Happy New Year, everyone! What are your plans for the evening? My days of getting all dolled up and going out to a party or bar for the night are long gone, but I have to say, I still enjoy the idea of sipping on a nice cocktail to celebrate and welcome the new year.

As I mentioned, 2016 has been a year of much personal joy. We fully settled into our home in Brussels, Henry turned one and is thriving, I earned my master’s degree and returned to work, we had many wonderful opportunities to travel and see family and friends, and I embarked on this still fledging blog journey, through which I have already learned so much.

All the same, there have also been some very distressing events, and I am very future-oriented by nature, so I’m more than excited to turn the page into 2017. I already have the new calendar up on the wall, I have spent some time this week reflecting on hopes and priorities for the year, and while I don’t have “resolutions,” per se, I always embrace any opportunity that feels like a fresh slate.

Earlier this week, I thought it might be fun to try a cocktail that is classic yet new to me. We buzzed out to a very lovely wine shop down the street that happens to have a wonderful selection of liqueurs, and picked up some creme de cassis. Kir royales, here we come!

Creme de cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur, is the traditional base for kir royales. (If you want to know more about the history of the drink, I found this article interesting. It also made me want to visit Burgundy – as if I need more reasons to do so!)

These are so easy that they hardly even count as a recipe. First, pour a scant 2 tbsp. of creme de cassis into a champagne flute or other tall glass. (Adjust this to taste – I used 2 1/2 tbsp. in the drinks pictured here, and found them slightly too sweet, which is really saying something for a mega sugar hound like me.) Top off with chilled champagne. Blackberries and/or raspberries make lovely garnishes, and I imagine a little lime zest or peel would work well, too. Drink. Repeat!

Before I sign off and get busy cooking, you know, actual food (what, you mean we can’t just have cocktails on New Year’s!? Like I said, for better or worse, those days are loooong gone..), I want to thank anyone who is still reading for being a part of this blog adventure. I still have so, so, so very much to learn about all aspects of this genre, and the food blogging world is so crowded that most days I feel as though I have nothing to add, but I enjoy it all the same, and can only hope that it’s of use or at least entertainment value to a handful of readers out there – or will be one day! So, if you’re reading this, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, and happy new year!