Champagne & Whisky Cocktail for New Year Celebrations
31st December 2020
How many of us are looking forward to saying goodbye to 2020 and toasting in what we hope to be a much better New Year 2021 ahead… As the countdown to the chimes from Big Ben approach, we will no doubt have more negatives than positives to thank the year we all had and maybe celebrations will be a touch muted for what lies ahead.
Typically though New Year’s Eve is a time for celebrations and the chosen drink globally for this is undoubtedly Champagne. From podium finishes to congratulating the bride and groom, every year, France’s most famous wine enjoys its most popular time during the New Year holidays.
“25% is the percentage of all Champagne bottles sold in the U.S. that will be purchased in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day” source ibtimes
It is no longer just for the elite, the rich and famous or the French to enjoy – Champagne has become much more accessible to us all from lower prices (under £10 per bottle) to the choice both in stores and online. Placing a bottle of Champagne within your weekly shopping trolley isn’t so extravagant these days, many stores run promotions on labels with sometimes household named brands being well under £20 per bottle.
If you are looking to purchase Champagne then you are in command as the choice is quite unlimited from off licences to supermarkets, online stores to Christmas markets or you might even want to take a trip over to the region itself in France and buy direct from the winery to save you £’s on bulk purchasing. Countless also is the choice of labels and styles you have and every budget will be satisfied.
As New Year is upon us then we indulge in a glass or two of bubbly and popping open that bottle of Champagne. One easy and very affordable way to enjoy Champagne is by purchasing from your main supermarket who will hold, in most superstores, ample selection to choose from and often an own brand / promotional label that offers great value for money.
Supermarkets today put a lot of time and efforts to their wine departments with many employing top wine professionals as buyers to make sure what they sell to consumers isn’t simply a wine to forget, but more likely a fantastic tasting experience at a comfortable and affordable price. Sometimes their own label sparkling wines can receive awards at Champagne and Sparkling Wine competitions.
Co-op: Their Champagne selection is quite limited though offers a wide choice to suit budgets. You can find Louis Roederer and Bollinger and for economy reasons, you can also find some very decent own labels (specially selected for).
One such supermarket label that is always reliable is their ‘Les Pionniers’ range that when on offer can be as low as £13 per bottle of the standard brut with a very special vintage (currently 2012) coming in at around £26 per bottle.
ASDA: Have a much larger selection of Champagne and once again offer the bigger brands, that are usually more costly, down to their own brand which is the ‘Champagne Louis Bernard’. At £17 per bottle, for being a slightly better quality in style ‘premier cru’ for the brut, with a rosé also available between £20 – £23 depending on promotions.
Champagne and Whisky Cocktail for New Years Eve
Champagne, cocktails and whisky – magical words for any party or celebration so we bring all together for our 2021 New Year celebrations. Both these famous drinks, within cocktails, pair well together, both complimenting each other and giving the delights of each in the end taste.
Surprisingly to many, both Champagne and whisky do pair well with foods so with our cocktails in hand then why not a choice of canapes also?
Whisky Food Pairings: Chocolate and especially dark chocolate go well with a drop of scotch as well as some drier and smoky cheese – smoked salmon also.
Champagne Food Pairings: This wine can pair with a wide variety of foods from fish dishes to BBQ – It works incredibly well with cheese, white meats and fish if you are thinking about easier to eat nibbles/canapes.
The whisky for your cocktail does not need to be anything overpriced or a major brand name, so as we are running with own brand Champagnes then we will also do this for the whisky. ASDA stores offer great own brand whisky along with ALDI with bottles coming in at £16 and under. These whiskies do the trick both with water/ice or added to a cocktail – They are not too overpowering and will not spoil any delicate flavours when mixed with other drinks.
Lastly, and in addition to Champagne and whisky, I would like to add a splash of Chambord liqueur (optional) to give a touch of raspberry (black) edge to our cocktail.
Recipe and Ingredients
Depending on your liking of Whisky you can add one shot (1.5 ounces) in each glass or split one shot between two.
Add a splash of Chambord (optional)
Fill glass with Champagne, preferably Brut or Extra Brut style.
Garnish with lemon peel or raspberry (optional)
Tasting notes: “Sticking by the guidelines above for amounts to add (half a shot of whisky) then you get a great subtle combination of both expressed in the palate. A touch of sweet fizzy citrus initially relaxes in to the whisky characters showing a fruitier expression with a refreshing length consisting of citrus, orange peel and blood peach from the Chambord.“
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.