New Year Champagne 1

Happy New Year, hope it’s full of magical and thrilling opportunities!

When a year is coming to an end it’s a natural time to reflect and tie up loose ends. It’s an opportunity to acknowledge and treasure all that is good and to recognize and dismiss what is no longer needed. When a New Year is about to begin it’s a perfect time to dream big, initiate change, and prepare for a New Year where anything is possible.

Add some extra sweetness, spice and sparkles to the celebrations with this alluring Champagne cocktail. The ring shape of the decorative mandarin oranges symbolizes coming full circle, believed in many cultures to bring good luck for the New Year. In addition, the rings assist in holding the sparklers, keeping them on the outside of the glass.

New Year Champagne 2

champagne cocktail with a hint of cardamom

cranberry syrup with a hint of cardamom (recipe below)
optional mandarin oranges & sparklers


Make the cranberry syrup with a hint of cardamom (recipe below) and let cool completely. This can be done a day or more in advance.

Most citrus can be used for the decorative rings but mandarin oranges are perfectly sized, and the closer the size of the orange is to the size of the glass, the better. Use a champagne glass to make a paper template and cut a hole to size in each slice. To eliminate excess juice, leave rings to dry on a paper towel.

Slide one mandarin slice onto each glass, clean the top of the glass with a towel, and stick a sparkler diagonally into the rind to secure. I found it most secure when poked once in, once out, through the very outside, orange part, like a stitch.

Pour a couple of tablespoons of syrupy jam into each glass, fill up with Champagne and stir vigorously until blended.

Light sparklers before serving or let each person light their own sparkler when served.

cranberry syrup with a hint of cardamom

Cranberry Syrup

cranberry syrup with a hint of cardamom

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (or use lingonberries or red currants)
2 cups fresh squeezed mandarin or orange juice
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cardamom


Bring all ingredients to a boil. Keep at medium boil for 45 minutes while stirring occasionally until it turns into a syrupy jam.

Leave to cool completely.

Makes about 2 cups.

non alcoholic option (or drink mixer)

Cranberry Syrup with Sparkling Water

non alcoholic option (or drink mixer)

Mix ½ part syrup to 1 part sparkling water for a non alcoholic option.

Mix ½ part syrup to 1 part sparkling water and add ice and a splash of vodka for a delicious vodka cranberry cocktail.

Large Rectangular Aluminum Tray from DK Living. Vintage Pewter Plate. Spoon from The Gardener, San Francisco. White Ceramic Reid Small Bowl by HomArt. Carafe by Sagaform from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Photography by Philip Blankenship.