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Countdown with Wines

Instead of Drinking Champagne, Let’s Drink Some Wine!

New Year’s Eve is a fabulous holiday for so many reasons, but mostly for the fact that drinking bubbly is mandatory. However, there is a secret you should know, especially if you’re throwing the party: you don’t have to serve Champagne on New Year’s. That’s right, I said it. If you want the best bang for your buck, offer your guests Cava from Spain or Prosecco from Italy. They sparkle as brightly as Champagne for half the price. Here are my top picks:

2010 Naveran Brut Cava

Like most Cava, this wine comes from an area outside of Barcelona called Penedès. It’s made in the same way as Champagne but from different grapes: Xarel-lo, Macabeu and Parellada.

Naveran is known as the Cava of Kings – rumor has it that the Spanish royal family serves the highest-end Naveran at their palace in Madrid. So it should be good enough for your New Year’s party.

La Marca Prosecco

From the Veneto region in Italy, this Prosecco has been made for almost 50 years and is consistently delicious. Made from the Prosecco grape, it boasts ripe apple, honey and white flower notes. With lively bubbles and a fresh finish, your guests will keep toasting with this treat well after midnight. Save a few bottles to use as mixers for killer mimosas the next morning.

Cristal Brut 2005 Louis Roederer

We know, we said let’s talk about something different from champagne but here we are not talking about a supermarket product. This is the top-notch Champagne from France. World-class product, know for its remarkable taste and its unique bottle design, the 2005 Cristal is an absolute joy, with fine and persistent perlage and light bright golden color. Intense aromas of citrus, apple and mineral notes explode from the glass. It also impresses in the mouth owing on mineral, yeasty and hazelnut flavors.It will age well, though it can be enjoyed upon release.

Additional ideas for your countdown party drinks;

Because we are tired of the same old champagne celebration so here we are! We got you cool recipes to try… from Champagne mojitos to a sparkling pomegranate punch, here are sparkling wine cocktails to celebrate the New Year.

Grape SparklersGrape Sparklers

Ingredients

4 pounds red grapes, stemmed

One 750-milliliter bottle dry sparkling wine, such as Prosecco, chilled

8 mint sprigs

Instruction

1. Thinly slice 1 cup of the grapes and refrigerate. In a food processor, coarsely chop the remaining grapes in batches. Transfer the chopped grapes to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the grapes have released most of their juice, 5 minutes.

2. Working in batches, strain the grape juice into a bowl, pressing hard on the solids. You should have about 3 1/2 cups of juice; refrigerate until cold.

3. Divide the sliced grapes equally among 8 Champagne flutes. Pour the chilled fresh grape juice into the flutes and top with the sparkling wine. Garnish each drink with a mint sprig and serve right away.

MAKE AHEAD The grape juice can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Cork County Bubblescorkcounty

Ingredients

Ice

1 ounce Irish whiskey

1/4 ounce yellow Chartreuse

1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey mixed with 1/2 teaspoon warm water

1 ounce chilled Champagne

1 lemon twist, preferably spiral-cut, for garnish

Instruction

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the Champagne and garnish and shake well. Strain into a chilled flute, stir in the Champagne and garnish with the twist.

Citrus 75

Ingredientscitrus-75

1/2 clementine

Ice

1 1/2 ounces gin

1/2 ounce Limoncello

3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

1/2 ounce honey syrup (1/2 tablespoon honey mixed with 1/2 tablespoon warm water)

1 ounce chilled brut Champagne

1 lemon twist, for garnish

1 orange wheel, for garnish

Instruction

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the clementine. Add ice and the gin, Limoncello, lemon juice and honey syrup and shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe, top with the Champagne and garnish with the lemon twist and orange wheel.

French 75

Ingredientsfrench-75

Ice

1 ounce gin

1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

1/2 ounce Simple Syrup

4 ounces chilled brut Champagne

Instruction

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the gin, lemon juice and Simple Syrup and shake well. Strain into a chilled flute and stir in the Champagne.

Platinum Sparkle

Ingredients

Ice

1 1/2 ounces vodka

1/2 ounce maraschino liqueurplatinumsparkle

1/2 ounce Lillet blanc

1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

1/2 ounce brut Champagne

1 brandied or maraschino cherry, for garnish

Instruction

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, liqueur, Lillet and lemon juice; shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass or flute and stir in the Champagne. Garnish with the cherry.

Champagne Holiday Punch

Ingredients

Ice, preferably large cubes

4 ounces Rich Simple Syrupchampagneholidaypunch

Angostura bitters

4 ounces cold Champagne

8 ounces cold club soda

12 ounces genever

Pineapple slices and star anise pods, for garnish

4 ounces Créole Shrubb

6 ounces fresh lemon juice

Instruction

In a small punch bowl, combine the genever, Créole Shrubb, lemon juice, Rich Simple Syrup and 10 dashes of the bitters and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Stir in the Champagne and club soda, add ice and garnish with the pineapple and star anise.

Champagne Cocktail

champagnecocktailsIngredients

1 sugar cube

3 dashes of Angostura bitters

5 ounces chilled brut Champagne

1 lemon twist, for garnish

Instruction

In a small dish or glass, soak the sugar cube with the Angostura bitters. Fill a chilled flute with the Champagne, then add the bitters-soaked sugar cube. Garnish the drink with the lemon twist.

Cheers to a wonderful, wine-soaked New Year!

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