A Raleigh bartender offers a favorite recipe for the night of, and morning after, New Year's Eve | Food Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

A Raleigh bartender offers a favorite recipe for the night of, and morning after, New Year's Eve 

Matthew Bettinger stops just short of calling New Year's Eve a fabricated Hallmark holiday.

But the longtime Raleigh bartender and general manager at Raleigh jazz club and watering hole C. Grace insists that the year-end celebration is less about one central theme or idea than an overall festive atmosphere that's easy to brand and buy.

"It's a Champagne-and-marketing holiday," Bettinger says. "And your focal point isn't any one thing. It's not about what's in your glass, but what you're drinking is one of the most important side roles."

And so Bettinger prefers to keep it simple for New Year's Eve with a Champagne cocktail that looks good and offers a little bit of big-meal digestive help but requires little preparation. That theme—and many of the ingredients—carry over into Bettinger's potent post-party choice for New Year's Day, an undiluted variation on the French Twist.

"The effervescence gives it a celebratory feel, and the additional bitters add complexity," Bettinger says of the year-end cocktail. "Everything bubbly with a little garnish on top? That makes for a pretty good time."


click to enlarge PHOTO BY JEREMY M. LANGE
  • Photo by Jeremy M. Lange

On New Year's Eve, Champagne rules the night. Few things can beat the combination of evening attire, close friends and a few bottles of bubbly. You don't want something so expensive that you'd feel bad about opening many bottles—or, possibly, even imbibing from them directly.

But I also find that a classic Champagne cocktail satisfies the sparkling requirement and offers both the complexity of a cocktail and the benefit of aided digestion.

NEW YEAR'S EVE: CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL

1 barspoon (teaspoon) of simple syrup

2 dashes of Angostura bitters

1 glass of Champagne (A dry prosecco or cava will also work, but I recommend splurging for Champagne on New Year's Eve. The bone-dry bubbles and strong minerality are a real treat.)

Combine simple syrup and bitters in a Champagne flute.

Top with Champagne.

Garnish with a long lemon twist, expressed over the cocktail.


click to enlarge 151222_c_grace_033.jpg

For the morning after, a bit of hair of the dog is the best bet. Who works on January 1, anyway? For these purposes, I enjoy a tweak on a Savoy French 75.

We usually see this cocktail shaken with ice and served in a flute. But for the morning after, I like to skip the ice in the shaker, as there's no need for extra dilution in the quest for the cure for what ails me. The cracked ice ensures a cold beverage—soothing to the palate and, hopefully, refreshing enough to get the day started.

NEW YEAR'S DAY: SAVOY FRENCH 75

1.5 ounces of dry gin

.75 ounces of lemon juice

.75 ounces of simple syrup

Combine ingredients in shaker.

Shake without ice.

Pour into Collins glass, filled halfway with cracked ice.

Top with Champagne.

Garnish with an expressed lemon twist.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Drink it simple"

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Food Feature



Twitter Activity

Comments

We are a Greek family from Dallas who know good Greek food when we see it and are accustomed to …

by Taso on Kipos Greek Taverna (Orange County)

Don't waste your $$ here. Horrible service, mediocre food. From what we heard - kitchen turnover is the issue due …

by Ibaguru on Piedmont Restaurant (Durham County)

Most Recent Comments

Great food and service. Very impressive and comfortable atmosphere. For a restaurant thats been open for about 40 days, Zwelis …

by Ernest H. Johnson on Zweli's Piri Piri Kitchen Brings Zimbabwean Flavor and Local Soul to a Durham Strip Mall Dominated by Chains (Food Feature)

It's an amazing concept! I love it - it's so encompassing and includes everybody - the blessed and the blessers! …

by Laurel Archer on Food Triangle: At A Place at the Table, Raleigh’s Only Pay-What-You-Want Cafe, Maggie Kane Wants to Do More Than Feed the Hungry (Food Feature)

I loved the 100 Local column! So many dishes we have never heard of from places we have never been …

by S Finch on Eat Your Way From A to Z With 100 Local Dishes You Can Have Right Now (Food Feature)

It used to be "you need an education to make it anywhere." Now it's "do I really need tens of …

by Aiden on Food Trucks Are So 2016. The Now Thing in Mobile Food is on Instagram, and Its Name Is the Dankery. (Food Feature)

Not sure that the coarse language adds in any way to the story of this person and all his 'dope …

by RandyNC on Food Trucks Are So 2016. The Now Thing in Mobile Food is on Instagram, and Its Name Is the Dankery. (Food Feature)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation