne Mansfield

The cocktail was named after the Hollywood starlet and 1950s sex symbol, Jayne Mansfield, and was said to have originated in a Los Angeles bar in the late 50s or early 60s.

The cocktail is a lighter, sweeter, and fruitier concoction than some of the punchier recipes already mentioned.

A Jayne Mansfield consists of:

  • Four fresh strawberries
  • 30ml white rum
  • 30ml strawberry liqueur
  • 5ml sugar syrup
  • 50ml brut champagne

The strawberries should be muddled in a cocktail shaker to press out all their juices before adding the rum, liqueur, sugar syrup, and cubed ice. After shaking the contents hard, and straining out any ice shards and pulp, it should be added to a martini or coupette glass and topped up with the champagne. It can be garnished with a slice of strawberry on the rim of the glass.

Hopefully with a bit of preparation and showmanship, you can put on a wonderful cocktail party for your guests and bring in the new year with a touch of class.

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