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New Year's Eve Shouldn't Be Spent Chugging Sparkling Swill

Most of us will be ringing out 2013 with the kind of sparkling swill we wouldn’t sip sober the other 364 days of the year. Here's how to make bodega quality bubbly taste like top dollar product.
January 1, 2014, 4:53am
Photo by Monica D. via Flickr

Most of us will be ringing out 2013 with the kind of sparkling swill we wouldn't wash our dogs with in the other 364 days of the year. If your friend brings over a "nice" bottle of bubbly, you can call their bluff if the label says "Champagne" but the wine hails from California, Croatia or anywhere other than France.

Crappy Champagne is better sprayed into a crowd than actually consumed, but it's easy to make a bodega bottle taste like top dollar by mixing it into one of these drinks. The hangover is free.

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Champagne Cocktail

Makes 1 drink Sugar cube 3 dashes Angostura Bitters Splash of Cognac or other brandy Dry sparkling wine

Set a cocktail napkin over the top of a Champagne glass and place a sugar cube on top. Dash the bitters onto the sugar (it'll soak them up and turn brown). Fold the napkin in half and slide the sugar into the glass. Add a splash of Cognac and top with sparkling wine.

Air Mail Makes 1 drink 2 ounces aged (amber) rum ¾ ounce fresh lime juice 1 teaspoon honey Dry sparkling wine

In a cocktail shaker, shake the rum, lime juice and honey with ice. Pour into a highball glass (do not strain) and top with the sparkling wine.

Black Velvet Makes 1 drink Guinness or other stout Dry sparkling wine

Fill a pint glass halfway with the beer. Slowly top the drink with the sparkling wine, then gently stir.