As the end of the year comes rushing at us, completing our annual cycle, I feel the need to simplify. I think the holiday overwhelm always makes me feel this way, so why complicate things any more than they need to be?
You can’t go wrong with simple Champagne or sparkling wines served chilled in a tall flute to best show off their bubbles. Adding a hulled strawberry or other muddled berries to the bottom of the glass is a nice touch or you can add a splash of your favorite liqueur.
The important thing is to open the sparkling wine correctly. In case you didn’t know, those foamy beginnings you see in movies are actually not to correct way–it means the bottle’s been shaken or otherwise mistreated prior to opening. In fact, there should be nothing more than a gentle pop when the cork comes free (and it’s best to have a bar towel held loosely over the cork to prevent it from flinging all over the room or into something–or someone–breakable).
But you don’t come here for simple, so if you absolutely require something a little more show-stopper, how about giving this a try:
1 oz Cranberry Juice
1/2 oz Elderflower Liqueur
1 oz [yellow tail] bubbles RosÃ©
Soak the sugar cube in the bitters and place in the bottom of a champagne flute. Add in the cranberry juice and elderflower liqueur, then top with the sparkling wine. Pour slowly and let the bubbles do the work. A slice of strawberry or a rock candy swizzle stick make sweet garnishes.
Elderflower liqueur–a classic spirit making a comeback in cocktail circles–in still an unknown for many, so offers that little something extra for your guests. And pulling out a box of sugar cubes always tends to spark interest in that it’s-so-retro way.
However you choose to celebrate, remember to stay hydrated with water between cocktails, make use of a designated driver or the ample public transportation systems sure to be out in force Monday night, or party at home and invite inebriated guests to spend the night rather than risk it on the roads.
(recipe and image courtesy of the Deutsch Family of Wine and Spirits)
Sips & Shots will be going on “holiday” for the month of January, along with the rest of the sites in the Helper Monkey Network, so that some much needed behind the scenes work can be taken care of. We’ll be back in full force come February!