Aida and I revel in New Year’s Eve, but you won’t find us at a mega club standing 50 people deep at the bar. Instead we get dressed up in all things sparkly and celebrate with a close group of friends. We love cocktails with a bitter-sweetness to them, which is how I came up with this Bitter Sweet Sparkler – it has the wintery aroma of sweet pears, with a touch of bitterness. It involves a liquor called Suze – made from a bitter root, gentian – it's a 19th century French aperitif that has made a splash on the American spirits scene as of late. We hope you enjoy this Champagne cocktail while reflecting on all the sweet (not so bitter) moments you had in 2014. Cheers!
such as Aqua Perfecta by Saint George Spirits
Cut one half of the pear lengthwise, avoiding the core. Then cut the half crosswise, into 24 thin half moon slices. Place 2 small slices in each glass then spear a third slice onto a toothpick and place it in a Champagne coupe or flute.
Combine the Suze liquor and pear brandy in a liquid measuring cup. Then pour 1/2 ounce of the mixture into each glass. Divide the sparkling wine between each glass, filling about halfway up each flute. Serve, telling the guests to take a bite of the pear and then a sip of the cocktail!
Photography and food styling by Aida Mollenkamp