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The Spirit of New Year’s Eve

December 26, 2014

File this one under bad ideas.

Now that Christmas is over, we have precious little time to prepare for New Year’s Eve. Saturday is already tomorrow, and that’s the only weekend between now and the saying goodbye to 2014.

So while I’m sure most of you will want to avoid shopping like the plague, I’m sorry to say that if you plan to have a New Year’s Eve party, it’s time to get moving. For the record, having a party at home is a much more sensible option than going out. Making dinner reservations or attempting to enjoy a bar on December 31 is madness. It’s like going to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day, but surrounded by throngs of sloppy drunk people.

Seemingly, there are some people who find this to be fun. But I am not one of them.

At this point you may be wondering about that bad idea I had mentioned. Well, I’ve been thinking about easy and delicious cocktails that would be appropriate for Wednesday night’s festivities. And as fate would have it, there is a great one that works with my three-bottle bar.

Hopefully if you had people over for a Christmas party, they didn’t drink all of your gin. Because you are going to need it. I suppose you could always buy more when you make a champagne run, because you know you were going to buy champagne for New Year’s Eve anyway.

Champagne and gin?

You betcha. It’s called the French 75 and it’s delicious. But its proportions are up for debate. Modern versions are more like a champagne cocktail, enlivened by a sweetened gin and lemon syrup. This one is served in a champagne flute and is a bit more elegant and refined.

The classic is more like a Tom Collins, but instead of diluting the gin, lemon and sugar with alcohol free club soda, the classic combo is turned into a long drink by filling a tall glass with champagne. It’s a potent combination worthy of being named after the French 75 mm gun used in the first World War.

Boozy? Heck yeah.
Classic? Totally.
Bubbles? But of course.
Simple? Relatively.

I think it covers all the bases. Still, it’s a recipe for disaster. The secret to New Year’s Eve is the long slow burn. It’s a night that goes on for hours and hours. Steer clear of the high alcohol martini and opt for something like an Americano. Even lower alcohol champagne cocktails pack a punch. But with two ounces of gin and five ounces of champagne, this is just asking for trouble.

The recipe can be found here.

In part I love it because it’s yet another drink to make with my three-bottle bar. Champagne doesn’t count as a bottle. Champagne is wine, and wine is a whole separate category.

We’ll be down in Pennsylvania on the farm for New Year’s this year. We’ll see how many of the children are able to stay awake until midnight. Perhaps we’ll even teach them how to make these cocktails for the adults. We can say it’s like chemistry. Or maybe spin it as making potions.

Child labor is probably a bad idea too. But I think it only counts as labor if you pay them.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Pam C. permalink
    December 26, 2014 3:36 pm

    I know that it could be a disaster, but I’m definitely going to try this. I often find champagne to be too tart. But legend has it that mixing your types of alcohol guarantees a hangover. Do you know if that’s true for this cocktail? Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Jack C permalink
    December 28, 2014 4:56 pm

    To Pam, above – mixing alcohols isn’t what causes the hangover. It’s that, when mixing, people tend to drink more alcohol than they would if they stuck to just beer or wine or a single liquor/liqueur.

    To Dan, I’ve found that Nine Pin Cider can actually be substituted for champagne in a number of great cocktail recipes with no problems. It’ll be a little bit sweeter, but not overly so. Plus, it adds a bit more of the apple flavor some great champagnes already had!

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