Champagne is what comes to mind when thinking about New Year’s Eve. Or maybe sparkling beverage is more accurate, because the perfect drink for ringing in the New Year is fruity, festive, and fizzy — but not necessarily concocted with straight-up, classic Champagne. When you’re planning your New Year’s cocktails, it’s good to know that there are other players — Prosecco (a sweet Italian wine), Cava (a Spanish version of bubbly), and even plain old seltzer — that can provide that traditional fizzy kick without requiring an expensive bottle of sparkling wine that just happens to be from a very specific region in France.
Actually, the truth is that a great New Year’s Eve cocktail doesn’t have to require any sparkling booze in order to dazzle your guests. Since when does anyone turn their nose up at, say, a kicked-up version of a watermelon rickey or pineapple smoothie? Since never, that’s when. And that’s where vodka comes in handy. But whatever you’re using as the alcohol component in your cocktails, the point is to make the beverage bright and colorful, with bold flavors and cheery touches (playful garnishes, sprigs of rosemary or mint) that will get the New Year started off with a bang.