A Bit of Sparkle (of a different sort)

Dear Constant Reader,

I’ve had bubbly on the brain lately. Maybe it’s the upcoming holidays. Today I’d like to share with you some of my favorite sparkling cocktails.

Remember, you don’t need top-shelf bubbly for these, since you’ll be adding mixers. And when I say “bubbly”, I mean sparkling wine, not restricted to Champagne (which is a very specific type, made in the Champagne region of France). There are plenty of very good sparkling wines from all over the world.

The classic sparkling brunch cocktail is, of course, the Mimosa. I’ve been to a number of restaurants where the idea of a Mimosa is a glass of bubbly with a splash of orange juice for color. A proper Mimosa is equal parts of champagne and orange juice. There is also the Buck’s Fizz, which is two parts orange juice to one part bubbly and maybe a touch of grenadine.

I’m very found of the Bellini, which is sadly hard to find made properly. A true Bellini is made with 1 part white peach puree and 2 parts Prosecco. A splash of cherry or raspberry juice is optional, but not unwelcome.

One place where I diverge from tradition is the Kir Royale, traditionally made with 9 parts Champagne and 1 part crème de cassis. I like to substitute crème de violette.

Speaking of floral liqueurs, I adore St. Germain, the elder flower liqueur. I know it’s oh-so-trendy today, but I tried it not long after it first became available and I’ve been smitten ever since. I was introduced to it at The Last Hurrah at The Parker House where they served a French 77 (a play on the French 75 — gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Champagne), made with St. Germain, lemon syrup, and bubbly.

My friend Sarah recommends The Gilded Lily: 1 oz St. Germain, 3 oz prosecco, 2 fresh ripe strawberries, 1 small pinch fresh ground grains of paradise, which I have to agree is fantastic.

More often than not I just have a simple St. Germain cocktail — St. Germain and equal parts of sparkling wine and sparkling water, over ice, with a lemon twist. So light and refreshing, it’s perfect for a post-show tipple.

What’s your favorite sparkler?


Published in: on 6 December 2012 at 11:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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