The Champagne cocktail

illustration by mark stivers

Classic, chic and oh-so-simple. If you want to ring in the New Year and be all classy, then this is the way to do it. Bitter, bubbly, sweet and all booze so you can get drunk all fancylike.

The recipe is easy: You need Champagne, cognac, sugar cubes and bitters. Soak three drops of bitters into a sugar cube, and place it into a Champagne glass. Pour in 1 ounce of cognac and 3 ounces of champagne. That’s it. You’re done. Champagne cocktail.

However, it’s easy to gild the lily with this drink. For example, use raw sugar cubes for a huskier flavor. Use blood orange bitters for more winter citrus flair (and garnish it with a wedge of blood orange, too). For something more modern, swap the cognac with sake to make a Silk Slip. Or scratch the bitter-soaked sugar cube and cognac; mix instead with a 1/2 ounce of crème de cassis, and stir gently and garnish with a twist of lemon peel for a Kir Royale.

Whatever way you go, just be sure to sip safely this New Year’s Eve.