Be it Christmas, New Years, birthdays or birthing, nothing says “special occasion” quite like the resounding pop of a bottle of bubbly being opened, that first-pour froth and those magical, glistening bubbles.
What a taste! From the lowly Cava to glamorous Grand Cru champagne, sparkling wines excite the taste buds with flavours of pear, apple, citrus and berries.
Bubbly on its own is festive and fun, but champagne cocktails elevate the glass-clinking experience. Adding fruit and liqueurs takes a good old glass of bubbly to a whole new level.
Champagne cocktails can be as simple or as complicated as you want.
The elegant Kir Royal is a prime example. Pour a 1/2 ounce of Crème De Cassis in the bottom of a gleaming champagne flute and top it with sparkling wine. The black current in the Cassis blends perfectly with the flavours in the bubbly. It is a match made in heaven.
Another easy champagne cocktail is the St Germain. It is made the same way as a Kir Royal, only using St Germain, an elderflower liqueur from France that’s as close to the nectar of the gods as you’ll find on this Earth. Take a sip and savour the bubbly infused with St. Germain’s peach, lychee, grapefruit and passion fruit blend.
Fresh fruit goes exceptionally well with sparkling wine. Here is a classic recipe for a Grand Champagne Cocktail:
6 hulled strawberries pureed with 2 oz Grand Marnier
One bottle of dry prosecco
Pour the puree into the bottom of four flute glasses, top with the prosecco and garnish with a strawberry.
In bygone times the French Seventy Five was considered the best of all champagne cocktails.
Here is how to make it:
2 oz gin
1 oz Triple Sec
4 oz lemonade
1 bottle sparkling wine
Blend all the ingredients with a little ice and divide it between four flute glasses. Top up the glasses with any left-over sparkling wine and garnish with a slice of lemon.