Celebrate with Champagne Cocktails

Turn a bottle of the bubbly into lovely, light spring cocktails.

By FamilyTime


Whether you're celebrating Mother's Day, giving a bridal shower, or entertaining a few friends for brunch or dinner, make the day extra special by serving Champagne cocktails.

On its own, a chilled bottle of Champagne or another sparkling wine is festive and delicious, but for even more luxurious fun, make cocktails.

Selecting Champagne
Champagne comes from the region of France of the same name, located north east of Paris. There, generations of winemakers have perfected the art of making sparkling wines from white and black grapes.

Other sparkling wines are not officially Champagnes - although some winemakers insist on calling them such - but these can taste as delightful as genuine Champagne.

Sparkling wines made using the charmat method - processed in bulk tanks rather than the actual bottles - are less expensive than other wines and more than adequate for cocktails.

Beyond looking for the charmat designation, consider buying sparkling wines from regions of France other than Champagne and from Spain, Italy, Germany, California, and Australia.

Prosecco wine, made in Italy's Veneto region, is a good choice, as is German Sekt and Spanish Cava.

Buying and Storing Champagne
Very good Champagnes and sparkling wines do not cost a fortune - you can get a quality bottle for $15, $20, or $30. Of course, you can spend far more on fine and vintage Champagnes, and while there are occasions that call for these special wines, when you are making Champagne cocktails, stay with the less expensive bottles.

Store sparkling wines in a cool spot, away from areas where the heat fluctuates. A cellar or cool pantry is a good choice. Do not store these wines in the refrigerator. The natural humidity will eventually cause the cork to rot.

Before using, chill the wine for a few hours in the refrigerator, or, better yet, chill it in an ice bucket.

Making Cocktails
Like most cocktails, Champagne cocktails are best made right before serving. This is especially important with cocktails made with sparkling wines, since the bottles ought not be opened until just before drinking.

Among the most familiar and admired Champagne cocktails are mimosas, kir royale, and Champagne punch. While mimosas are classic brunch fare, they and any other sparkling cocktails you fancy are appropriate anytime.

With the exception of punch, make Champagne cocktails in the individual glass. Use pretty, sparkling clean glasses.

Follow the recipes for amounts, varying them according to your own tastes and those of your guests.

And because not everyone likes sparkling wine, have juice, soda, and iced tea on hand, too.