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Use Your Flutes

Julie Hartigan
Use Your Flutes
Champagne flutes are often associated with celebratory moments, indulgence, opulent occasions, and of course –a toast to ring in the New Year. But why limit your enjoyment to super-special occasions only? The holidays are the perfect time to make a new habit of using those Champagne flutes more regularly.

Start the Night Right: You don’t have to wait until the end of the party to break out the bubbly. Champagne and other sparkling wines pair exceptionally well with light appetizers, so greet your guests at the door with a flute in-hand to start the celebration. (If budget’s an issue, opt for Prosecco from Italy or Cava from Spain –both amazing sparkling wine values to serve as is or to use in bubbly cocktails.)

Mix Things Up: Release your inner bartender and create some bubbly cocktails; it’s a great way to stretch your sparkling wine and it makes a fun conversation starter for guests. Need inspiration? Try one of these:

Champagne Cocktail:  This simple and delicious classic dates back to at least the mid-19th century. Place one sugar cube in each flute, add 5 drops of Angostura bitters, then fill two thirds with chilled Champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist, slice of orange or a strawberry half.

Barbotage: This New Year’s Favorite is fabulous anytime. Pour cognac (or another brandy) and Grand Marnier into your flute and top up with bubbly.

Rosemary Grapefruit Gin Fizzes: For a modern and elegant flavor twist on champagne cocktails, try our unique recipe. Their lightly sweet-tart flavor is the perfect complement to winter appetizers.

French 75: There are a number of French 75 variations out there—the one thing people agree on is that it's a serious drink that packs a serious punch! Here’s our version: Start with a splash of simple syrup, add a splash of lemon juice, an even bigger splash (about an ounce) of gin, topped off with bubbly. Pow!

Kir Royale:  A classy, simple classic—start with a gorgeous dash of crème de cassis (currant syrup), top off with bubbly.
Poinsettia: Get holiday festive with these beautiful drinks. Start with 1 part triple sec to 4 parts bubbly, garnish with a splash of cranberry juice for color, and top with a single cranberry.

Quick Tip: Always pour the mixers in first, then top with bubbly to avoid fizzy overflow.

Skip the Alcohol. Flutes are fun and pretty for drinks that have no alcohol at all. Offer non-drinkers their own signature drink served in a gorgeous flute to up the holiday spirit. You can get creative, using sparkling cider, club soda, or ginger ale as a base with simple syrups or fruit nectars for flavoring. (This is a great time to use your Soda Stream or other home soda maker to mix up your own bubbly flavors as well.)

A Bubbly Brunch Bar: Brunch is a casual and easy way to entertain for the holidays. Set up a beautiful Mimosa Bar with your flutes and a variety of juices and fruit nectars in pretty carafes to enjoy with their bubbly. Fresh squeezed orange juice is the classic, but mix it up a bit with mango, peach, pear, cranberry, and pomegranate juices.  Then just add some bubbly and club soda for the non-imbibers and you’re ready to go.

End the Meal on A High Note: Think outside the box use your glasses as an eye-catching and elegant serving dish. Try serving rich homemade ice cream or gelato with a drizzle of sauce, a mousse parfait topped with fresh whipped cream and chocolate curls, or gorgeous fresh berries topped with a dollop of sweetened crème fraiche. Use long handled iced-tea spoons so guests can enjoy every sweet bite.  And skip the kids for this one—flutes should be handled with care.

So this holiday season, remember: Bring out your Champagne flutes and use them to create a festive mood at all your gatherings with bubbly drinks…and beyond.

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