Here’s to A Bright & Bubbly 2017 with Easy Cocktails!
Friends, I’m not sure about you, but I sure am ready for the new year of 2017. Just thinking about the road that lead us here makes me in need of a drink. The other day I read a hilarious quote (meme maybe?) that said, “The first rule of 2017 is not to talk about 2016.” It was a whirlwind of a year with twists and turns, but here we are at the end of December. So in celebration of the fact that we made it through the end of a chapter and are looking ahead to a brighter 2017, I have a couple of easy bubbly cocktail recipes that are so simple but oh-so-satisfying. They are perfect for a New Year celebration, Valentine’s Day, or any holiday celebration.
Like a lot of folks around this time of year, I try to reflect on the good times of 2016 but also get really amped about the fresh start of a new year. I feel like most commonly people set resolutions for their diet and/or exercise. Others have a resolution to spend more time with friends or family, to achieve an eduction or career goal, or like me, harness their creativity and funnel it into a big project. It’s true, this very blog was a New Year resolution of mine for 2016. It’s been a long time coming and I had loads to learn (and continue to so), but here it is!
Since this is one of my very first post I should probably acquaint you with my recipe style. Let me put you in the mind of a twenty-something that enjoys nice food & drinks and loves to entertain at home but doesn’t have a lot of time or patience in the kitchen. I consider myself a foodie and experimental cook that attempts to stay on top of the latest food and beverage trends. However, I love taking recipes and putting my own simplified spin on them. Let’s just call it my obsession with efficiency. I don’t want to dirty dishes unnecessarily (can I get a witness?) or buy ingredients I can’t use again. In fact, most of my recipe collection consists of recipes that are 5 ingredients or less and minutes to make. You can read more about me here.
Since we’re talking celebratory beverages today, I’ll start by sharing I’ve never been much of a Gin person. I would have a sip of someone’s Gin & Tonic and think, “Hmm, I’m not sure if I enjoy drinking a Christmas tree”. Pair gin with Rosé or Cava though, and whoa baby, it makes a dynamite cocktail. It’s totally different than the overly spruce-like taste you can get from a strong Gin drink. This cocktail’s namesake, the French 75, is classy and will make you feel fancy (like, pinkies out fancy) and takes minutes to make for guests. I hope you enjoy this bubbly cocktail as much as I do!
I created the French 75 two ways; one floral and colorful with Rosé and the other is fruity and fun with muddled grapes and Cava.
The French 75 typically consists of gin, lemon juice, sweetener, and bubbles. My takes on this bubbly cocktail use Rosé and Cava as the preferred bubbles. They are both extremely quick and easy to make so you can spend more time with guests than mixing and shaking (save that for the dance floor).
Measure the lemon juice, gin, and agave and throw in a cocktail shaker. Agave is my choice of sweetener because it’s tasty, easy, and natural. You could certainly sub with simple syrup if you’re cool like that and have it on hand or want to be adventurous and whip some up yourself*. Use a long spoon to mix all the ingredients together then put a 1/2 cup of ice in the shaker. Shake it up for 15-20 seconds then strain into a coupe glass or champagne flute and top with a 2 oz. pour of Rosé for a beautiful color and taste.
Have you heard of the New Year’s Eve tradition of Twelve Grapes in a cocktail? Apparently when the clock strikes midnight you eat twelve grapes for each month of the year ahead. The sweet grapes are a sign of good months ahead while the sour ones represent less fortunate months to come. Don’t take this too seriously now…
With this fun, muddled grapes and Cava version of the French 75, the steps are the same. The big difference being the muddled grapes in the beginning. Muddle 3-4 grapes in your shaker before adding the lemon juice, gin, and agave. Add the 1/2 cup of ice and shake for 15-20 seconds. Strain into your glass and top with Cava (or dry sparkling of your choice). Garnish with 12 grapes you’ve skewered on a cocktail garnish pick and pop it in the freezer until it’s time to serve. Once you’ve added the sparkling, garnish with grapes and eat them when the clock strikes twelve!
There you have it, folks. Two great gin and bubbles drink variations to impress at your next celebratory get-together. Now, let’s ring in that new year together. I hope to welcome you back to the site for more great recipes in 2017!
- For both ways, start with-
- ½ oz. lemon juice (about half a lemon, depending on the size)
- 2 oz. gin
- ½ oz. agave
- If making Rosé version...
- 2 oz. Rosé
- If making grape & Cava version...
- 3-4 grapes
- 2 oz. Cava
- Measure lemon juice, gin, and agave (or simple syrup) and stir together in cocktail shaker.
- Add ½ cup or a handful of ice cubes, cover with the top and shake for 15-20 seconds (warning, your hand will get very cold so you may want to wrap a towel around the shaker before shaking).
- Strain contents into a coupe glass or champagne flute (especially if adding the 12 grapes for the new year) and add the remaining 2 oz. of bubbles.
- You can garnish both drink variations beautifully with either a fanned out strawberry & lemon peel slice for Rosé French 75.
- For Grape & Cava version, spear 12 grapes onto a cocktail garnish pick and place in the freezer until muddled grape & Cava version is served in glass. Place in the glass to keep cold and grapes will thaw until time to eat.
*Curious about making you own simple syrup? Mix 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until sugar is dissolved. Let cool and keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. It’s as easy as it’s name suggests, but I’m still too lazy to make for myself most of the time.