Posted on | January 21, 2016
Written by | Sara Kay
Sparkling wine has a reputation for being occasional, yet its presence in cocktails is anything but. Mimosas and Bellinis flow year-round as brunch staples, and the French 75 (gin, Champagne, lemon juice, sugar) can be found on most classic cocktail menus.
Bridget Maloney, General Manager at The Sexton in Seattle, nearly always has a sparkling cocktail on her menu and recommends paying attention to balance: “The bubbles you choose are just as important an ingredient as the rest. Some will be sweeter and will throw off the balance, while others will be drier.”
Maloney’s rotating menu includes last summer’s Royal Afternoon (Big Gin, raspberry liqueur, lemon juice, lavender bitters, Mionetto Prosecco; $12) and, on New Year’s Eve: A Kiss at Midnight (Woodford Reserve, Letterpress Limoncello, lemon juice, simple syrup, Angostura bitters, Prosecco; $10).
Visual appeal is especially important. Jaren Singh, Brand Ambassador for Nolet’s Gin, suggests using a proper flute whenever possible to preserve the quality of the bubbles. “Handle sparkling wine gently,” he adds. “If the cocktail is built in a glass, add all contents first, then top slowly with the sparkling wine. No need to stir, just garnish and serve.”
Price is another important aspect to consider: Champagne naturally pushes drinks toward the higher end of the price scale; Prosecco and Cava are more economical.
The Perfect Pear
By Bridget Maloney, The Sexton, Seattle, WA
1 oz Snow Leopard Vodka
½ oz Lemon Juice
½ oz St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur
Splash of Simple Syrup
Garnish: sliced Pear
Shake first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a Champagne flute and top with Prosecco. Garnish with sliced pear.