The Champagne Cocktail has a beautiful rosy hue and has a built-in hangover remedy. I've always been a proponent of bitters for the morning after. The morning after — I'll think about that tomorrow.
Another easy champagne cocktail to try for a different take on a New Year's party is the French 75. A more sophisticated take on the theme, the French 75 is named for a World War I gun. The innovator supposedly didn't get enough kick out of champagne. Sometimes, the recipe calls for cognac instead of gin, but I find that the lighter flavor of the gin sits well with the champagne.
The French 75
2 oz. gin
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. superfine sugar
Shake the first three ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker until frost develops on the outside of the shaker.
Strain into a champagne flute and top with champagne. Stir gently and garnish with a lemon spiral and a cherry. Like the gun it was named for, the drink kicks with remarkable accuracy.
If you have time after Christmas, visit your local Williams Sonoma store. On the 27th and 28th of December, they are offering demonstrations in mixing cocktails. Call your local store for more information. Any good ideas, please share with the rest of us! And remember, "from now on, we'll have to muddle through somehow. Have yourself a merry little Christmas" — and a merry, grand New Year's.
No good times like the olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who were dear to us
Will be near to us no more.
But at least we all will be together
If the Lord allows
From now on, we'll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.