Classier than hooch alone 

Sparkling wine and beer-based cocktails for all of your New Year’s needs.

Whether you’re hosting a crowd or planning an intimate evening in, make this New Year’s Eve even more memorable by mixing up some unique bubbly drinks for your guests. Sure, you’ve got a bottle or two of Mumm or Asti Spumante chilling in the fridge for when the ball drops, but why pop the cork and serve it up straight? Use it as the base for a classy mixed drink instead.

Don’t have fancy liqueurs and bitters on hand? Not a problem. Here are some sparkling inspirations for cocktails that contain ingredients that can be easily obtained and will surely impress those present. Feel free to use any form of sparkling wine that your budget allows: Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, etc.

Champagne Mojito

Classic Cuban cocktail with a twist, use sparkling wine in place of club soda.

Makes one drink


7-10 mint leaves

1-2 teaspoons of simple syrup* or granulated sugar

A handful of ice

2 ounces rum (light or dark)

Half a lime

Sparkling wine, as needed


With a spoon or muddler, muddle the mint leaves with the simple syrup or sugar in a cocktail shaker.

Fill the shaker with ice; add the rum and a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice and shake vigorously for a few seconds. Strain mixture into a Champagne flute and top with the chilled bubbly. Garnish with fresh mint.

Raspberry-Elderflower Sparkler

For the raspberry liqueur, if you have the budget for it, buy Chambord, otherwise use the Bols brand. As for the elderflower syrup, it can easily be found at Ikea. You could also use an elderflower liqueur, like St. Germain or the more budget-friendly Thatcher’s.

Makes one drink


1-ounce vodka

½-ounce raspberry liqueur

½-ounce elderflower syrup or liqueur

A handful of ice

2-ounces sparkling wine

A few raspberries for garnish


Add the vodka through ice to a shaker, mix well, and strain into a Champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine; throw in a few raspberries and serve.

The Big

Blue Beer Cocktail

Beer cocktails are a hot new trend in the craft beer and cocktail scenes. Mixologists are finding unique ways to combine beer with various spirits, liqueurs and bitters to prove that it can be gussied up and served in something other than a pint glass. Raffaelo VanCouten, senior mixologist at New York’s 675 Bar, created the following cocktail in honor of his favorite team, the Giants (hence the drink’s name), but I think this would also be a perfectly tasty addition to any New Year’s Eve soiree.

Makes one drink


1-ounce rye (substitute a regular whiskey or bourbon if needed)

1-ounce blood orange purée (found in the frozen foods aisle)

1-ounce simple syrup

½- ounce fresh lemon juice


2 ounces Blue Moon beer, or any citrusy wheat beer


In a cocktail shaker, combine first four ingredients and shake with ice. Strain it over a tall glass filled with ice and top with beer.

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