Pop! go the cocktails

By Bill Daley

Chicago Tribune

Hard to believe, I know, but not everyone enjoys Champagne neat. By neat I mean chilled, straight up, in a tall flute. Instead, some folks like to use it to make cocktails.

Before wincing, just think of the popularity of that brunch staple, the mimosa, a glass of sparkling wine enlivened with a splash of OJ. Or the bellini, made famous at Harry’s Bar in Venice, which uses a shot of freshly pureed white peach.

Festive and not too high-powered, these drinks are perfect pours for a daytime wedding reception or any big noontime affair.


No need to use expensive sparkling wine for these cocktails.

An inexpensive (but good) Spanish cava or Italian prosecco would work here. Each of these recipes makes one drink.

Champagne cocktail

This recipe comes from "Field Guide to Cocktails" by Rob Chirico:

Add 1 dash Angostura bitters to a sugar cube in the bottom of a chilled Champagne flute. Slowly pour in dry, chilled sparkling wine. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

Kir imperial

This recipe is from Vincent Gasnier, author of "Drinks."

Pour 1/2 ounce raspberry liqueur into a Champagne flute. Top off with 4 ounces sparkling wine. For a kir royale, substitute creme de cassis, a black-currant liqueur.

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