Refreshing spring libations
start with sparkling wine
By Romar Nichols
SPARKLING WINE IS
wonderful to drink on its
own, but it can be even
more enjoyable as the
main ingredient in a variety of cocktails. Sparkling
wine can make these beverages more exciting and
also suitable for a wide variety of occasions.
Since many call for a touch of fruit, and they’re
all particularly refreshing, they are perfect
liquid treats for spring.
The best sparkling wines are those from
the Champagne region of France (only spar-
kling wines from this region can be called
Champagne). This is where names like
Cristal and Dom Perignon originate. For peo-
ple who do not want to splurge on a bottle of
Champagne, there are plenty of affordable
sparkling wines, such as those from California,
Italy (Prosecco) and Spain (Cava).
Whether made from Champagne,
Prosecco, Cava or American bubbly, sparkling-
wine-based cocktails are an appetizing treat
for any party, large or small. And making
them can be very easy. In many cases, all you
need to do is add a splash of fruit juice or fruit
nectar to sparkling wine and it instantly
becomes something fresh and interesting.
For a delightful presentation, drop in
small pieces of fruit or even top the sparkling
wine with a fruit peel or organic rose petals.
There are countless ways to craft sparkling
wine cocktails, including these popular ones
that are sure to be hits. C
Romar Nichols is a buyer in Costco’s wine,
spirits and beer department.
Considered a true classic, the historic Champagne
Cocktail, also known as Chorus Girl’s Milk, can be
traced back to the 1800s, when it was ;rst published
in Jerry Thomas’ The Bon Vivant’s Companion: The
Original Cocktail Guide. The classic version features
a nice balance of bitter and sweet and allows the
sparkling wine to shine, which is why choosing a
high-quality sparkler is important.
1 sugar cube
2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters
3 ounces chilled sparkling wine
Drop the sugar cube into a Champagne glass and
soak it with 2 to 3 dashes of Angostura bitters. After
the sugar has slightly dissolved, ;ll the glass with
wine and top with the lemon twist.
Around the same time the Champagne Cocktail was
invented, a bartender at Brooks’s, a gentlemen’s
club in London, invented this sparkling wine and
stout combo. Said to have been created to mourn
the death of Prince Albert, the drink features a band
of golden wine topped with a band of dark beer—
similar to the colors worn by mourners. The drink
became popular in England, and now Guinness is
pretty much the only stout used to make it.
3 ounces Guinness (or comparable stout)
3 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine
Fill a Champagne ;ute halfway with sparkling wine,
and top with Guinness.
The Bellini was invented in the 1930s at Harry’s Bar
in Venice by Giuseppe Cipriani, who named the drink
after his favorite artist, Giovanni Bellini. Today, this
drink has become as ubiquitous as the mimosa, and
is found on brunch menus everywhere, but it’s often
made way too sweet, using peach syrup instead of
fresh purée, which was never how the drink was
intended to be consumed. If made correctly, this is
a refreshing and dry cocktail that allows the true
;avors of peach to shine through.
2 ounces peach purée (simply peel and slice
a peach and purée in a blender or mash with
a fork—make sure to remove the pit!)
3 ounces sparkling wine
Place the peach purée in the bottom of a Champagne
glass and top with the wine. Stir and serve.
Invented in 1915 at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, a
favorite of Ernest Hemingway, this combination was
said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled
with a powerful French 75 mm ;eld gun. The drink is
a mix of gin, lemon juice, sparkling wine and sugar.
1 ounce gin
½ ounce lemon juice
1 spoonful of powdered sugar
2 ounces chilled sparkling wine
Fill a shaker with ice and add the gin, lemon juice
and powdered sugar. Shake vigorously. When chilled,
strain into a Champagne glass and top with wine.
Add the lemon twist.
Recipes courtesy of mixologist Tommy Sieritis.
You’ll ;nd these sparkling wines at select Costco locations:
FEATURED AT COSTCO
Kirkland Signature™ Brut Champagne,
La Marca Prosecco,
Mumm Brut Prestige,
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad
Cava, Catalunya, Spain