Celebrate the end of the year ( and decade!) with my New Year’s Golden Tiki Cocktail. Or as I also call it a : gold rum lychee champagne cocktail.
I was trying to decide if I wanted my last recipe of the year to be a cocktail or a cake. Something glitzy and glamorous and over the top. Something to end 2019 in style. And with a Hawaiian touch to it. Of course.
I baked a ton of cookies this month with four new recipes on my blog, and 6 more I am saving for next December. Couldn’t get them all blogged this month. I decided to go with a champagne cocktail instead of another baked item, give my oven a break. For at least a week.
There are a lot of good luck foods for New years, beans, peas, noodles, pork, fish, grapes etc etc. I searched for a few lists of lucky fruits for the new years and both lychee and pineapple made the list. Lychee because they are a round fruit ( similar to grapes) and supposedly resemble coins and will bring prosperity into the new year. I don’t know if this really works, but it’s worth a shot. Can’t find lychees or lychee juice? Feel free to substitute grapes and white grape juice.
I love a fun champagne cocktail and I think the flavor combinations for these fizzy libations are endless. I have done so many variations over the years from using just a fruit juice and champagne ( or prosecco), to using other liquors (rum, vodka), to adding in sorbets or jams. Its is even fun to make a champagne cocktail out of a classic cocktail such as an Old Fashioned. The possibilities really are endless.
For a casual brunch I am all for the juice and bubbly combo, for a celebration or New Year’s Eve I go big with my cocktail creation. This one here combines Koloa Kaua’i Gold rum with an orange liqueur, pineapple and lychee juices, cinnamon simple syrup, tiki bitters and topped with prosecco. The base ingredients of this tiki cocktail can easily be prepped ahead of time for multiple drinks for a party. Keep chilled until ready to add to glasses and top with bubbly.
I made this cocktail a few ways since I know some of the ingredients might be a little harder to source so close to the holiday. A few notes about the recipe:
- Lychee juice – I use Ceres brand. I have found it in several stores in my city ( Sprouts, World Market, International grocery stores) as well as Amazon. Amazon has several brands. If you can’t find Lychee juice you can use the syrup from the can of lychees
- Lychees in Syrup. I use Arroy-D brand. Available in any well stocked market Asian section, international grocery or Amazon. If you can’t find lychee juice sub the syrup from the container. The drink will be a little on the sweeter side with using the syrup instead of the juice.
- Tiki bitters. I am a huge fan of bitters in cocktails and Bittermen’s Tiki bitters is one of my fave. You can find it at any well stocked liquor store ( Total Wine here in Vegas) or Amazon. If you can’t find them you can substitute aromatic or citrus bitters. I tried the cocktail with all three and all three work well.
- Cinnamon syrup. I make my own homemade cinnamon simple syrup. Recipe and directions are in the recipe notes. You can use a store bought kind if you like. Cinnamon syrup is a staple in many tiki cocktails. The hint of spice works really well with these drinks.
- Items needed: Coupe champagne glasses, cocktail shaker tin
For the cocktails
- 3 oz Koloa Gold Rum
- .5 oz Orange liqueur ( Cointreau, grand marnier, patron citronage)
- 1 oz Lychee juice
- .5 pineapple juice
- 2 tsp cinnamon syrup
- few dashes tiki bitters
- Prosecco or brut champagne
- Gold sugar for rimming glasses
- canned lychees in syrup
- bamboo skewers
Pour a little simple syrup onto a small plate, gold sprinkle sugar onto another. Dip the rim of your glasses into the syrup, let excess drip off, then dip into the sugar. Let sit for a few minutes to dry before adding the cocktail to the glasses.
In a cocktail shaker tin filled with ice add the rum, orange liqueur, lychee juice, pineapple juice, cinnamon syrup and bitters. Shake well and pour into prepared glass. Top with prosecco and a lychee on a skewer. Serve immediately.
To make the cinnamon simple syrup combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water and 4 whole cinnamon sticks in a small sauce pan. Heat on medium and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat. Let steep for one hour. Transfer to a bottle or jar with an airtight lid keeping one of the cinnamon sticks in the syrup. Chill completely before using. About 2 hours. You can make this ahead of time before making the cocktails Will keep up to 3 months in the refrigerator.
If you can’t find lychee juice you can use the syrup in place of the juice. It will be a bit sweeter so keep that in mind. You can always swap out the pineapple juice for lemon juice to keep it not as sweet.
Bittermens Tiki bitters can be found at any well stocked liquor store ( or amazon). If you can’t find it you can use aromatic or citrus bitters. I have tried all three with this cocktail and all three work great.
You can make this as a larger batch of cocktails ahead of time for a party. Just up the amount of the cocktail ingredients to desired number of drinks you plan on making ( all ingredients except prosecco or champagne) and keep well mixed and chilled. Mix right before adding to glasses then topping with champagne.
Cheers and have a safe and happy new years!