Not Your Mama’s Champagne: Fun bubbles for the New Year
New Years Eve is just around the corner and that means champagne! But if you are bored with the traditional champagne toast at midnight or looking for something a bit more interesting to sip all night here are a few of my favorite alternatives.
Tradition in my family on New Years Eve has always been champagne with a splash of peach schnapps and a slice of peach for garnish. When I was little, my parents always had this on New Years Eve and they would make me the kiddy version with sparkling grape juice and the syrup from the can of peaches.
Until I spent time in Italy, I didn’t know that this was actually a play on a famous Venation sparkling cocktail called the Bellini. A traditional Bellini is made with Italian Prosecco and white peach Purée. For those who don’t want the hassle of mixing drinks, Canella sells a bottled version of the traditional Bellini aptly named “Bellini”. It’s very good and perfect for New Years Eve.
Canella also sells a sparkling Blood Orange Mimosa. I have never had Canella’s Mimosa, but I suspect this could be a good New Years Eve option or perfect for brunch on New Years Day. Both the Canella Bellini and Mimosa sell for about $12 a bottle.
Like the Bellini this is another sparkling Italian wine. I was first introduced to this wine when I went to Italy with my parents. After an amazing meal the waiter brought each of us a complementary cordial of this sparkling red wine. We all loved it. It goes great with dark chocolate, but is not extremely sweet like most dessert wine. It would be considered a semi-dry wine, and works well as both an aperitif and a dessert wine.
There are both still and sparkling versions of Brachetto, but for New Years Eve I’m just looking at sparkling options. Brachetto is called a frizzanti in Italy. This means that it is just slightly sparkling. You will not be overwhelmed by the bubbles. You will get flora aromas like roses or violets off the nose and flavors like raspberries and strawberries in the mouth.
Brachetto is not that well know in the States, but Banfi Rosa Regale is a Brachetto that can be found at most wine shops and it won’t break the bank. It sells for about $18 to $20 a bottle, and it also comes in half bottles.
These are my favorite alternative to plain champagne, but they certainly aren’t the only options. I’d love to hear what your favorite New Years Eve drinks are. Better yet, why not be creative, and come up with a new sparkling cocktail this Holiday season!
Have a happy and safe New Years Eve and New Years Day!