New Year’s Eve cocktail menu
The three pillars of the Danish new year
In Denmark there are few occasions during the year that gather as many people in front of the TV as our queen’s annual new year’s speech, transmitted live from the royal residence every New Years Eve at 6 PM. Similarly, New Years Eve is also one of the few occasions where all danes enjoy the same drink and snack: champagne and the traditional marzipan cake.
Putting together a cocktail menu for our new year’s party we knew we had to incorporate these pillars of the Danish new year.
For toasting to the queen’s speech only champagne will do. We suggest the “Queen’s Peach” champagne cocktail, which wonderfully combines the softness of the peach liqueur and the mild tartness of raspberry, both adding layers to the timeless experience of a true champagne. This mix is inspired by the classical dessert “peach melba” invented in 1892 by the French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London, to honor the Australian soprano queen Nellie Melba. Likewise this champagne cocktail honors the Danish Queen Margrethe II. Long live the queen and God keep the country!
2 cl Merlet Creme de Peche de Vigne (peach liqueur)
2 cl Raspberry juice (we use Danish raspberry juice from Bornholms Mosteri, but any good raspberry essence that’s not too sweet will do)
1 cl vodka
Stir the peach liqueur, raspberry juice and vodka with ice and strain into a cocktail or champagne glass. Top with champagne and garnish with two raspberries on a skewer.
To clean the palate between meals we rely on a bitter, dry, and tasty classic that never fails – the Negroni. It is commonly used as an aperitif, but with a multi-course dinner it will serve well between meals to reawaken your appetite. To give it a local touch we make it with the Danish gin Geranium, made by Henrik Hammer, which adds citrus notes and a floral profile to the drink. A Negroni will make any evening better
3 cl Geranium gin
3 cl Campari
3 cl sweet vermouth
Stir all ingredients with ice in a low ball glass and garnish with an orange peel twist.
An important note: Remember the orange peel twist. Garnishing a negroni with lemon is, as Simon Difford puts it, “a heinous crime that will be punished most horrifically!”
Mexican New Year’s Resolution
To go with the marzipan cake we suggest the “Mexican New Year’s Resolution” – a sour style cocktail combining Mexican tequila and Italian amaretto with the new exquisite Mexican coffee liqueur from our local Copenhagen Distillery. The coffee mixes extraordinarily well with tequila and serves as a flavor bridge to the amaretto which truly compliments the marzipan cake on several levels – an alternative worth considering to the champagne that is commonly had with it. Contrary to Danish tradition, chefs and and wine connoisseurs advise against the champagne-marzipan pairing as the flavors simply don’t harmonize. With the Mexican New Year’s Resolution you have a worthy match for the classic cake, and you can pay proper attention to the champagne when enjoying it on its own as the clock strikes twelve.
3 cl Tequila
3 cl Mexican coffee liqueur from Copenhagen Distillery
2 cl Dissaronno Originale amaretto liqueur
3 cl lime juice
2 cl egg white
Dry shake all ingredients add ice and shake hard. Serve over ice in a cognac or low ball glass.
Garnish with 2-3 crushed coffee beans which adds an impactful aroma to the drink.
Happy new year!
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Mexican Coffee Liqueur
The new coffee liqueur from Copenhagen Distillery which will be available in January is a succesful result of a four clover collaboration. Bo Blindkilde, friend of Master Distiller at Copenhagen Distillery Henrik Brinks, owns a coffee plantagen in Mexico (www.cafepuravida.com). Bo and Henrik merged Bo’s coffee beans with one of bartender Sune Urth’s coffee liqueur prototypes and adjusted the recipe to compliment Bo’s Beans. Kontra Kaffe who sells Bo’s coffee beans in Denmark offered to supply a professional coffee brewing apparatus for the course and to roast Bo’s beans in accordance with the specific demands for the liqueur.
The coffee beans are roasted in two different ways, a very light roast to preserve the light and fruity notes and a medium dark roast to bring out the bitter qualities of the coffee. The amount of sugar used is kept to an absolute minimum. Instead the four clover team of Bo, Henrik, Sune and Kontra Kaffe has added organic lemon peel and green anise to perfect the balance of taste and aroma in the liqueur.
Historically the Geranium plant (in Danish also called Storkenæb), like juniper, has been used for medicine and health food through centuries. Often in combination with other ingredients typically known from the production of gin, such as coriander, lemon and angelica.
The first analyzes of the geranium plant made by Henrik Hammer and his dad who was a chemist showed that the leafs of the plant contain etheric oils that are contained in fruits, vegetables and spices often used in the production of gin. Thus theoretically geranium should work well in gin. It required however careful chemical experiments to find the right kind of geranium and the exact way to extract the etheric oils from the plant to make it possible to incorporate in the destillation process.
The Queens Peach and Mexican New Year’s Resolution are occasional drinks made for Cocktails of Copenhagen by Martin Millard Nielsen, Alexander Banck Petersen and Thomas Klem Andersen.