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Happy New Year? Or Deja Vu year?
The run-up to the New Year is looking awfully familiar. Photo by Andriy Medvediuk
Cheers! North County Columns Food & Wine

Need a boost to midnight? Try a champagne and coffee cocktail

Happy New Year! There is so much hope in that exclamation point, isn’t there? Out with the old, in with the new! 2022 can’t be more Covid-y than 2021…right?  Why am I having déjà vu right now? Did I say something similar exactly one year ago?

Probably, but this time it’s going to be true! I can feel it.

I’m so excited about flipping open my new alumni calendar* that I actually want to stay up until midnight to welcome in the very first moments of what will certainly be the best year of all of our lives.

But how do I do that? I’m perfectly capable of streaming the same episodes of the same sitcoms again or doom-scrolling on my phone until the wee hours, but more often than not, I’m in bed well before the witching hours.

That’s no way to celebrate such an epic change of an era. I’m going to need a spark — a booster, so to speak — to stay in peak awake mode.

Champagne or sparkling wine is the traditional New Year’s holiday’s must. They are essentially the same thing but one is produced with grapes from the Champagne region of France. They are pretty particular about that distinction.

A quick search reveals more than a few bubbly cocktails mixed with that magic elixir, Red Bull, but those are for the young. I’m not looking to shock my heart back into action or speed up my waltzing so I can make it out onto the dance floors at the hippest clubs in the Gaslamp. I just need a little help keeping the ol’ eyes open while the family rewatches “Die Hard” for the third time since Christmas Eve.

Coffee! I think. Shockingly, there are very few champagne recipes that include coffee, but I find a nameless party punch from a 2010 House & Home blog post that looks promising. Strong on coffee and brandy, and light on the champagne with a bit of powdered sugar just for fun. I start trying to divide fractions and carry the two but my brain is quickly scrambled. I’m going to make the full batch. It’s good to have goals.

Ingredients for batch quantity:

  • 4 cups cooled coffee
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 3/4 cup chilled champagne or sparkling wine
  • Garnish (optional): Whipped Cream topped with finely ground espresso beans


  • Step 1: Combine the coffee, sugar, and brandy in a large pitcher and chill.
  • Step 2: Pour the champagne into a punch bowl and add the chilled coffee mixture.
  • Step 3: Mix gently.

I think that should do it. Luckily, I already have all the ingredients in-house. The pandemic has been very, very kind to our liquor cabinet. As long as I have a mug or two of fine, locally-roasted coffee while I mix it all up, I should definitely be able to make it past the dropping of the ball and Auld Lang Syne to welcome in 2022. Definitely. Probably.

I think that is what I’ll name it. The “Probably Better” cocktail. “Cheers!” to 2021 and to you. Out with the old. In with the new.

*I’m always shocked when I receive the University calendar in the mail. Glossy photographs of my former college campus along with the request for a donation. No mention of the tens of thousands of dollars I’ve already given them nor the interest sent to the student loan elves! How do they find me? I’ve moved twenty times since escaping. They really should open an investigative wing or at the very least have the alumni department featured on a reality show that follows them as they track down former students.

Stream the newest episodes of the Roast! West Coast coffee podcast on the Coast News Podcast page, and be sure to follow Cheers! North County on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Got an interesting story about your drinking adventures? Reach out! I want to hear it.

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