No matter how many you’ve been on, nothing conjures indecision quite like a date. Are you sure you want to wear that shirt? Is there too much gel in your hair? Did you pick the right restaurant? Or the right conversation points? Should you split the bill?
Well, we can’t help you on those fronts but we can tell you what to drink: bubbly. That’s right, sparkling drinks aren’t just for brunch anymore. There’s nothing like some good Champagne or sparkling wine to swerve a date in the right direction. Next time you’re on the verge of putting your foot in your mouth, sip these cocktails instead. They’ll get you further (and taste a lot better).
It’s a general consensus that the cornerstone to most great dates is a great meal. One way to replace the butterflies in your stomach with a craving for food is beginning with a nice aperitif and we’ve got one for you: the Montford Spritz. The cocktail takes elements from France, Italy and Britain in the form of Lillet Blanc, Cynar, Aperol and Gin and then tops them off with sparkling wine or champagne and some bitters. It’s spirituous enough to stimulate the appetite but not strong enough to knock your date into a drunken slumber before taking a bite of that tartare. For the cocktail nerds amoung us, this drink might seem like a bubbly Negroni. How can you not toast to that?
If spirit-forward drinks aren’t your (or your date’s) thing, the La Fleur de Paradis might be a gentle solution. This gin-based libation combines grapefruit and lemon juices with orange bitters. To balance out the floral notes of St-Germain, the last ingredient is a dry Brut champange. For those who love style over function, an edible flower is placed at the brim of the glass for garnish.
While making cocktails at home is easier than you think, making more than one at the same time demands both math and know-how. If you’re a novice bartender looking to impress that special someone with a homemade boozy beverage, this cocktail recipe is a handy solution: It makes two drinks. The addition of cucumber, agave nectar, citrus and—you guessed it—some bubbly makes this a refreshing drink that will surely leave your date asking for seconds and maybe thirds.
There’s no better place for romance than in the Caribbean. If hopping on the next plane to a tropical land isn’t in the cards, why not take in the islands’ signature spirit instead? Impress your date with a rum drink that isn’t a Rum & Coke (no offense, Cuba Libre!). Along the same vein as the classic Champagne Cocktail, this rum variation is simple, tasty, bubbly and sweet. Just add rum, a sugar cube and bitters into a flute and top with champagne. The drink can be made in seconds to give you more cuddle time with your snookums.
A date is a perfect time to try something new. May as well have the same rule apply to your drinks. Go the surprising route with this applejack and apricot cocktail. The cava (or white sparkling wine) will break up the richness of the spirits and the touch of apple cider and citrus will brighten up the sweetness, making this a complex cocktail perfect for any stage of courtship.
You didn’t think we’d leave tequila off this list, did you? Lots of people still think tequila was made only for shots and Margaritas. How wrong they are. In addition to champagne, the three-ingredient Corzo Tequila Toast includes vanilla cognac for a sweet, yet boozy flavor. If you can’t find a bottle of vanilla cognac at your local spirits store, don’t despair—just make your own! Infuse cognac at home a few days in advance and surprise your honey-bunny before painting the town a romantic shade of red.
Though not technically a “bubbly” cocktail, there’s nothing wrong with a simple Scotch & Soda. The procedure is as simple as the ingredient list, add 2 ounces—or more, we’re not looking—Scotch to a rocks glass, top with soda and you’re good to go. We consider this the stoic equivalent of any fizzy champagne drink. Another bonus: If your date doesn’t go well, the stronger buzz will help you forget the night ever happened. Sounds like a win-win.