Some people only break out champagne for a New Year’s Eve celebration. While that is definitely a good time to enjoy it, you don’t have to limit yourself to enjoying it at the end of every year. Carin Merritt and Heather O’Hare of The Daily Dose in Irvine share some cocktail recipes that will help you enjoy champagne any time.
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Sangria is something even by people who don’t normally drink wine will enjoy because of the lemon-lime soda that is part of it. Sangria can also be made with champagne, and it is a treat that is light and sweet, but packs a punch. You can mix up a big batch of this for an occasion like a baby shower and it is sure to be a hit. O’Hare says, “If drinking can be healthy, this cocktail will give you all your Vitamin A.” For this cocktail, mix:
- One part champagne
- One-half part light rum
- A splash of peach schnapps, and fill with lemon-lime soda.
Top with pear liqueur (optional) and garnish with apples and pears.
The Mimosa is such a classic champagne drink that you can have it at just about any place that serves brunch. Merritt says, “The classics are classics for a reason.” The light and sweet combination of champagne and orange juice is the perfect compliment to the pork products you can also partake of at brunch. In short, the Mimosa is simple, light, and a way to drink before noon and still feel classy. To make a mimosa, mix:
- Three parts champagne
- Two parts orange juice.
For an easy alternate version of this, add a splash of peach schnapps and you’ll have to the Mimosa what the Fuzzy Navel is to the Screwdriver.
If you’re looking for a refreshing champagne cocktail, try one that calls for fresh fruit. The true version of this drink is great if you are making it at home for guests with your fruit puree of choice. If you order this at your favorite drinking hole, fresh fruit puree may not be available, in which case the cocktail can be made with schnapps in place of the fruit puree. True, you do lose some of the refreshing aspect of it, but the schnapps strengthens this drink in a way that, according to O’Hare, “is like carbonated dessert that gets you buzzed.”A bellini is:
- Three ounces champagne
- Two ounces fresh fruit (peach, mango, etc.) puree.
With some champagne cocktails, the time and place to consume them is early in the day. However, if you’re having a soiree and you want to serve champagne, you want a beverage that is more suited for the evening. That is where the Kir Royale comes in. It is both fruity and strong, but doesn’t seem as much like something you would sip at breakfast. To prepare a Kir Royale, mix:
- Five parts champagne
- One part Chambord black raspberry liqueur.
You can garnish this with a lemon twist or a fresh raspberry.
Me So Horny
This is a cocktail that tests the limits of just how much alcohol you can pour into a champagne flute. This provocatively-named cocktail is made with:
- Three parts champagne
- One part cherry vodka
- One part hard apple cider
The cider negates some of the sweetness of the cherry vodka and also the effervescence of the cocktail so you can sip it without feeling all the bubbles in your nose. You end up with a cocktail that is sweet, dry, and strong. If you’re out with your special lady and you’re feeling particularly amorous, this is a good cocktail to order for her. After all, it probably got its name for a reason.
Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.