The Champagne toast is as much of a New Year’s Eve tradition as Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve and half-ass resolutions to join a gym and “just like, be nicer to people.” There’s nothing wrong with drinking a glass of Champagne or sparkling wine, but there’s also nothing wrong with shaking that tradition up a little. Enter the Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail, the pretty bright red drink that was born to party.
Your typical Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail uses pomegranate juice and a sugar cube. And it’s great, except the combo dilutes your drink a little. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t think New Year’s Eve is about low-abv cocktails. It’s about spending too much time with the Jager Luge and misplacing your pants in a downtown Waffle House. You can make good decisions in 2019; this is your last night to get loose. So instead of pomegranate juice, we recommend a pomegranate liqueur.
Destillaré Intense Pomegranate is made by brandy experts Copper and Kings. It’s distilled in small batches in a copper pot still using just about every type of fruit and herb the distillers could get their hands on: pomegranate, cranberry, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry and then hit with a bunch of spices like ginger, clove, cinnamon and mint. Also honey and orange peels and lavender…The result is a viscous booze that smells like lollipops and, when sipped neat, tastes like medicine that’s been sweetened to cover up the poison inside. It’s syrupy and sweet and bitter and really not meant to be shot like a Buttery Nipple. Instead, Destillaré is a booze that’s meant to be used in cocktails to add intensity and complexity to the drink. Which brings us to the Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail. Using Destillaré to shake things up in your Champagne flute adds combating layers of bitter and sweet that will have you searching for more excuses to make Champagne toasts as the clock nears midnight.
Oh, and Destillaré is 90-proof, so instead of diluting that glass of Champagne, it adds an extra kick. Because New Year’s Eve isn’t about making good decisions.
1 oz. Pomegranate Liqueur
Directions: Add 1 oz. of Destillaré to the bottom of a Champagne flute. Top with your favorite sparkling white wine, then stir until the whole thing turns red. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
Copper and Kings recommends a bunch of pomegranate heavy cocktails, one of which caught my eye: the Pomgroni, which basically takes a negroni, and replaces the gin with Destillaré. Here’s the recipe so you can try it for yourself.
1 oz. Destillaré
.75 oz. Campari
.75 oz. Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura (or Copper and Kings) Bitters
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice, stir and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.