Bubble, Bubble…

Few things in life are pure symbols of celebration like champagne. Crisp, sparkling white wine almost tastes of victory, luxury, and parties. But champagne isn’t just for wedding toasts and mimosas on vacation.

You can easily create your own champagne cocktails; start with your favorite liqueurs and go from there, add fruit or spirits, go wild. Orange juice or peach nectar are just the beginning.  Sparkling wine makes for some pretty exceptional cocktails, and I’m more than thrilled to share a few of my favorite examples. Take the classic French 75 for instance…

French 75

2 oz gin

1 tsp powdered sugar (or 1/2 oz simple syrup if you have it)
1 oz fresh lemon juice
4-5 oz champagne or sparkling white wine

Shake gin, sugar, & lemon juice over ice & strain into a champagne flute or collins glass. Fill your glass the rest of the way with champagne.

Rose Champagne Infinite Bubbles by Gaetan Lee

These bubbles aren't just for weddings and new year's eve.

This is one of my all-time favorite cocktails. Gin and champagne isn’t an intuitive combination, but the flavors compliment each other so well. The punch all that alcohol packs isn’t too shabby either. This cocktail is incredibly crisp and refreshing, the perfect finish to a light meal on a hot summers day. It’s flavorful, but still very light, not at all overwhelming. This is a great drink for anyone who often finds cocktails too sweet for their taste.

Maybe you like more fruity flavors?

Marilyn Monroe

1 oz apple brandy
dash grenadine
4-5 oz champagne or sparkling white wine

Shake apple brandy and grenadine over ice & strain into a champagne flute. Fill your glass the rest of the way with champagne. Garnish with a cherry or raspberry if you like.

Consider this an uber classy answer to the typical fruity “girly” drink. Champagne adds a richer, less sweet flavor than flavor than sodas or fruit juices, and apple brandy is just down right pleasant.  You could also easily use apricot brandy if you prefer.  This cocktail will remind you of hard cider with more of a kick, and more complex flavors.  Why not toast St. Valentine’s Day and your beloved with such a lovely cocktail as this instead of your typical champagne toast?

To continue with the fruity flavors, and just in time for the next holiday…

St. Patrick’s Day

1 oz irish whisky

1 oz Midori melon liqueur
4-5 oz champagne or sparkling wine

Combine whisky and Midori in a champagne flute, top off your glass with chilled champagne and serve.

This, is truly a treat. Midori’s melon liqueur is divine to begin with, as is good Irish whiskey. Mixing them together with champagne is a huge step up from adding green food coloring to mass produced pilsner.  The champagne keeps it from getting too sweet, but the flavor of the Midori and whiskey make a great contrast to the dry bubbles.

Champagne Cocktail by Peter Allen

The best way to get fruit in your diet that I've ever found...

I dare say St. Patrick would be far happier if you raised a glass of this to his name, and so would you.

Champagne cocktails are the perfect answer for any left over cheap champagne you have from the holidays.  Hell, they’re the answer for cheap champagne, period, it’s intended purpose as far as I’m concerned. So what are you waiting for? What’s your reason to celebrate this weekend?  I’m sure you can find one while you’re on the way to the store for some bubbles.


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