Nothing says happy New Year like some bubbly. Except maybe when said bubbly tops of a tequila mojito. Or one of the many components of general George Washington's go-to tipple. Mix things up this NYE by replicating these full-bodied champagne cocktails at home that will have everyone asking who the bartender is and begging for a refill. Because a plain old champagne toast is so 2015. And don't forget the snacks! Click here for a quick and easy holiday app!
Nautilus Royale from Driftwood Room
The Nautilus Royale from Chopped judge Alex Guarnaschelli's new Miami restaurant, Driftwood Room, might as well be breakfast in a glass. In it: egg whites, organic agave syrup, blueberry jam, muddled blueberries, lavender infused Belvedere, and champagne. Vodka and champagne, otherwise known as the breakfast of champions.
Mojito Criollo from Four Seasons Punta Mita
If you think mojitos are only made of rum, think again. At the Four Seasons in Punta Mita the mojito criollo embraces its Mexican heritage by foregoing rum for five spices infused tequila and muddling it with mint, brown sugar, and lime just as you would a traditional mojito, except then it's capped off by a splash of cava. You'll need to plan and prep the tequila (infused with cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, anise, and cloves) three days prior to drinking, but the juice is definitely worth the squeeze.
Cherry Bounce at Comstock Saloon
The Cherry Bounce has a special place in history, as it was one of George Washington's favorite libations and with reason; those reasons being bourbon, brandy, champagne, and cherries all coming together in a single glass. This reinterpretation of the Brandy-based cocktail from the popular Comstock Saloon (named one of America's best bars by Esquire) in San Francisco is fizzy, boozy, and as sweet as the three brandied cherries it uses for garnish. Happy drinking.
Lavender Cava from Sylvain
If you're looking for a cocktail that's as easy to make as it is to drink, the lavender cava is a simple yet aromatic and complex take on the classic champagne bevvy. What you'll need: lavender tincture, sugar cubes, cava, and lemon. Drop a sugar cube into a champagne flute, blast said cube with two drops of the lavender tincture then fill to the top with cava and garnish with lime. Cheers!
Goodnight, Goldfinger from Stripsteak
How would James Bond toast to 2016? Probably with the shaken not stirred Goodnight, Goldfinger! cocktail from Michael Mina's Stripsteak at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach. Named as a tribute to Frank Sinatra (who would have celebrated his centennial this month and spent his days filming Goldfinger at the legendary resort), the festive, refreshing, and gold cocktail puts a twist on a classic French 75 by swapping out the cognac for gin and shaking things up with limoncello to match the champagne's acidity. If you really want to impress, do as Bond would do and garnish it with a 24K gold leaf on the rim of glass.