Festive Cocktails – 4 Ways with Champagne and Sparkling Wine
As the warmer weather starts to take hold, we’re turning our minds to celebratory cocktails – namely, those made with Champagne, prosecco and sparkling wine.
During the Spring Carnival and the approaching festive season, we’ll be helping to host countless parties for our clients, and over the years we’ve come to know that there are few better ways to encourage guests to properly enjoy themselves than with a beautifully-made cocktail on arrival.
Cocktails built around sparkling wine make perfect sense at this time of the year; from the timeless bitters-infused Champagne Cocktail and the brunch-perfect Mimosa to the ever-popular Aperol Spritz, bubbly cocktails have a knack for bringing a touch of glamour and fun to a gathering.
According to John Wilson, consulting creative director at Peter Rowland, cocktails are also a great way for the host to bring a hint of their own personality to an event: “A cocktail is your opening statement; it’s a chance to make a real impression on your guests when they first arrive at your party,” he explains.
John says that Champagne and sparkling wine-based cocktails work well for festive season events because they embody the festive spirit better than anything else. “Like a beautiful glass of Champagne, a cocktail has a wonderful way of saying ‘life’s pretty good,’” John says, “A great cocktail allows you to mark a moment in a way that a glass of red or white wine can’t.”
Irrespective of whether you choose French Champagne, Italian prosecco, Spanish cava or Australian sparkling wine, John says that cocktails work best when your choice of bubbles is on the dry side. “You really want to get that contrast of flavours, otherwise you’re competing sweet against sweet.” He recommends keeping your vintage French Champagne in the fridge or cellar (“It would be a waste to use vintage Champagne in a cocktail”) and instead opt for a non-vintage brut style. To herald the beginning of the festive season, we’re shining a spotlight on four of our favourite sparkling cocktails.
The Classic – Champagne Cocktail
Angostura bitters, Grand Marnier, Champagne, sugar cube, maraschino cherry.
Dating back to the mid-1800s, the ever-sophisticated Champagne Cocktail was a huge hit in the 1970s and still embodies a sense of the era’s glamour. Traditionally served in a stemmed champagne flute (with the bitters-soaked sugar cube at the bottom), we’ve updated the classic with stemless glassware for a fresh new look.
The Citrus Refresher – Yuzu Spritz
Yuzu sake, prosecco, caster sugar, lime zest, lemon zest.
The wonderfully aromatic Japanese yuzu fruit has a real knack for seamlessly weaving its way through Japanese cuisine (food and beverages; sweet and savoury) and the this citrussy take on the spritz suits the adventurous Australian palate. Uplifting and refreshing, it’s a fun and fresh way to welcome guests.
The Fruity Floral – Watermelon and Rose Fizz
Watermelon juice, rose syrup, Champagne or sparkling wine.
If there is one fruit that truly embodies summertime it must be the watermelon. Melons of all types are starting to appear in markets at this time of year, and this gorgeous, rosy-hued cocktail is like sunshine in a glass. Approachable, visually arresting and full of heady aromatic notes, it’s a beautiful balance of sweetness and light.
The Berry Kiss – Champagne and Framboise
Framboise liqueur, Champagne or sparkling wine, raspberry sorbet.
For those who happily welcome a little extra sweetness, this raspberry liqueur-infused number is like a gentle soft pink kiss. Served in a classic coupe-style champagne glass and finished with a delicate orb of refreshing raspberry sorbet, it’s pure pink perfection – and a wonderful way to get the conversation flowing at your next celebration.
Keen to learn more about our beverage packages for your next event? Get in touch here.