The Champagne Cocktail: Updating A Classic

Thursday, December 10, 2009

French champagne. Sparkling wine. Cava. Wherever it comes from and whatever you call it, I love it. And although great on its own, a little bubbly can add something special to an otherwise Been There Done That cocktail. Here are some versions I love, and with the holidays coming up right around the corner, they're a great choice for a main drink for a party or a fun twist to accompany traditional foods.

Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail
1.5 ounce pomegranate juice
1 ounce vodka
champagne, well chilled

Add the pomegranate juice and vodka in a champagne flute (or small wine glass). Top with champagne (or sparkling wine or cava) and serve immediately. Great with appetizers and for holiday cocktail parties.

Caribbean Mimosa
2 ounces tropical fruit juice blend (orange, pineapple, guava, passion fruit, etc.)
champagne, well chilled
fresh pineapple cut into 1 inch cubes

Pour the fruit juice into a champagne flute. Top off with champagne and then gently drop a pineapple cube into the bottom of the glass. Serve. This is really great for a breakfast or brunch cocktail, especially with a seafood omelet or fresh fruit platter and freshly baked croissants.

Bourbon Cooler
1 ounce good bourbon (recommended: Maker's Mark or Knob Creek)
1 ounce freshly squeeze orange juice
1 Tbsp good maple syrup (or simple syrup or sugar cube)
champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
orange peel for garnish

Combine the bourbon, orange juice and maple syrup in a shaker and add ice. Shake vigorously for 1 minute and pour into chilled wine glass. Top with chilled sparkling wine and garnish with orange peel. This is a great cocktail to brighten up dreary winter months when citrus fruits are at their peek of sweetness. Serve for a brunch with french toast casserole and maple bacon.

All the above recipes are for single cocktails. To prepare for 2 or 4 or 6 or more people, simpley multiple the amounts by that number. So for example, to make 4 Bourbon Coolers, combine 4 ounces of bourbon, 4 ounces of orange juice, and 4 tablespoons of maple syrup in a shaker and then individually distribute the mixture into 4 seperate glasses, then top each with the sparkling wine and garnish.

And for non-alcoholic versions, substitute the champagne with sparkking water like Pellegrino or better yet, gingerale!

No comments: