...to thrill your guests and help you survive the holidays.
Champagne tends to be the beverage of choice for my families' gatherings. At least for the womenfolk. But bubbly can go to one's head awfully quick if you're not careful, and since I'm often the one organizing the festitvites, I must keep my head so I don't burn dinner or let my lips get too loose. Many Champagne drinks add additional liqueurs, packing the punch. Not what I needed. So, for years I've tested out various Champagne cocktails—mixers to cut the potency a bit and make everything tasty and festive. Below are ten of my favorites.
You can pour all into a punch bowl if you have an elegant family heirloom you'd like to show off (something I must remember to do) or mix them individually if everyone wants something different.
Generally, one bottle of Champagne (or sparkling wine or Prosecco) serves 4 to 6, depending on the size of your champagne flutes or glasses.
Serves 4 to 6
1 1/8 cups freshly squeezed or frozen tangerine juice
1 750-ml bottles Champagne, chilled
Pour 3 tablespoons juice in each Champagne flute. Fill flutes with Champagne, and serve.
Cranberry Pear Bellini
1 cup pear nectar
1 cup cranberry juice cocktail
1 750-ml bottle Prosecco or other dry sparkling white win, chilled
In a small pitcher or large liquid measuring cup, combine pear nectar and cranberry juice cocktail. Pour 1/4 cup juice mixture into each of eight champagne glasses. Dividing evenly, top with Prosecco or other dry sparkling white wine.
1 fl. oz. pomegranate juice
1/2 fl. oz. Grand Marnier
Sparkling wine as needed
Pour juice and Grand Marnier into flute. Fill to top with sparkling wine or champagne. *(Optional) Garnish with pomegranate seeds.
Seabreeze Champagne Cocktail
Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled, as needed
lime twist (optional)
Fill flute 1/4 with cranberry juice. Fill to top with champagne. Garnish with lime twist.
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) creme de cassis
1 750-ml bottle Champagne or other sparkling white wine
6 strips tangerine or orange zest, for garnish
Just before serving, pour 1 tablespoon creme de cassis into each glass. Fill with Champagne, and garnish with zest.
Peach, Pear, or Mango Bellini
Peach, pear, or mango nectar (Kern's)
Prosecco or sparkling wine, chilled, as needed
Fill flutes or glasses 1/4 with nectar. Fill to top with Prosecco.
Strawberry Champagne Punch
1 750-ml bottle Champagne or sparking wine
1 2-liter ginger ale
2 boxes frozen strawberries
Mix all in punch bowl and ladle into glasses.
Or if you do want to go stronger:
1 cup Champagne or sparkling wine
1/4 cup limoncello liqueur
(optional) fresh raspberries or frozen raspberries, thawed
In a small pitcher, combine the Champagne and limoncello. Place a spoonful of crushed ice into each of 2 Champagne glasses and top with raspberries. Pour the Champagne mixture over the ice and raspberries.