Updated: Jul 8, 2020
A trio of Prosecco cocktails
My affinity for sparkling wine began in earnest while living in Barcelona in the late 1980s. The sparkling wine from Catalunya is called Cava and is typically a blend of Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel.lo grape varietals and produced in the traditional “Méthode Champenoise”. Nothing against Champagne, which I also adore, but Cava is more accessible from a price perspective and often smoother and creamier on the palate. Some of our favorite labels are Raventos, Raimat, Codorniu, Segura Viudas and Juvé y Camps.
We do not need a special occasion to enjoy a glass of bubbly. It is also nice to mix the bubbles with other ingredients for a refreshing sparkling cocktail – for this we usually depend on a dry and effervescent Italian Prosecco. The sparkling cocktail seems to make any event with friends or neighbors a festive one. One of our favorites is a cocktail that we were introduced to in San Francisco at the legendary Zuni Café. Because it is no longer on the menu I cannot tell you what it was called at the time – but we now refer to it as a Zuni Fizz. It is a cocktail for any season consisting of one part gin, two parts Elderflower liqueur, a dash of freshly squeezed lemon (all of this should fill half a champagne flute) and topped off with sparkling wine.
In the summer we indulge in the Aperol Spritz, a delightfully tangy and dry Italian apéritif that blends well with Prosecco (two parts Aperol to three parts Prosecco) and a splash of soda, garnished with a slice of lemon. It feels like drinking Capri sunshine on a hot day!
For something completely different around the holidays, we make a red wine sorbet (red wine and sugar boiled down and then frozen) and float a scoop of it in a glass of Prosecco. It was inspired by a cocktail we sampled at a Philadelphia restaurant by Marc Vetri, Amis (now closed), and tastes like winter in a glass.