Dare to Dream

How do you fit the personality of an entire casino-resort into one delicate little glass—a Steve Wynn casino-resort, at that? For starters, keep it simple. Wynn Resorts property mixologist Patricia Richards has a rule: A cocktail that requires more than six ingredients is probably too complicated for its own good. Second, splurge a little; use the freshest, highest quality ingredients possible every step of the way. It pays off in the quality of the composed drink.

Inspired by Le Reve, Wynn Resorts’ signature cocktail The Dream accomplishes both of these missions. “It’s crisp and effervescent, with some bready, yeasty notes from the Champagne, rounded out with floral notes of St-Germain and the subtle sweetness of hibiscus syrup,” Richards says. “It’s elegant and sophisticated, celebratory and playful.”

More than a mere glass of bubbly poured hastily in the fleeting pre-countdown moments, but far less complicated than breaking out the tins and strainers for cocktails, The Dream makes short work out of preparing an entire round of drinks. Your guests will also make short work out of drinking them.

One final rule: Always leave them wanting more.

The Dream

$22, available at most Wynn Resorts bars

Add ½ ounce St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur and 1 barspoon Wild Hibiscus syrup (available at Whole Foods and WildHibiscus.com) to a chilled 6-8-ounce Champagne flute. Top with 5 ounces Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne. Drop in one Wild Hibiscus flower garnish.

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I hate to burst your bubble, Snooty Sommelier Guy, but expensive French Champagne isn’t the only acceptable bubbly with which to ring in the New Year. That “Ooh la la!” factor can really cost you. But you should drink what you like, not what the sommelier wants you to like. So if the traditional stuff just isn’t your bag, I say bag it and move on to something that is, beginning with these alterna-bubbles. • Domaine Chandon Étoile Brut, California