…or perhaps even just for your own enjoyment!
Party season is definitely upon us. You can’t seem to pop into Facebook without seeing at least one photo/status update about some party one of your friends has been to. Or maybe you’re that friend who keeps putting those photos up? 🙂 Well, this time last year, I remember running around the shops to get the best deal on champagne and prosecco for this little shindig to usher in the New Year and celebrate the amazing view of the London fireworks in the new flat. Between the manic rushing around and trying to figure out how to get dozens of bottles of champagne and prosecco back to London, it’s safe to say I was justifiably stressed.
This year, I’m gathering the usual suspects again for what is now becoming a New Year’s tradition but I refuse to give into the stress that comes with the holidays. I’m bragging about it now like I invented some stress-free way to source drinks for our ‘soiree’ but in truth, I’m only so smug because of 31Dover. 31Dover essentially have ALL the drinks (doesn’t matter what type of what budget you have – they have them all!) and they deliver right to your doorstep the very next day (plus its free if you spend over £100)! #Sweet Price-wise, they’re much cheaper than the high street (bargain!!!) but alas my non-British compadres, they’re only available in the UK. Also, 31Dover sell all the cocktail ingredients (required below) and barware tools so you can get it all when you get started with your party planning!
Essentially, that’s us sorted all year round for drinks as I refuse to do things the hard way ever again by trying to haul dozens of bottle of wine home from the stores. (Yes, my friends drink a lot! 🙂 )
Random aside: As soon as I saw this intricate bottle (how cool is that bottle?), I knew I had to have it and so I gave 31Dover a try and was chuffed to bits with the results. I’ll show you what it looks like later but for now, my struggle is whether to drink it or to leave it untouched (and hence use it for the aesthetics). The jury is still out on that one…
All this talk of champagne of course brings me to the crux of the matter – the 7 recipes that are guaranteed to be a hit at your next party! Let’s get started shall we?
Remember, if champagne doesn’t quite fit your budget, you could always go for its Italian cousin, Prosecco.
1.) The French 75
This champagne cocktail (also know as the 75 Cocktail) is easily one of the most famous ones out there and apparently dates back to 1915 in Paris. Created by barman Harry MacElhone at the New York hotel the name is thought to derive from the fact that the cockatil said to “have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm field gun“.
- Lemon juice
Mix up your gin, lemon juice and sugar in a cocktail shaker, strain into your champagne flute and top it off with champagne. Simple!
2.) Black Velvet
The drink was created to mourn the death of Prince Albert (husband of Queen Victoria) in 1861. As we discovered during our recent trip to Dublin, the idea of drinking champagne during the mourning of the Prince seems too celebratory so they decided to give it ‘a black cape’ and although its not used in that same way anymore, it’s still one of the firm favourite champagne cocktails out there.
Fill the flute halfway with champagne, the top off with Guinness (or any other stout of your choosing). The idea is to have the two floating separately (kinda like if the champagne was wearing a black cape so don’t splash the Guinness on top of the champagne. Instead, add it in by placing a spoon upside down and pour the Guinness onto the spoon so it runs slowly and evenly onto the mix.
3.) The Passion
This is my very own cocktail mix and one that’s an easy winner every time. I’m a huge fan of Passion fruit (can’t get enough of the stuff), especially when included in any drinks so it was only a matter of time before it crept it’s way into my one of my favourite tipples.
- Passion fruit
- Lemon juice
- Brown Sugar
Add the brown sugar to an empty champagne flute, then top up the flute to 3/4 of the way with champagne. Add a dash of lemon juice (for that extra tang). Scoop out the contents of your passion fruit and crush them in a separate glass/bowl and add a teaspoon of your newly crushed passion fruit to the glass.
Ah Mimosas! The champion of brunches all over the world! The mimosa is thought to have been invents at the Hôtel Ritz in Paris by Frank Meier in 1925.
- Orange juice (or Grapefruit juice)
Add orange juice first, then your champagne. Or vice versa if you like, the idea is to have them both mixed up.
N.B.: I always think this is one of the best champagne cocktails out there as Vitamin C is always recommended to help avoid or get over a hangover so you can get nice and merry with this cocktail without the same potential for a hangover as if you just drank champagne on its own.
5.) Kir Royale
The first time I properly remember having one of these was during a trip to Luxembourg. The origins of the Kir Royale are actually based in Burgundy in France when it was just known as the Kir (same cocktail essential – just mixed with white wine instead of champagne) and was named after the priest Canon Félix Kir, who was a hero in the French Resistance during the Second World War and the Mayor of Dijon, a town in Burgundy.
- Crème De Cassis
Add the champagne first and then add the Crème De Cassis. Typically, add 1 part Crème De Cassis for 4 parts of Champagne though this is entirely up to you (for instance you could always add more Crème De Cassis if you prefer a rosier looking colour.
6.) Champagne Punch
I doubt there’s any strong history behind this one. I bet your some fellow party drinks enthusiasts just played around with the stuff and realised that champagne tastes even better (i.e. sweeter) with lots of fruits in it. 🙂
- Lemon juice
Crush up half of the fruits. Chop up the remainder. Add the champagne to the flute followed by lemon juice (a splash should suffice), some of the crushed fruits (about half a teaspoon) and top it all off with the chopped fruits (not too many otherwise you’ll find yourself struggling to get to the good stuff underneath)
7.) The classic Champagne Cocktail
As generic as the name sounds, this cocktail is actually very specific and is one of the few listed on the International Bartenders Association’s Cocktail lists. The cocktail is though to date back as far as 1862 when it was created by “Professor” Jerry Thomas. The version back then (thought to be the “classic” American version) skips out on the brandy.
- Angostura bitters
- Orange peel
- Maraschino cherry (to garnish. I don’t like Maraschino cherries so I tend to skip this one).
Start with your champagne in the flute, then add Angostura bitters on a sugar cube which you then put into the champagne. Next you add your brandy to the champagne and finish up with orange peel and maraschino cherry garnish.
And there you have it, now there’s only one real question here really – which of these 7 is your favourite?! 🙂