It’s been quite the year, hasn’t it?
Not as bad as 2020, but 2021 certainly presented a fair amount of challenges with regards to COVID, the environment and political polarization.
Which is why many of us can’t wait to wish a fond farewell to the old and welcome the new on New Year’s Eve, with hopes for better times in 2022.
While you can’t go wrong with a glass of bubbly, we think the biggest party of the year calls for a sparkling cocktail (or two or three) to make it extra-special. So we asked three restaurants that will ring in the new year with special events for their favorite holiday recipes. All will bring a flavorful and festive twist to your celebration with family and friends.
Violet & Black Pepper Martini
This spirit-forward cocktail combines delicate floral notes with spicy, earthy black pepper. Kingfly vodka is distilled from grapes, so has a very smooth, clean finwish perfect for this kind of combo — there’s no harsh touch to the palate.
The distillery’s Parfait Amour (perfect love) is a traditional French liqueur made with rose petals, citrus peel, Hüll Melon hops and vanilla bean and gives off a gorgeous purple hue.
If you only have a coupe or traditional martini glass, you may need to add ingredients or dilute; the Nick & Nora, named after fictional characters in the 1934 novel by Dashiell Hamett, holds just five ounces.
3/4 ounce Kingfly Parfait Amour Liqueur
4 turns of fresh cracked pepper (fine grind setting)
Stir all ingredients together in a mixing glass, then add ice for a bit to dilute and chill the martini. Fine strain into a chilled Nick & Nora (5-ounce) martini glass.
— Raoul Segarra, Kingfly Spirits, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Bar Marco’s general manager Andrew Heffner loves this drink because it’s a fun blend of local products that is spirit-forward and “is nice for sitting around the house and eating a bunch of Christmas cookies with.”
1/4 ounce cider syrup (recipe follows)
Pour rye, marsala and cider syrup into a rocks glass, add ice and stir until chilled. Garnish with a lemon zest.
— Jason Renner, Bar Marco, Pittsburgh
For cider syrup: Combine equal parts Soergel’s apple cider and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium heat until sugar dissolves. Let cool before serving.
Makes about 1 cup of syrup.
This cocktail from Cobra in Bloomfield, Pa., is a year-round warmer. The name, Prosperity, is a word that both invokes good fortune and contains one of the drink’s key ingredients (Prosperi-TEA).
1 1/2 ounces d’Usse cognac
1/2 ounce Peach Ginger Tea syrup (recipe follows)
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker tin and shake until combined. Pour into a rocks glass with a large ice cube.
For Peach Ginger Tea syrup: Seep 2 peach tea teabags in 1 cup boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove teabags, and pour tea into a small saucepan. Mix in 1 cup sugar and simmer over …….