Ring the bell, it's time for Last Call, where JK Grence, bartender at Shady's, serves up booze advice and recipes. Got a burning question for your bartender? Leave it in the comments and it might be answered in a future column.
It's getting into the time of year to keep a steady supply of bubbly on hand. A glass of Champagne is all but the visual definition of "festive occasion", and it's the de rigueur tipple for your upcoming New Year's Eve gatherings. While it's hard to get tired of Champagne, fatigue can happen. If it's happened to you, I have two easy cocktails to breathe new life into your bubbles.
First up is the Champagne Cocktail. It's one of the oldest cocktails in existence, dating all the way back to the middle of the 1800s. All you have to do is soak a sugar cube with a few dashes of Angostura bitters, and fill the glass with Champagne. The melting sugar cube provides numerous nucleation sites for an attractive stream of bubbles, while the Angostura adds depth and warmth to the Champagne. If you want some extra kick, a tot of Cognac would be quite welcome.
The other drink is the Poinsettia. Pour half an ounce of triple sec into a champagne flute, add an ounce or two of cranberry juice, and fill the glass with champagne. Eagle-eyed readers are likely muttering to themselves, "Hey! That's just a Mimosa made with cranberry juice in place of orange juice!" If you caught that, pat yourself on the back. Then, make these for holiday brunch instead of the Mimosas you were planning. Next time you make Mimosas, add a little triple sec like I do with the Poinsettia. It marries the OJ and Champagne quite nicely.
Champagne Cocktail 1 sugar cube 2 or 3 dashes Angostura bitters 1 ounce Cognac (optional) Champagne
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Drop sugar cube in a Champagne glass. Soak sugar cube with Angostura bitters. Add Cognac if using. Fill glass with Champagne.
Poinsettia ½ ounce triple sec 1 or 2 ounces cranberry juice Champagne
Build in a Champagne glass. Gently stir to combine.