Bubbles, Sparkles and a Gala of Garnishes For New Years Mocktail and Cocktails

Happy New Year!

Whatever your mocktail or cocktail pleasure, dressing up your beverage is a festive MUST for your New Year celebration.   Simple, easy additions of bubbles, sparkles and garnishes will add dazzle to any beverage.

Try out your razzle-dazzle skills with one of these New Year libations from my friends at the December 14th Philadelphia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics happy hour.

(Thank you, Becky Brossman, RD, LDN, CNSC for coordinating the event and holiday drink contest!  I had so much fun laughing and hanging out with Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Nutrition and Dietetic Technician Registered and future dietitian friends.  You are all so amazing!  Want to attend the next Philly AND happy hour?  Save the dates for Wednesday, February 9th and Thursday, April 28th at 7:00 pm.  Can’t wait to see you there!


Making drinks with spirited and non-spirited carbonated beverages like seltzer, sparkling water, beer, sparkling wine and champagne makes any drink festive.

The effect is to see the bubbles rising to the surface through the glassware and create an effervescing froth to tickle your nose.  The tiny bubbles escaping the beverage surface help carry aromas to your nose adding to the pleasure.  To enliven any libation, add a splash of bubbles and vigorously stir or shake.

White wine, pomegranate juice, and your choice of champagne, club soda or sparkling water make this Holiday White Wine Spritzer special.  Based on the The Rosemarie, non-alcohol white wine or white grape juice make flavorful mocktail substitutions.

Holiday White Wine Spritzer

By Judy Matusky

  • 4 oz. dry white wine (unless sweet is preferred), chilled
  • Splash of POM wonderful pomegranate juice
  • 1 oz. of champagne OR club soda OR sparkling water
  • 1 sprig of rosemary for garnish
  • Few pomegranate arils for garnish


Sugar rimmed glasses adds a sweet sparkle.  Use white or colored sugars of red, green, orange, yellow or blue.  Flavor with spices like ground cinnamon, ginger, cardamon or chili.

First, put enough sugar in a saucer to coat the rim. Next, dampen the rim of the glass using a piece of fruit or a moist clean paper towel.  Then dab the moistened rim into sugar. Like the look but not the calories?  Just rim half the glass.

Rimmed with cinnamon sparkles, my Apple Pie Moscow Mule Ala Mode alas didn’t win the recipe contest.  Perfect for dessert, I made mine vodka-free, which is equally delicious!


Garnishes are the nibble to any beverage.  From whimsical to sophisticated, your garnish completes the drink.

Bobble several cranberries as in Aubrey Redd, MS, RDN, LDNs winning libation– Wintry White Cosmo.  Drop in a black berries, raspberry, or cumquat in a champagne flute.  Top frothed milk with several blueberries, dried currants or dark chocolate shavings.  Float leaves of rosemary, mint, or thyme.

Dust the top of the drink with a sprinkle of nutmeg, celery seed or cardamon.  Hang rounds of lemons, wedges of limes, sprigs of rosemary or mint, scallion curls or spirals of citrus rind.  Trim celery, a scallion, and sticks of jicama, pepper or carrot for edible stirrers.  Skewer a row of blueberries, cubed pineapple and bell pepper, gherkins and cherry tomatoes, or a jalapeno round and a cocktail shrimp.

Wintry White Cosmo

(makes 2 drinks)


  • 3oz citrus vodka
  • 1 oz St. Germain
  • 2oz white cranberry juice
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 cup ice for shaking
  • Fresh cranberries for garnish

Mix citrus vodka, St. Germain, cranberry juice, lemon and ice in a drink shaker. Shake thoroughly until mixed and chilled.

Drain ice from the drink and serve in a martini glass with fresh cranberries for garnish.


For a mocktail use citrus flavored seltzer in place of the vodka and peach, pear or mango juice in place of the St. Germain.

Apple Pie Moscow Mule Ala Mode

In the bottom of a tall glass, mix together 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.   Pour the mixture into a pile on a small dessert plate.  Dampen the rim of a tall glass with a damp paper towel.  Holding the glass upside down, press the rim into the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Rotate the glass to press a fresh edge of the glass into the mixture until the entire rim is coated.  (Use left over cinnamon sugar mixture for cinnamon toast or adding to morning coffee, homemade hot cocoa, or spindling over scraps of pie dough before baking.)

Pack the glass with ice.

Pour over the ice:

  • apple cider until the glass is just over half full.
  • cinnamon vodka.
  • ginger beer to the rim of the glass.

Give the mixture a vigorous stir.

Garnish with a cinnamon stick, apple slices and a dollop of vanilla ice cream.