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Champagne Cocktails (a.k.a. NYE Lubrication) at Home

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If ushering in the year were a sport, champagne* would be the beverage of champions and we'd dump a huge cooler full of it onto Father Time's head at the stroke of midnight. It's bubbly, makes a wonderful, pee-on-yourself-scary sound when you open it, and is the hands-down only answer for the biggest toast of the year.

And while rap's glitterati can go on a 24-hour champagne diet that likely consists of luxe brands such as Moet, Cristal, or Piper Heidsieck, your at-home champers could easily be one of those bottles with a slightly lower price tag. And since cheap champagne is often too dry, too fruity, or a combo of the two... making yours into a cocktail is easy. Easy on the time, and even easier on the taste buds. A small shot of blueberry, peach, strawberry, or vanilla schnapps in your glass can certainly give a boost of flavor (and color, if that's your thing). Or you can go Thug Passion and mix in a lil Alize or Hpnotiq to add some liq'ed up flavor. Whiskey, Gin, sake, and tequila also pair up well and succeed in adding a little bite to your bubbly. A few of my fave, easy concoctions follow, but the possibilities are, of course, endless.

For a Black Velvet, mix one part champagne with one part Guinness. Employ cockney accent. Enjoy.

Of course, the ubiquitous mimosa is always a winner. Try subbing the o.j. for guanabana, cranberry, or mango juice for an unexpected twist. Squeeze some citrus in for even more depth.

For delicate additions to your glass of joy, add Cointreau, Chambord, or fruited brandy.

A personal fave blends cognac, raspberry liqueur, raspberries and lemon juice, and tops the mixture off with a healthy dose of the bubbly. Take out the cognac and the lemon, add brandy, and...glug, glug, glug.

*Cavas and Proseccos work just as well

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