Pop! Fizz! Clink!

The New Year is a few days away and no doubt the sound of champagne corks will soon be popping all around us.  After all, what better way to ring in the New Year than with New Year's Rocking Eve playing in the background, friends gathered together laughing,  noisemakers in hand and the thrilling *POP!* of Champagne corks, while counting down the last few seconds of 2016? 

It's funny how Champagne on it's own feels indulgent, like something we should only be opening for celebrations such as engagements, weddings, promotions, graduations, New Year's and the like.

But what about toasting the weekend?  Time with friends and family, or just because boozy brunch sounds delightful?  The good news is that nowadays, there are many affordable Proseccos, Cavas and Sparkling wines that can be enjoyed year round in many different ways and for many different reasons.

"Too Much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right."

 - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Now that drinking more champagne is on your New Year's resolution list here are a few ways to enjoy a bottle of bubbly (or two), while saying goodbye to 2016 and hello to all the wonderful possibilities of 2017 (like drinking more champagne ;)

If you're looking for an elegant cocktail to add to your holiday table and impress your guests. The French 75 is perfect! Today we'll share a twist on the French 75 that adds a holiday flair with a hint of crisp pear and fragrant rosemary. 

Pear Rosemary French 75

*makes 2*

2 oz gin

1.5 oz Root 23 Pear Rosemary Simple Syrup

1 oz fresh lemon juice

6 oz Champagne or sparkling wine

Pear for garnish 

Add first three ingredients in an ice filled cocktail shaker. Shake until chilled. Strain into champagne flute or coupe. Top of with champagne, garnish with pear star, raise your glass and enjoy! 

Variation: Not a gin fan? No problem, swap gin for vodka and voila! You've got yourself a tasty and fancy Champagne mixed drink tailored for you or your guests taste. 

For a beautiful compliment to your Fancy schmancy Pear Rosemary Champagne cocktail, check out these stunning and delicious Mulled Wine Poached Pears made by Food Stylist and blogger,  Nathan Hubble of Followthatfork.com. Using red wine, pears and Dram Apothecary Magic Mulled spices (available at Happy Hour Collection for a limited time).

'Royale Sparkler' Champagne Cocktail as seen on New Day Cleveland

'Royale Sparkler' Champagne Cocktail as seen on New Day Cleveland

For quick, easy and elegant entertaining this Holiday season consider mixing up a

'Royale Sparkler'

- A spin on the Kir Royale made with Cassis Berry Shrub - 

4 1/2 oz Prosecco (or sparkling wine)

1/2 oz Hudson Standard Cassis Berry Shrub

2-3 dashes Dram Apothecary Wild Mountain Sage Bitters

Fresh Rosemary Sprig for garnish

In a Chilled Champagne flute, add Prosecco first, then add Cassis Berry Shrub. 

Add your bitters, and rosemary sprig. Give a light stir with the rosemary and impress your guests with this lovely Crafted Champagne Cocktail! Here's a toast to a wonderful holiday season and and even better New Year! Cheers! 

**If you don't have Prosecco on hand, you can easily follow the recipe above and substitute the Prosecco for 1 1/2 oz vodka and 2 oz sparkling water. 

Here's the alternate recipe,  Fill Shaker with ice, add Cassis Berry Shrub and vodka. Shake until chilled (approx 15-20 seconds), strain into a rocks glass filled with ice (we prefer an ice ball for slower dilution), add seltzer/sparkling water and bitters. Serve & enjoy!