What you’re drinking: Champagne, of course, that most aspirational of drinks, and thus the perfect accompaniment to New Year’s Eve, when we ritually dismiss the disappointments of the past year (or celebrate its successes, if that’s how you roll) and make fruitless plans to do better—to be better, dammit!—in the year ahead.

How you’re drinking it: Fruitily, in a bellini. Or brunchily, in a mimosa. Or with vodka in a fizz. Or with absinthe and bitters in an Ingrid Bergman. Or with cranberry sauce in a sparkle. The internet is full of champagne cocktail recipes, at least one of which will surely suit your taste for the length of an evening, which is really all you need. No actual person ever drinks champagne any other time of the year. It’s like the alcoholic equivalent of a turducken. The only real rule is that you should really drink it from a flute. Plastic flutes are fine. Aspiration is transient, permanence an illusion, and you’ll make less of a mess when you fling your empty plastic flute into the fireplace.

champagne toast

Which champagne are you drinking? Hardly matters unless you’re trying to impress someone. If you’re trying to impress someone, ask them.

Where you’re drinking it: In good company and warm repose, we hope, ideally in a venue containing a fireplace. Please don’t drink champagne alone or outdoors in the cold. We honestly just can’t bear the thought of it.

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