If you're like me, you generally prefer to ring in the new year with a cocktail rather than with champagne. Especially this year. I don't know about you, but I want something strong to wash out the memories of 2020.
So without further ado, and without further fluff. Here are three great cocktails to ring in the new year. My goal was to find cocktails worthy of such a celebration but could double as your nightcap...ya know. Since we're drinking this at midnight. Here are some alternatives to that midnight Champagne.
THE FRENCH 75
This beautiful and classy classic cocktail takes that midnight bubbly that you normally use and gives it a major makeover. The trick to this cocktail is using very cold sparkling wine, or champagne/prosecco. The point being. COLD! Be sure to chill it a few hours before the celebration begins. This cocktail is also to make and doesn't take much time. You'll spend more time with friends chatting (virtually?) than being behind the home-bar.
Let's do this.
1 oz Gin
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz simple syrup
4 oz COLD sparkling wine (you want this to be a dry wine)
Shake all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. EXCEPT for the sparkling wine. Then strain into a chilled flute. Then pour the sparkling wine in, give it the most gentle stir. Just dipping a spoon in and out will do.
Garnish with a lemon peel twist. Express the oils, then drop it in the glass.
One of the oldest cocktails, and tastiest. I have been on a cognac kick lately and this classic hits the spot. What bourbon is to the old-fashioned, cognac is to the sidecar. This bad boy is the ultimate nightcap and one of the most sophisticated-feeling cocktails. I might be biased, but I feel so classy every time I enjoy one.
There are many, many recipes for a sidecar, every bartender seems to have their own specs on this one. I have tried many. My favorite is from Death & Company, which recipe I'll share with you.
Traditionally, there is no sugar in the cocktail, rather the sugar is rimmed around the glass. I find the cocktail is more pleasant when one adds sugar while mixing the sidecar rather than rimming the glass. So that's what we'll do here. Give it a chance.
1.5 oz Cognac
1 oz orange curaçao (strongly recommend Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao)
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
1 tsp simple syrup
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice. Strain into a classy glass.
Garnish with an orange peel. Express the oils over the top of the cocktail and drop it in.
SHORT RIDE IN A BOURBON MACHINE
We can't make a list without including one of our own. Obviously. This cocktail tastes sophisticated and celebratory. Perfect to cheers-in-the-new-year. This one requires a little more ingredients, but we think its worth it!
The taste of this one is complex, a touch of herbal, and well-balanced. BUT. We think the best part about this cocktail is that its named after one of our favorite pieces of contemporary music - Short Ride in a Fast Machine by John Adams. Perhaps give it a listen as you sip one of these tasty drinks?
1.5 oz Bonded Bourbon (recommend Old-Granddad)
.5 oz Green Chartruese (expensive, but well worth the investment)
.5 oz cinnamon syrup
.25 oz orange juice
.75 oz grapefruit juice
2 dash Angostura bitters
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice. Strain into a coupe glass.
Garnish - none.
And may we never have to do 2020 ever again.