DIY New Year’s Eve Champagne Cocktails

Holiday

December 7, 2020

Written by guest contributor, Christine Pittman

Ring in the new year with 6 easy champagne cocktails you can mix up with only 9 ingredients. This is an easy and fun way to celebrate virtually too. 

Get everything ready to make all of these drinks with little fuss before you get together with family and friends. Once the party begins, let everyone mix away!

Here are the 6 Easy Champagne Cocktails

Sparkling Sangria

Paint Your Mimosa Red

The Pink French 75

The Poinsettia

The Black Velvet 

The Barbowhatever

Here are the nine simple ingredients that you’ll need to make these easy champagne cocktails

Lemons

Frozen cranberries (get a bag or two of fresh ones and stick them in your freezer)

Oranges (for freshly squeezed OJ, or you can buy “Not From Concentrate” Pulp-Free OJ to save time)

Orange liqueur (my favorite is Cointreau but you can also use Grand Marnier or Triple Sec)

Grenadine (a sweet red syrup sold in most grocery stores, either near the wine section or near bottled water with their selection of syrups for adding to drinks)

Stout beer (like Guinness)

Gin

Brandy

Sparkling wine 

When making champagne cocktails, you don’t need to use real champagne. You can use a nice Prosecco (the Italian version of champagne, around $12/bottle), Cava (the Spanish version of champagne, sometimes as low as $10/bottle) or a nice dry bottle (look for the word Brut) of sparkling wine from California or Australia.

Go now and buy a bottle of what you think you’d like to have at your party. Chill it really really well and then try it. For the cocktails you want something dry, not sweet. But it’s ok if it has some background fruit flavors. Most importantly, make sure that you like it. If you do, then you’ll like your cocktails too.

Sparkling Sangria

Make any party special with Sparkling Sangria. It’s sparkling wine with a lot of ice and a lot of fruit. It’s a refreshing drink that would be perfect to start out your New Year’s Eve. Before your guests arrive, make up a pitcher of it. Greet them at the door with the pitcher and a glass to pour into. Then lead them to the bar and show them the ingredients and recipes for the other champagne cocktails that they can sample throughout the night!

To make your Sparkling Sangria, put about 40 frozen cranberries in a medium sized bowl and cover with hot tap water to defrost. Drain, then chop them up, and be sure to save the juice from your cutting board to add to the sangria. Roughly chop 1 medium orange and ½ a lemon also saving up any of the juices. Fill a 1 and 1/2 liter (50 ounce) pitcher 1/3 full of ice. Add the cranberries, orange, and lemon along with any of the accumulated juice. Pour in 1 bottle of sparkling wine. Store in the fridge for up to 30 minutes before serving. I like to serve this sangria in Champagne flutes but you can use regular wine glasses or martini glasses. 

Print the Sparkling Sangria recipe here.

Paint Your Mimosa Red

This is a little twist on the classic Mimosa. You’ve still got your orange and bubbly in there, but there’s also some extra sweetness (and redness!) from the grenadine and a bit of puckering lemon to balance it out.

To make the Paint Your Mimosa Red, pour 1/3 of a cup of dry sparkling wine into a port glass or a small wine glass. Add ⅓ cup orange juice, 1 tbsp grenadine and 1 tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice. The grenadine likes to go sailing down to the bottom of the drink making for a nice striping-sunset effect. But the result is an overly sour drink. Serve it with a stir stick so that people will know to stir the red sweetness up from the bottom to balance out the lemon. 

Print the Paint Your Mimosa Red recipe here.

The Pink French 75

Champagne cocktails are sometimes thought to be girly drinks. But there are some that could totally put hair on your chest like this one normally does. I’ve added grenadine instead of the usual simple syrup. It still has a gin and tonic feel to it, but with a touch of sweetness.

To make your Pink French 75, put two or three ice cubes into a tall glass. Top with 1 tsp. grenadine, 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 1 oz. gin. Fill the glass with ½ cup sparkling wine. Garnish with a slice of lemon or leave it plain to keep it (nearly) manly. 

Print the Pink French 75 recipe here.

The Poinsettia

To make this drink you need to muddle up cranberries that were frozen but have been defrosted, to make it easier to get out the juice. So freeze the cranberries and then take out some to defrost in a bowl of warm water. Once they’re defrosted, drain them and use them within 1 day. Note that the recipe also uses cranberries that are STILL frozen as a garnish and to keep the drink cold. So make sure you keep some cranberries in the freezer for their chill factor.

To make your Poinsettia, combine 10 defrosted cranberries and 1 ounce of orange liqueur in a cocktail shaker. Muddle them to mush up the cranberries a bit. (Note that you can do this with a mortar and pestle if you don’t have a cocktail shaker and muddler). Strain the orange liqueur into a martini glass (use a fine mesh sieve if you don’t want tiny cranberry seeds in your drink. If you don’t mind the seeds, then use whatever strainer you’d like). Top the glass up with ½ cup of dry sparkling wine. Drop 6 or 7 frozen cranberries on top (these look pretty and help keep the drink nice and cold). 

Print The Poinsettia recipe here.

The Black Velvet

If you’re a non-beer lover like me, you might wonder how beer and champagne mixed together could possibly be good? I was pleasantly surprised the first time I tried it. It takes the bitter edge off the beer making it very pleasant indeed. 

To make your Black Velvet, you only need cold stout beer and cold sparkling wine. I haven’t given amounts here because it depends on the size of your glass. Fill a tall glass halfway with cold stout. Hold a soup spoon bottom-side-up (so the bowl of the spoon is a hill, not a valley) and let the tip of the bowl of the spoon just touch the glass right above where the beer ends. Slowly pour the champagne over the back of the spoon. As you pour, glide your spoon up the glass so that it is always just above the liquid. You should now have a nice golden layer resting above a black layer. It doesn’t always work for me, but I still enjoy drinking it. 

Print The Black Velvet recipe here.

The Barbowhatever

I ordered a Barbotage once at a Philadelphia restaurant and loved it. When I got home I immediately looked up what was in it and wound up confused by all the differing recipes. I’m not sure if mine is authentically a Barbotage or not, but it tastes like the drink I had, so I call it a Barbowhatever. When something’s this good it doesn’t matter what you call it, right? This is a pretty strong champagne cocktail and makes for a great after-dinner drink. If you like something on the weaker side, use a bit more bubbly.

To make your Barbowhatever, put 8-10 ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Add ½ ounce orange liqueur, ½ ounce brandy or cognac, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Put the lid on and shake it, baby. Pour into a brandy snifter. Pour in ¾ of a cup of sparkling wine. Add a couple more ice cubes and an orange slice for garnish. Sip slowly. 

Print the Barbowhatever recipe here.

Christine Pittman is founder of COOKtheSTORY, creating recipes that take less time in the kitchen, giving you more time at the table. Christine is also author of The All New Chicken Cookbook: 200+ Chicken Recipes for the Air Fryer, Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, and More! plus 40 more cookbooks. Her love for cooking started early, watching and listening to her mother and grandmother in the kitchen, and working in her parents’ restaurants at age 12. Now, over 2 million people a month visit COOKtheSTORY and The Cookful for easy and delicious recipes and meal-planning tips. Her new podcast TMI with Christine focuses on household time-management with a lot of ideas, and plenty of empathy, to help you streamline your life while being kind to yourself.

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