Champagne Cocktails Perfect for New Year’s Eve


Esquire Magazine lists some great ideas for unique champagne drinks…perfect for New Year’s Eve!

Champagne Cocktail

Place a sugar cube* in a chilled champagne flute, lash it with 2 or 3 dashes of bitters (Angostura or Peychaud’s), fill the glass with brut champagne or other, cheaper, bubbly (peasant!), and squeeze a lemon twist on top.

Air Mail

Mix thoroughly with cracked ice in a chilled cocktail shaker, then pour unstrained into Collins glass. Fill with champagne. (We recommend using Puerto Rican rum.)


Fill champagne flute 2/3 full (or 1/3, for Anglophiles) of fresh-squeezed orange juice and top up with brut champagne.

Jubal Early Punch

Dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice and water, pour in the rum and brandy, and let stand for half an hour or so in a cool place for interjubilation to occur. When serving time is at hand, pour in the champagne, load the bowl with a cannonball of ice, and charge!

Black Velvet

Half-fill a Collins glass with stout and top up slowly with champagne. Stir gently with glass or plastic rod.

Barbotage (New Years Favorite)

Pour cognac (or another brandy) and Grand Marnier into a champagne flute, top up with brut champagne or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Champagne Punch

In a punch bowl, deposit the ingredients and a berg of ice. Decorate with sliced fresh pineapple and orange and plenty of fresh mint. Crushed fresh strawberries add a gala touch, plus some flavor.

Aristocrat Sparkling Punch

In a punch bowl, dissolve 1/2 cup sugar (or less to taste) in the red burgundy.* Add the brandy, stir, and pour in the brut champagne or reasonable equivalent and the sparkling water. Place a block of ice in the bowl, decorating the top if you wish with strawberries, raspberries, or other fruit in season. Cut the oranges into thin wheels and float them in the punch.

Atomic Champagne Cocktail

Stir the vodka, brandy,* and sherry** well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and add 1 1/2 to 2 ounces cold brut champagne.

Mad Men Inspired French 75

Shake well with cracked ice in a chilled cocktail shaker, then strain into a Collins glass half-full of cracked ice and top off with champagne.

Winter Wines

We help you choose the best wines for the chilly winter months!

Red and heavy white wines served at room temperature are sure to keep you toasty during the long winter months. Winter wines have a more rich taste and tend to be more complex than wines we would enjoy during the summer months. Below are some great choices for any winter get together!



Cabernet Sauvignon

Petite Sirah

The Jolly Green Machine Cocktail

Give this holiday cocktail by Napa Valley Grille a taste! It contains sparkling lemonade, gin and kale!

The Jolly Green Machine 2 oz. kale juice (blend baby kale with a little water in a blender)

3 oz. lemonade

1 oz Farmer’s Organic Gin

½ oz. St. Germaine

2 oz club soda

Pour into a martini glass and stir.

Pilgrim Punch

Perfect for Thanksgiving, Lauren Conrad shows us how to make Pilgrim Punch!

Pilgrim Punch

Serves 5


1 cup of organic apple juice

1 cup of sugar-free cranberry juice

1/4th a cup of vodka

1 ½ cups of ginger ale

Sprig of rosemary

4 cranberries

  1. Combine apple juice and cranberry juice
  2. Pour vodka and ginger ale into the juices and stir.
  3. Serve chilled and garnish with one sprig of rosemary and cranberries.

Apple Cider Margaritas

Apple Cider Margaritas

serves 1, is easily multiples

1 ounce Grand Marnier

1 ounce gold tequila

5-6 ounces sweet apple cider

orange segments and apple slices

cinnamon + cane sugar + coarse sugar for glass rimming

cinnamon sticks for garnish

Spread a few spoonfuls of cane sugar, coarse sugar and cinnamon onto a plate. Run an orange segment around the edge of the glass, then press the glass into the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat the rim. Toss a few orange slices in the bottom of the glass. Fill the glass with ice and add the Grand Marnier, tequila and apple cider. Stir the mixture. Garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks.


