Easy Champagne Cocktail adds flair to your NYE toast

Blacksmith Champagne Cocktail

Ingredients:
2 oz Ballatore Gran Spumante sparkling wine
3/4 oz Fleur elderflower liqueur
2 oz Club soda
Lemon spiral
3 cranberries

Soak the cranberries in water for about 24 hrs before serving ( they won't float of top of the cocktail). Using a channel knife, make a lemon spiral approximately 4-6 inches.
Add all liquid ingredients into a champagne flute starting with the elderflower liqueur.
Place the lemon spiral in the glass vertically, and drop in the cranberries. Serve

Russell McAbee is native to Topeka and got his start in the cocktail industry when he and his wife, Brenda, opened Mac's Bar in 2004 in Silver Lake.

Before craft cocktails were the trend, he was designing cocktails, shots and punches for the patrons of Mac’s Bar.

After selling Mac's Bar in 2009, Russell continued his training in mixology learning from top mixologists from around the world and received his Barsmarts accreditation.

In 2013 Russell's cocktail the “La Puebla” was selected by Cooking Channel's mixologist Daryl Robinson (Drink Up) to win the national Cinco De Mayo contest.

He was the property mixologist for the Top of the Tower in 2014 & 2015 and guest bartends at several local establishments and special events.

In 2016 Brenda and Russell opened Blacksmith Hall in Silver Lake, Kansas, a venue for events, with a Cocktail Bar. Behind this unique bar, Russell along with Brenda, Brittany Dome and Megan Richards, create craft cocktails, classics and many of Russell's original creations. He has also created the house made Cream De Cacao and Blue Curacao along with many flavored syrups and juices. If you would like to try some of Russell's creations, Blacksmith Hall often hosts events open to the public. You can also book your private party, group class or tasting.

In recent years, he has taught bartending and mixology in Mexico and the Topeka area, and along with the cocktail segments on WIBW, and plans to give seminars at Moburts Spices starting in January 2017.

He is constantly creating new cocktails, punches, his famous alcohol based ice creams, and is always searching the world for new Purées, Spirits, Spices and other ingredients for his creations. Russell avoids the mainstream cocktail trends, and creates drinks with seasonal and local produce as much as possible.

To see what's going on in Russell's world, “like” their Facebook pages Blacksmith Hall and Cocktails by Mac.