Whether you are ringing in the new year or throwing a bridal shower, here are my tips to create your own Champagne Bar where guests can mix up their own drinks and you can celebrate in style!
Another year has come and gone. The new year is days away. We usually celebrate with a big family gathering, but this year I am looking forward to a low key toast at home with my kids.
Although I am not a big drinker, I do like champagne. Our usually New Years Eve toast is plain champagne, but I love dropping in fresh raspberries or pomegranate in with the bubbly as well.
My favorite champagne cocktail? Why my sparkling peach sangria. And when I can’t find fresh peaches in December, I keep some frozen peaches stocked in my freezer!
So whether you are planning a big party for New Years or Mother’s Day or an all ladies bridal shower, a champagne bar (or mimosa bar) is simple to set up.
See my DIY Champagne Bar Web Story for a quick visual guide to setting this up.
Stock your bar
Since we are talking about champagne, you will definitely need some bubbly on hand. You can choose from the larger bottles to the nifty mini sizes, which are good for 1-2 servings. But don’t forget the other sparkling options out there:
- champagne, from sweet to dry
- sparkling rosé
- sparkling cider (for friends who don’t drink alcohol)
- sparkling water
- club soda
There are lots of options to choose from and I am no expert on the bubbly. So why not offer several different varieties on ice for your friends and family to enjoy?
You can honestly mix in anything you have in stock with your champagne. Here are a few liqueur options that are more commonly used:
- Grand Marnier or Cointreau
- Empress 1908 Gin
- St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- Angostura Bitters
Juices, syrups and shrubs
If you are a fan of mimosas, then you know where I’m going with this list! Fresh fruit juice pairs beautifully with champagne. So go beyond the oj and offer a variety of juices:
- orange juice
- grapefruit juice
- cranberry juice
- pomegranate juice
- peach nectar
- mango juice
- pineapple juice
Choose a dry champagne since you are mixing in liqueurs other ingredients that add some sweetness. You can make a plain simple syrup (1 part water and 1 part sugar) or you can go with flavored syrups.
Add some orange zest and you have a delightful orange simple syrup. You can also use flowers to add aroma and color, like my lilac syrup. Grenadine is basically a pomegranate syrup.
Shrubs are simple syrups with vinegar and have a long history in drink mixing. They were an old-school technique of preserving fruit with sugar and vinegar. What you end up with is a sweet and sour syrup.
Don’t want to make a simple syrup? Serve up sugar cubes, plain or flavored. They add sweetness as well as bubbles to your bubbly.
My favorite part of a champagne cocktail are the garnishes. You can really go crazy here. There are fresh fruit options available for any season, but when you can’t find fresh, you can also use frozen fruit.
- cucumber slices
I like to pair my fruit garnishes with a touch of green. So be sure to add some fresh herbs and/or edible flowers and maybe try a hibiscus champagne cocktail:
- chocolate mint
- rose petals
You can also freeze your juices to make fruity ice cubes and offer these colorful options to flavor and chill your champagne. Some people add frozen fruit sorbet with their glass of bubbly – why not?!
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Of course you will need a variety of flutes and glasses to serve up your champagne dreams. You can go with glass, if you have enough, or plastic if you have a huge crowd.
- champagne flutes and glasses
- long stirring spoons
- cocktail jiggers
- small serving tray
- wine glass markers or wine glass charms so drinks don’t get lost
- decorative straws
- cocktail napkins
- beverage tub or ice bucket to chill
Don’t have a bar? Then setup a champagne appetizer board using a large tray.
Don’t forget the food
With all of this celebrating, it is easy for your guests to get light headed. If you are not serving dinner, be sure to keep small bites on hand. You can offer up something simple like rosemary roasted cashews or serve these delicious sausage stuffed mushrooms.
A charcuterie board would be a wonderful way to serve up a mish mash of eats. Here are some more great finger foods that pair beautifully with your champagne soiree:
- Pomegranate cheese ball
- Gluten free meatballs
- Lobster chips with spicy saffron aoli
- Spent grain crackers
- Pomegranate Baked Brie
- Balsamic portobello sliders
- Fig cocktail cookies
- Rum raisin fudge
- Fudgy brownie cookies
- 1 750 ml bottle of sparkling wine (champagne, prosecco or rosé)
- Liqueurs like Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Chambord, Gin, Brandy, Bitters
- Club soda, seltzer and/or sparkling cider
- Juices like orange, pomegranate, cranberry, peach, mango and pineapple
- Simple syrups, plain or flavored
- Cocktail shrubs
- Sugar cubes
- Fresh fruit like berries, oranges, apples, pomegranate, peaches, cucmbers
- Fresh herbs like mint, basil, rosemary
- Edible flowers like rose petals, hibiscus and chamomile
- Chill the sparkling wine for at least 3 hours before serving. Place in a ice bucket or tub filled with ice.
- Arrange liqueurs, juices, simple syrups, and shrubs on a table.
- Place fresh fruits in small bowls with toothpicks or spoons on your table.
- Set up the fresh herbs and edible flowers on a plate.
- Arrange the champagne flutes and glassware on the table with small tray, for easy serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 920Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 62mgCarbohydrates: 152gFiber: 15gSugar: 126gProtein: 6g
PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback.
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