Ginger Rogers Cocktail Recipe

8 to 12 mint leaves
½ oz. ginger syrup
1½ oz. CapRock Organic Gin
½ oz. lime juice
Ginger ale
Garnish: lime wedge

Put the mint leaves in a Collins glass, cover with syrup, and muddle lightly until the mint begins to release its aroma. Fill the glass with ice and add gin and lime juice. Top with ginger ale. Using a spoon, stir the drink from the bottom up to mix and garnish with a lime wedge.

Source: Jeff Hollinger, Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

Types of Beers

There are two major types of beer, namely Ales and lagers. The major difference is the level of temperature at which the alcoholic drink is fermented. Note that Ales are fermented at hotter temperatures 65-75°F while Lagers are fermented at cooler temperatures ranging 46-55°F. The second dissimilarity is the form of yeast applied in the fermentation method. Ales typically makes use of top fermenting yeast which floats to the beer surface for the initial couple of days and then settles at the base while Lagers make use of bottom fermenting yeast which settles without necessarily floating to the surface. Lambic is another major type of beer although it is far less popular than Ales or Lagers. Lambic uses wild yeast for fermentation.

Types of Ales

Ales are sweet, tasty beers. They come in different color shades ranging from pale gold to shady, rich brown color based on the grains applied in the brewing procedure.

types of beerAmber Ale – Belongs under the Belgian Ale. They are sweeter due to their excess malt. Additionally, they are dark in color thus their first name ‘amber’. Popular types of amber ales include Fat Tire Amber Ale and Budweiser American Ale.

Pale Ale – It is a light-colored alcoholic drink that is full of malt and hops. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a popular example of pale Ale.

Bitter – Falls under Pale Ales. It contains hops that give it a pleasant aroma. A good example is Forster’s Special Bitter.

India Pale Ale (IPA) – Falls under the branch of Pale Ale. This hoppy flavor comes across as golden or darker in color and has a bitter scent and taste.

Irish Ale – It is deeply red in color and has a sweet, malty taste. A popular example of Irish Ale is Killian’s Irish Red.

Barley Wine – It ranges amber to darker shades of black. It is a very fruity and flavorful beer but with a high alcoholic content.

Stouts – these beers fall under the branch of Dark Ale. They are set apart from the rest with the use of malt-free, dark-roasted barley, minimal hops, and sweet, chocolate scents. Stouts come in various types including chocolate, coffee, dry, oatmeal, milk, oyster and Imperial stouts. The most renowned dry stout is Guinness with a minimal sweet taste.

Porter – this is a type of extremely Dark Ale, brewed from heavy-roasted malt. It is medium-bodied and has a crisp taste. Jack Porter is a famous example of Porter.

Wheat Beer – also known by names like weissbier or hefeweizen, is a refreshing beer, pale-colored and very carbonated. In-heat wheat is a well-known wheat beer.

Types of Lagers

Larger is well-known for its crisp, filtered taste due to its fermentation process where yeast settles at the bottom without necessarily floating to the surface. Lagers under a low-temperature fermenting process that result in the beer having a smoother flavor.

Bock – It is a tasty, dark lager with origins in Germany. Bocks do vary from malty-flavored lagers to darker, hoppy-flavored bocks, popularly referred to as Helles bocks. Two common examples of bocks are Shiner Bock and Michelob Amber Bock.

Dunkel – lager is the premier variety of German lager beer. It is dark in color with a modest alcoholic strength and tastes often suggestive of chocolate, coffee and licorice.

Marzen – also known as Oktoberfest beer, traces its roots in Munich. It is full-bodied and dark brown in color. A popular type of Marzen beer is Samuel Adams Octoberfest.

Pale Lager – They are popular types of alcoholic drinks worldwide. They are straw-colored; contain a malty taste besides being filtered and crisp. They are very carbonated though lacking high alcohol content. Pilsner lagers are prime examples of pale lager.

Munich Dark Pale –  traces its origins in Munich. It is a dark lager with fiery blend of malt and coffee taste.

DoppleBock – a stronger version compared to Bock. It is full-bodied and malty. It is typically dark with increased caramel as well as chocolate malts.

Although there are basically two different types of beer, numerous other special varieties are produced using different blends of ingredients and additional flavors. Fruits, spices and vegetables among others are added to both ales and lagers to produce beverages with great tastes. After all, the variety in these unique beverages is enough to whet any drinking appetite.