When it comes to a romantic drink, it’s difficult to beat sparkling rosé—pink bubbles are the epitome of indulgence and romanticism in a glass. And while pouring yourself (or someone else) a glass of bubbly, rose-colored wine is more than acceptable, sometimes it’s fun to mix it up a bit and make a cocktail with it, instead. But rather than reaching for an expensive bottle of Champagne, try something a little different: Crémant d’Alsace rosé, as bartender Katie Stipe does with the Rose-Colored Glass.
Crémant d’Alsace rosé is a dry, pink sparkling wine from the French region of Alsace, a northeastern region bordering Germany. Its proximity to the country means the French region produces a good amount of German grape varietals like riesling and gewurztraminer. Crémant is a term describing wines made under the same rules of production as Champagne, known as méthode-traditionelle. A key element of this is allowing the secondary fermentation to happen in the bottle, which gives the wine its telltale bubbles and yeasty notes, often described as brioche or biscuit-like.
Like every region in France, Alsace has strict laws for what varietals it can use. While most white sparkling wines from the region use pinot blanc, Crémant d’Alsace rosé is strictly limited to being made with 100% pinot noir. You can also find Champagne rosé made with 100% pinot noir, though this is rare—it’s much more likely to be a blend that includes chardonnay and pinot meunier in addition to pinot noir.
Another difference between Crémant d’Alsace and Champagne is the price tag—it’s possible to find bottles of Crémant d’Alsace rosé for under $20, a daunting challenge for a comparable bottle of Champagne. This means the wine is more suitable for cocktail purposes, as with the Rose-Colored Glass.
The Rose-Colored Glass has a similar base as the classic Champagne cocktail, which calls for a plopping a sugar cube into a Champagne flute, dabbing it with bitters and pouring Champagne, or another sparkling wine, over it. But here, the drink is built with more bitters, simple syrup rather than a sugar cube, and some lemon juice to add brightness and tartness. A coupe steps in for the flute, and to complete the look, a rose petal garnish.
The resulting drink is bright and bubbly, aromatic and gently sweet. It’s lovely any time of year, but especially for romantic occasions like anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, and or any random date night.
- 1/4 ounce Angostura bitters
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- Crémant d'Alsace rosé sparkling wine, to top
- Garnish: red rose petals
Add the bitters, lemon juice and simple syrup into a shaker with ice and shake.
Strain into a coupe glass.
Top with the sparkling wine.
Garnish with red rose petals.