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Entertaining at Home
When it Comes to New Year's, it's All about the Champagne
January, 2007 - Issue #27
Whether you've opted to host an evening soiree complete with classic noise makers and midnight kisses or you prefer to create a more casual daytime celebration for the New Year, one thing will remain the same: Champagne is a must.

It has been sipped out of shoes in popular commercials. Marilyn Monroe loved it so much she literally bathed in it. But the most festive of beverages, bubbly as it may be, can become a bit stale two months into the holiday season.

"Every party should have a signature beverage," says Cindy Smith of RSVP - The Catering Company. "You need something that fits your theme that you can use to greet guests with as they arrive."

Nothing says New Year like a glass of Champagne, and nothing says New Year's with a Twist like a flute filled with French sparkling wine and a little something extra. Like a shot of Midori liqueur; the sweet-tart addition adds more than a green shade to your glass. It adds fun.

This year, consider selecting a signature Champagne cocktail or two that coordinates with your theme or color scheme. However, for the adventurous, why not allow your guests to create their own bubbling masterpieces?

Creating a Champagne buffet is easier than you think. Many ingredients are already in your home. Attractively display several suggested combinations on menu boards but encourage guests to get creative and to mix their own concoctions. A tip for the chic: Don't utilize large, unattractive juice bottles and such. Break out stylish pitchers for popular ingredients like orange and cranberry juice.

And don't forget - every good host, especially those who are creating a party scheme around an alcoholic beverage - should have the number of a good taxi service on hand for guests who partake a little too heavily on spirits.

Cheers!

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A CHAMPAGNE FOR every shade OF THE RAINBOW

Ruby
Blood Orange Champagne
Blood Orange Juice Three tablespoons of fresh or frozen juice will create a tart, fresh, brightly-tinted cocktail.

Green
Arise my Love Irish Champagne
Creme de Menthe One shot of this Irish liqueur will create a bright green shade and a tasty mint finish.

Green Dragon
Midori One shot of this incredibly popular melon liqueur goes a long way. Add a half-shot of lime juice to the mix to create what's called a Japanese Typhoon.

Red
Cherry Champagne
Cherry Brandy One-half shot will add a sweet addition to the bubbly; dress with the fruit for eye appeal.

Girly Champagne
Grenadine A dash of this sugary syrup, made from pomegranates, equates to a tasty, bold red treat.

Fraise Royal
Creme de Fraise A half shot of this strawberry liqueur should be accompanied by a berry-tipped flute.

Nelson's Blood
Port This combination of wine and Champagne is named in honor of Admiral Horatio Nelson, who joined the Navy at 12 and is considered by many to have been the finest commander who's ever lived.

Gold
Classic Champagne Cocktail
Bitters, Sugar Cube and Cognac Bitters are made from herbs, spics, roots and citrus peel. Add three drops of it on the cube of sugar and an ounce of cognac.

Poire William
Pear Brandy Add a half shot of pear brandy or juice to New Year's favorite elixir. A bit of trivia: Poire William is the name of a formerly famous brand of pear brandy.

Monte Carlo
White Creme de Menthe, Lemon Juice, Gin Mix a half shot of the juice and liqueur with three-fourths shot of gin with ice and strain into a flute. Top with Champagne.

Black
Kir Royale
Creme de Cassis This delish liqueur is made from black currents; add a half-shot for a rich addition.

Yellow
The Hula
Rum and Pineapple Juice An ounce of each will make your Champagne taste like an island vacation.

Orange
Apricot Bubbly
Apricot Brandy A gorgeous sunset-shaded beverage is ripe for the picking with a shot of this brandy.

Bombay Bellini
Mango Nectar A dash of the thick juice is all you need to add an exotic flavor.

Blue
Blue Bubble
Blueberry Schnapps Add an ounce to the bottom of the glass for a striking graduated presentation.

Russian Berry Champagne
Lemon Juice, Raspberry Liqueur, Creme de Cassis, Vodka A quarter shot of the cassis, lemon and raspberry ingredients, plus two shots vodka, make for a strong addition to everyone's favorite bubbly.

Additional options include orange and cranberry juice, Amaretto, Chambord, gin, Grand Marnier and Triple Sec. Get creative and enjoy inventing your own signature sparkling cocktail!
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