Sweetening Champagne or bolstering it with spirits is a common practice in bartending, as is evinced by popular drinks like the Champagne Cocktail, Kir Royale and French 75. Classy, easy to make and fun to drink with their bubbles and richness, Champagne drinks are generally a big hit with drinkers across the spectrum. Bartending veteran, cocktail historian and award-winning bartending author Brian Van Flandern puts a tropical touch on the venerable tradition by adding passion fruit and a touch of sugar for a bright and fruity concoction, the Champagne Passion.
Van Flandern gets passion fruit into his Champagne drink two ways, and the first is with a passion fruit puree. This can be made at home by pulping, seeding, blending and straining, but it’s much easier to simply pick up a passion fruit puree from your nearby grocer or via an online market. They’re rarely overly sweet, usually tending towards sweet-tart, instead.
The other passion fruit element to the drink is Alizé, a liqueur rarely seen on craft cocktail menus. Made with a blend of passion fruit, vodka and a variety of other fruits, it’s sometimes used to add fruitiness to drinks like Margaritas and Daiquiris. With the Champagne Passion, it’s important to use one of the flagship products, like the Gold Passion or Red Passion. Blue tastes similar, but will clash into an ugly green when combined with passion fruit puree. The Alize in the Champagne Passion is floated on top, rather than mixed into the bubbles and other ingredients.
Though the Champagne Passion is unconventional compared to most modern cocktails with the use of Alizé and passion fruit puree, it comes from a serious bartender. Try it for your next Oscars party or other upscale event and you might find it to be a real people-pleaser.
- 1 1/4 ounces passion fruit puree
- 1/4 ounce simple syrup
- 4 ounces Champagne
- 1/2 ounces Alizé
Add the passion fruit puree to a mixing glass.
Stir, and add in simple syrup, then ice.
Still stirring, slowly add in the Champagne.
Strain into a flute and float the Alizé on top.