I'm not usually a big cocktail drinker, but around the holidays I'll drink anything with champagne like it's going out of style. Something about the bubbles and fizz and popping corks puts me in a downright cheery, tis-the-season, type of mood.
My favorite of all the champagne cocktails is a Kir Royale—crème de cassis mixed with champagne—it can't be beat. The very first time I had one was when I was studying abroad in London during my junior year of college; I went to a Christmas party with some friends and Kir Royales were being handed out like candy. I distinctly remember taking a sip and saying "This tastes like Christmas!" (dorky, I know) and I proceeded to drink them all night long.
The kicker about these little beauties is that they're SO simple to make. All you need is some champagne (if you're looking for a less expensive option, prosecco works great) and crème de cassis, which is black currant liqueur. Since Kir Royale's are such a piece of cake to put together, during my cocktail photo shoot last evening I thought it would be fun to throw some vodka into the mix and see what happened.
I combined equal parts crème de cassis and vodka in cocktail shaker with ice, shook it up real good, then poured it into a tumbler glass filled with ice. Next, I topped off the glass with champagne and even threw in a few raspberries just because I felt like it. Needless to say, I was not disappointed and the outcome was an awesome sparkling punch drink that I'm going to call "Bells and Holly".
Now that the entire MH team has weighed in with a favorite cocktail we're still looking for entries from you for the MH Holiday Cocktail Contest. Send your best cocktail recipe with a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org; you could win a set of MS cocktail glasses AND a 7-piece MS barware set, so start mixing some drinks and let's see what you've got!
For a step by step of each cocktail, see below:
1 part Crème de Cassis
4 parts Champagne
Add crème de cassis to a champagne glass. Top off with champagne. Garnish with raspberries. Enjoy a glass of straight-up holiday cheer.
Bells and Holly
1 part vodka
1 part Crème de Cassis
3 parts Champagne
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice; add crème de cassis and vodka. Shake like you've never shook before. Strain contents into a tumbler glass filled with ice. Top off with champagne. Add some raspberries if you're feelin' out of control.