champagne cocktail
When I was a kid, I always imagined I would grow up to wear strappy high heels with designer dresses and that I would dash off to parties full of urbane conversations. At these events I would drink champagne cocktails. Blame it on a childhood watching too many Doris Day and Deborah Kerr movies, but my real-life adulthood never quite lived up to my Pillow Talk expectations.

After recently pondering the lack of glamour in my life, I realized that although elegant cocktail gatherings can be delightful, I actually enjoy my life of small dinner parties with friends and family more than I probably would the type attended by Ms. Kerr and Ms. Day (“probably” is the key word here). So instead of longing for a 1960s life unachieved, I decided to start making champagne cocktails.

There are so many reasons to serve champagne cocktails, but the top three are:

1. Champagne (or prosecco, cava, or any other sparkling wine) tastes delightful when mixed with other alcoholic beverages.

2. The shimmering splendor of a champagne cocktail, particularly when partnered with alcohols that have a rich color, make them perfect for the holiday season.

3. Champagne cocktails are effortless to prepare.

Making this elegant fizzy drink is as easy as pouring two or more types of alcohol into a glass. This means that even the failed martini makers among us can feel like accomplished bartenders. The original champagne cocktail consists of champagne, bitters and sugar, but as I’m not a big fan of bitters, I go for sweeter amalgamations. Port, Muscat or other dessert wines are my top choices, although raspberry, cherry and pear liqueurs are a close second. Grand Marnier, Cointreau, and brandy also work well, and I hear blueberry schnapps makes a gorgeous aperitif. But honestly, just mix in whatever sounds good to you.

It doesn’t matter if you’re having a chic cocktail party or an intimate celebration dinner; it’s easy to add a splash of Doris Day chic to your holiday season.

How to Make a Champagne Cocktail:

Place 1 ounce of your chosen alcohol into champagne flute and then fill with champagne, prosecco, cava or sparkling wine.

Champagne Holiday Cocktails 16 December,2009Denise Santoro Lincoln

  • Cassis and champagne is the classic combination (“Kir Royale”) but champagne with fraise (strawberry) or framboise (raspberry) are very festive too.


Denise Santoro Lincoln

I am a writer, editor, mother of twins, and enthusiastic home cook. I was raised by an Italian-American mother who, in the 1970s, grew her own basil (because she couldn’t find any in the local grocery stores), zucchini (for those delicious flowers), and tomatoes (because the ones in the store tasted like “a potato”). My mom taught us to love all kinds of food and revere high-quality ingredients. I am now trying to follow in my mother’s footsteps and am on a mission to help my daughters become adventurous eaters who have a healthy respect for seasonal food raised locally. My daughters and I grow vegetables and go to the farmers’ market. We also love to shop at Piedmont Grocery and Trader Joe’s. When I’m not hanging out with my daughters or cooking, I like to contribute to cookbooks (including Williams-Sonoma’s Food Made Fast and Foods of the World series), work as an editor, and write about food for Bay Area Bites and Denise’s Kitchen. My food inspirations are M.F.K Fisher, Julia Child, and Alice Waters — three fabulous women who encompass everything I love about food.

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