There is no better way to ring in the New Year than with a fabulous glass of champagne—especially when it’s combined with blood orange juice, Campari, or even lemon sorbet. We spoke with The Food Network star, restaurateur, and bubbly expert Donatella Arpaia about her New Year’s Eve necessities. “Champagne is the Little Black of Dress of alcohol,” explains Arpaia. “Its lack of tannins and high acidity means that it can pair with anything.” Her number one piece of advice? “Make sure it’s chilled! Keep an ice bucket on hand. No one likes warm bubbly.”
After a season of heavy holiday meals, Arpaia suggests hosting a festive drinks and dessert party to celebrate 2016—read below for three of her favorite champagne cocktail recipes. Cin cin!
Makes 4-6 cocktails
1 pint lemon sorbet
1 bottle Moët & Chandon champagne ($40; valleyfinewines.com)
4-6 lemon twists, plus one wedge for rimming the flute
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Iridescent sanding sugar or edible gold dust for rimming the flute ($6; etsy.com)
1. Sprinkle sanding sugars or edible glitter onto a tray. Use a lemon wedge to wet the flute rim, and roll it into the sanding sugar or edible glitter.
2. Scoop 3 small balls of sorbet into each glass using a melon baller. Fill to within ½-inch of the rim with the champagne. Garnish with lemon twist and mint leaves.
Makes 1 cocktail
1 oz Campari ($30; klwines.com)
½ oz Fernet Branca (a bitter herbal liqueur) ($24; klwines.com)
½ oz real pomegranate juice
¾ oz grapefruit juice
¼ oz simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
2 oz prosecco ($12; wineanthology.com)
1. Shake everything except the prosecco with ice.
2. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
3. Finish with prosecco.
Blood Orange Sparkler
Makes 1 cocktail
4 oz Moët & Chandon champagne ($40; valleyfinewines.com)
½ oz simple syrup (2 parts water, 1 part sugar)
1 blood orange, peeled and diced
1 oz of blood orange juice
1. In a champagne glass, mix all but the champagne. Stir well.
2. Top with champagne.