New York Magazine



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.
Fizz the Season
Elderflower Cocktail
Kurt Gutenbrunner of Wallsé.
Dan Perlman of Pazo.
Ice Queen
Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit.
  Le Perroquet
Dale DeGroff, from The Craft of the Cocktail.
Lillet Sugar-Cube Cocktail
Rocco DiSpirito of Union Pacific.
  The Mistletoe
Kimberly Scarpone of Daniel.
Pear and Passion Mimosa
Daniel Orr of Guastavino's.
  Peppermint Mojito Frappe
Daniel Orr of Guastavino's.