Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Tequila & Mezcal Cocktails

Colletti Royale

A pale orange spritz is held in a stylish wine glass, with a large, flat wheel of blood orange pressed up against the wall of the glass. The background is dark and out of focus, amplifying the drink. / Tim Nusog

While the Margarita is already a pretty flawless drink, there are few things that cannot be improved by the addition of Champagne, especially rosé Champagne. Enter the Colletti Royale, a spritzy, boozy cocktail from bartender Julie Reiner, co-owner of the celebrated cocktail bars Clover Club, Leyenda, and Milady's in New York City.

This vivid orange spritzer gets its striking color from blood oranges and rosé Champagne. The tart juice blends lovingly with tequila, and is further enhanced by the brandy-based orange liqueur Cointreau, as well as two dashes of orange bitters. St-Germain, an elderflower liqueur, adds sweetness and floral notes, amplifying the drink’s complexity and depth; some lime juice helps balance the acidity and sweetness.

When it comes to the sparkling wine that tops the drink and provides its requisite burst of spritz, there are some options. The best, and the one that Reiner goes with for the drink, is a rosé Champagne. Generally on the dry side and with plenty of berry notes and an aroma of baked brioche, it’s nearly impossible to find a perfect substitute for a pink Champagne. However, there are some reasonably close alternatives. Cremant sparkling wines are available in regions across France. Made in the same manner as Champagne, but often with different grape varieties, wines like Cremant d’Alsace, Cremant de Bourgogne, and Cremant de Loire are lovely replacements. And while they don’t carry the name of the famous wine region, they do generally carry a lower price tag for a similar quality sparkling rosé.

Likewise, the United States is producing some quality sparkling rosé, with states like Washington, Oregon, California, New Mexico, New York, and even Texas getting in on the action. Just be sure to avoid any bottles that are too sweet or it will throw off the balance of the drink.


  • 1 1/2 ounces reposado tequila

  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau

  • 1/2 ounce St-Germain

  • 1/2 ounce blood orange juice

  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 2 dashes orange bitters

  • Rosé Champagne, chilled, to top (approximately 3 ounces)

  • Garnish: blood orange wheel


  1. Add the tequila, Cointreau, St-Germain, blood orange juice, lime juice and bitters into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a wine glass filled with fresh ice.

  3. Top with the rosé Champagne.

  4. Garnish with a blood orange wheel.

Can I Substitute Something Else for Champagne?

It's hard to perfectly replace Champagne's signature taste and style, but other traditional-method sparkling wines will still work well here. Try a rosé cremant, another type of sparkling wine made using the same process (and often the same grapes varieties) as Champagne, but produced outside the Champagne's legally defined regional boundaries. Another great option is Spanish cava, which is also produced in the traditional method, and offers a number of fantastic rosé options.