By Wanda A. Adams
Advertiser Food Editor
By Wanda A. Adams
So you want to serve sparkling wine at your New Year's Eve bash, but the prices scare you silly? Buy a moderately priced wine and mix cocktails instead.
Although there is a specific drink called a champagne cocktail, it's far from the only such concoction. Fruit juices, liqueurs and the right garnish can turn a just-OK sparkling wine into a sophisticated drink. In France, in regions that produce cremant wines (slightly less bubbly than true champagnes), liqueurs and even herbal teas — particularly citrusy verbena — are mixed with the chilled wines.
For your champagne bar, chill a tray of flutes and any fruit juices you plan to use. Place the sparkling wine in coolers and pack them in ice. Practice your champagne-opening technique (peel away the cage, cover with bar towel, hold firmly with one hand and twist with the other — no prying or popping, please). Cut ribbons of lemon and orange peel. Dig up some sugar cubes; these are used in a number of sparkling cocktails and you need them because a spoonful of sugar will coat the glass, obscuring the wine, but a cube will melt neatly. Invest in liqueurs you like.
The usual formula for liqueurs is anything from a splash to an ounce of liqueur to 5 ounces of wine. For juices, one part juice to three parts wine is common.
Place sugar and bitters in a chilled flute and fill with wine. Garnish with twist of lemon peel.
Place a few Craisins in a chilled flute. Pour in cranberry juice and wine. (The craisins will bob up and down in the drink as they follow the path of the bubbles.)
Pour both in chilled flute or white-wine glass.
Pour blue curacao into flute and top with wine. Garnish with lemon or orange slice.
Place a large twist of orange peel in a chilled flute. Add sugar and bitters. Fill with wine and stir briefly.
DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON
Pour pastis into chilled flute and pour wine over.
Reach Wanda A. Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.