Two Toast-worthy Cocktails to Welcome 2019

When it comes to a beverage go-to for the New Year’s holiday, it is inarguably some form of champagne — the sparkling, bubbly beverage that shines with effervescence during the post-midnight clinking of glasses. This year in Door County there are many ways to celebrate the ringing in of the New Year, but if you find yourself in need of a toast-worthy cocktail, here are two brilliant recipes from local bartenders to help you say farewell to 2018 and kick-off 2019 with a pop, fizz and a clink.

The first cocktail is a variation on a classic from the Wickman House in Ellison Bay. The classic is the French 75: a champagne, gin, sugar and lemon juice cocktail that dates back to WWI era. It is said to have first been served in The New York Bar in Paris where patrons claimed it packed such a punch that it was like being hit by a French 75mm field gun, hence its name.

The Wickman House serves their version of the cocktail on their regular bar menu, which is available during their special New Year’s hours Dec. 30-31. Dinner reservations are highly recommended, while bar seating is on a first come, first serve basis.

The French 75

A new interpretation of this classic drink by the Wickman House

• Pour two ounces of cava in a pinot or Bordeaux glass, add an orange twist, and set aside.

• Combine the following ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker: 2 oz London dry gin, 1.5 oz fresh lemon juice, 1 oz simple syrup, and a splash of triple sec.

• Shake and strain into glass with cava and orange

The second recipe is a new cocktail from CHOP in Sister Bay. It’s a sparkling drink that includes local hard cider and adds a bourbon twist — a nod to the excellent bourbon selection at the restaurant’s bar. The sparkling effect comes from the brut apple cider from Island Orchard Cider, a cidery located just up the road in Ellison Bay. Woodford Reserve, a small batch Kentucky bourbon, adds the smoky element, which is balanced by the tart lemon juice and cranberry simple syrup.

The blend of flavors is quite drinkable and worthy of a festive event. You’ll find this delicious cocktail for a limited time, Dec. 28-31, at CHOP. Reservations are available for a special dinner, including a live dueling piano show, on New Year’s Eve. Bar will also be open for first come, first serve seating.

Bourbon Berry Cider

A specialty cocktail offered for a limited time by CHOP for New Year’s celebrations

• Combine the following ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker: 1.5 oz Woodford Reserve, .5 oz lemon juice, and .5 oz cranberry simple syrup*

• Shake and strain into a Champagne coupe glass

• Top with Brut Apple Cider from Island Orchard Cider

• Garnish with fresh speared or floating cranberries

*To make cranberry simple syrup, combine 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup water and 1.5 cups fresh cranberries in a saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer until cranberries have popped, about 3-5 minutes. Allow to cool and strain through a fine sieve into storage container. Makes 10 oz. Store in refrigerator for up to one week.