There are a few days in the year that I consider to be absolutely sacred when it comes to being allowed to indulge and one of those is definitely New Year’s Eve, if only because most calories consumed on this day are of the champagne nature. I love my wine no matter what, and the bubbly kind is no exception. Unfortunately, champagne isn’t always affordable - until this time of year!!! Several varieties are on sale at most stores right now and because I’ll be spending New Year’s Eve with a few of my girlfriends, I decided to pick up a couple of bottles that we could all enjoy. The sale at my local Smart & Final allowed me to get a ridiculous deal on some André champagne (2 for $5!!!) and was also pleased to note they had excellent sales for other spirits. I had already received a bottle of Smirnoff for Christmas and I was playing around with fruit & vodka infusions, so I didn't have to spend extra money on other stuff, and I thought it would be fun make a nice AFFORDABLE champagne martini for the last recipe of 2009.
I was trying really hard to post this last night but I had internet issues yet again, so I apologize to those of you who are on the East coast and have already started your parties, as you'll need a few more hours to make the strawberry-infused vodka for this drink. You're more than welcome to use one of the many flavored vodkas out there, though! I know a couple brands have strawberry and other berry flavored spirits and champagne martinis are always fun no matter what you use in them. If you do have some time and the ingredients, give this a try! It's very easy to do your own fruit infusions with all sorts of spirits and I find they taste better anyway. If you only have a Brut champagne or Prosecco, no worries! The strawberry vodka will still give this a lovely pink color. Lastly, I used frozen strawberries for my recipe because that's all I had on hand, but if you've somehow found decent fresh strawberries out there, you can use those as well. This is a light & sweet cocktail that is perfect for those who aren't really into traditional martinis.
Hope you all have a fabulous and safe New Year's Eve and I'll see you in 2010!!!!!!!!
Pink Bubbly Martini (Makes about 6 martinis per bottle of champagne; total cost per 'tini: ~$1.75!)
1/2 c frozen strawberries
1/3 750ml bottle medium grade vodka
1 bottle well-chilled pink champagne
Extra strawberries for garnish
Prepare the berry infused vodka by combining the strawberries & vodka in an airtight container and placing it away from direct light for about 2-4 hours. When ready to serve, carefully strain the vodka into a separate container and discard the berries. To serve, place a couple of strawberries at the bottom of each glass and add a 1 1/2 oz. of the vodka. Top off with the pink champagne and enjoy!!!