Ah, champagne. There is no wrong way to drink it. But you can make it even better by using it in a cocktail. Traditionally, the champagne cocktail is made with a brown-sugar cube and aromatic bitters distilled from herbs, roots and fragrant bark. The botanical bitters cut the sweetness of the champagne, and the molasses-infused sugar cube folds it right back in, letting the sweetness sit underneath the first wave of bright freshness. The result is a nuanced and convivial cocktail.
Mirroring the ball drop at Times Square, the sugar cube sinks to the bottom of the glass, captivating your attention as it fizzes and nearly sparkles. Bonus: the cube acts as your personal time drop. If you finish your drink before the cube dissolves, you might want to think about slowing your roll, ever so slightly.
Whether you’re looking for a fresh start in 2017, or savoring every last moment of 2016, we can’t think of a better metaphor for considering this year in retrospective. The sweet is rarely appreciated without the bitter, and the bitter adds depth and complexity to the sweet.
In the hopes of bringing in a new year that’s bright and balanced, we enlisted the help of an expert: Josh Batway. The bar manager of Good Bar, a well-provisioned and light-filled bar and restaurant in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle, shared his tips for putting a special twist on a classic.