How To Choose Champagne for New Year's Eve Toasting

New Year’s Eve — Picking Your Bubbly
Having a respectable bottle of bubbly doesn’t have to break the bank. For good sparkling wine that is not Champagne, look for the term “Traditional Method” or “méthode traditionelle” on the bottle. This reflects the method used to make a well-balanced sparkling wine and is an indicator of good-to-great quality. Note: If you see “champagne” anywhere on the label and the bottle is not a product of France, RUN! Real Champagne must be made in Champagne, France.

In terms of sweetness, “brut” is the least sweet, “extra dry” or “dry” are a little bit sweeter and “sec” or “demi-sec” are your BFF if you want a sweet sparkler.

Prosecco is another one of our favorite sparkling beverages. Similar to Champagne, Prosecco is singular to sparkling wines produced in the Veneto region of Italy. Unlike Champagne, you can get a quite good bottle for around the $12 price point. (These beverages are different in many ways, actually. Champagne and Prosecco are made with different grapes using different methods — Méthode Traditionelle vs. Charmat — resulting in different flavor profiles. But we digress.)

Ready to sample a sparkling cocktail? We've got the just-right recipe for this time of year! We're feeling the festive, red cranberries brightening everything from traditional holiday sauce to this celebratory Cranberry Amaretto Fizz! Start prepping now and make this batch of cocktails at your holiday soiree — New Year's Eve or otherwise!

Cranberry Amaretto Fizz
Compliments of Our Carmel, IN Mixologist, Maija Talikka

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur)
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • ½ cup pasteurized egg whites
  • 8 Champagne flutes, chilled
  • 2 cups chilled Brut Prosecco

Directions:

Place fresh cranberries in a glass jar; pour amaretto over. Cover, shake gently and let stand in a cool, dry place for 48 hours or up to 2 weeks.

Strain cranberries through a fine sieve over a bowl, reserving amaretto, and set berries aside.

Pour amaretto into a large cocktail shaker or quart-sized mason jar. Add lemon juice and egg whites. Add as much ice as possible, cover and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain ¼ cup into each of eight chilled Champagne flutes; top each with ¼ cup Prosecco. Garnish with amaretto-soaked cranberries. Serve immediately.