“Pour some Champagne on it,” is practically our life mantra, and there is no time of year when it’s more appropriate than New Year’s Eve. Yes, great Champagne needs no accompaniment, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t pick up a few extra bottles to diversify your bubbly game with one of the many classic or modern cocktails built for this very occasion.
The mack daddy of sparkling cocktails, the French 75, here serves as inspiration for two wildly different new drinks: the Airmail, which drinks like the classic by way of the Caribbean, and Jonas Anderson’s Sidecar 75, which is exactly what it sounds like: a mash-up of the Sidecar and the New Orleans classic. While another classic—the mistaken Negroni—is the canvas for the White Negroni Sbagliato from Long Island Bar’s Toby Cecchini, a simple three ingredient take (bianco vermouth, Suze, bubbles) on the modern-classic White Negroni.
But bubbly drinks need not be inspired by other bubbly drinks. Many look to the non-sparkling canon, like Barrelhouse Flat’s That’s Probably Him, a Martini dressed up with lemon and apricot and topped with bubbles, and the Champagne Julep, which may look like its minty cousin, but drinks like something entirely different.
Then there are those bubbly riffs that are probably best saved until the end of the night. Damon Boelte’s American Royal Zephyr, a jewel-toned take on the Seelbach, consists of only booze: bourbon, Lillet rosé, three types of bitters and, of course, a splash of sparkling. Named after an American train line from the midcentury, it’s meant to symbolize moving forward, though likely not without a hangover. What could be more appropriate than that?