Nothing gets us into the holiday spirit like champagne -- especially when it's given an exotic kick with, say, pomegranate molasses or aquavit.
There's no better way to ring in the holiday season than with a little bubbly -- especially when it's the featured ingredient in one of the effervescent champagne-cocktail recipes we scored from some of New York's top chefs and mixologists. Their flutes of fancy transport us to the Mediterranean, with pomegranate molasses and orange liqueur; to Austria, with a drizzle of elderflower syrup; to Sweden, with aquavit and berries; to Cuba, with a sparkling mojito; and even, thanks to Dale DeGroff's revival of the Campari-tinged Le Perroquet, back in time. Champagne-cocktail classicists will welcome two newfangled takes on the mid-nineteenth-century trick that have spirit-soaked sugar cubes dissolving gradually in the bottom of the glass, releasing a heady stream of bubbles. If name-brand champagne is too pricey for your budget, Italian prosecco or Spanish cava will also do the delightfully fizzy trick (especially when you're serving a thirsty crowd). That calls for a toast.