Sparkling wine is one of the most versatile beverages in existence. It’s great for celebrating , for mixing into cocktails and especially for that first date when you’re hoping to both get tipsy and make some mistakes. Remember, sparkling wine is a cure-all for inhibitions; after a glass each, “Well Jenny, we may as well finish off the bottle or if not it will go flat.” You can’t get away with saying that about anything else (red wine, beer keg, bottle of vodka – trust me, I’ve tried) but try that line with a bottle of delicious Prosecco and before you can say abra-cadabra they’re chugging from the bottle.
Most people know of the ‘Mimosa’ and a few have learned of the ‘Bellini’ but overall, sparkling cocktails are untapped by most. Since you can mix pretty much ANYTHING with sparkling wine, the opportunities are endless; just replace the juice and you have a new cocktail.
Recently, a family member called me complaining that every time her friends met on the weekends for brunch, they all had Mimosas. Since she had a lifeline ‘in the know’, she called me up and asked for a new recipe. Quick tip on sparkling wines– generally Cava (from Spain) tends to be dry, Prosecco (from Italy) tends to be sweet and US sparkling is somewhere in the middle. I would recommend Chateau St. Michelle sparkling or a Prosecco but if you use something dry then be ready to add simple syrup (sugary water) or more sweet fruit.
Here’s the basics and then a twist or two – as always remember, the more fresh the ingredients the more delicious it will be. Fresh juice is truly underrated. Also remember, 1 tablespoon is 1/2 oz and 1 and a half teaspoons is 1/4 oz.
Mimosa – typically half sparkling wine and half fresh squeezed OJ. I prefer 70% sparkling topped with 30% orange juice – then again, I love booze.
Champagne cocktail– One cube of sugar, 2 dashes Angostura bitters topped with sparkling wine.
Bellini– typically 1 part white peach puree and 2 parts sparkling wine. The modern recipe by ‘Art of the drink’ – 2 oz peach puree, 1/4 oz peach schnapps, 1/4 oz lemon juice, top with sparkling wine.
Two fun variations for your weekend brunch event – Bobby Flay’s Grand Champagne and Freixenet’s Raspberry Delight:
Grand Champagne (serves 4) by Bobby Flay
4 shots of orange liqueur (Grand Marnier or sub Cointreau)
4 teaspoons of honey
4 fresh strawberries sliced thin
1 bottle of champagne
Mix orange liqueur, honey and strawberries in a pitcher well. (Flay recommends blending in a food processor but I prefer to not have a puree) Fill glass with half of mixture and top with sparkling wine. Salud!
1 cup of raspberries
1 pint of raspberry sorbet
1 liter of sparkling water or club soda
2 bottles of dry Cava (Freixenet or Seguras Viudas)
Mix sorbet and sparkling water or club soda in a bowl until it has dissolved. Add sparkling wine and fresh raspberries. Add ice if needed. Drink!
Thanks for reading. I love booze. I hope you love booze too!