Sparkling wine signals celebration, and there’s no time to celebrate like the holidays. Whether you’re a lover of lambrusco or a champion of Champagne, one thing is certain: The best bubbly tastes even better in a well-made cocktail. These are seven sparkling wine cocktails to drink in bars now.
If you can’t make it to any of the bars serving these great sparkling wine cocktails, try mixing the Beauty Elixir from this list at home.
At Beauty & Essex, a 10,000-square-foot playground of opulence in Hollywood, this cocktail stands out for its simple, refreshing elegance. The cocktail features The Botanist gin, Campo Viejo cava brut, strawberry purée, cucumber water, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup, with a lime chip garnish. Perfect for celebrating the sunshine-infused SoCal holiday season.
Get the recipe.
Magic Hour, a sprawling indoor/outdoor rooftop bar above Times Square, combines an overall whimsical vibe with an inventive cocktail program. This large-format drink, created by beverage director Nikki McCutcheon to serve up to 15 people, starts with your choice of 13 ounces of either Grey Goose vodka or Volcán De Mi Tierra tequila, adds eight ounces of Aperol and 42 ounces of Owen’s grapefruit and lime mixer and tops it off with 17 ounces of prosecco. The 200-ounce cocktail gets garnished with sliced grapefruit, limes, lemon and a bunch of fun straws.
In a move to highlight local Midwest products, bartender Kevin Murphy and wine director and general manager Keith Whitten use the persimmon expression from Chicago’s Apologue that was released earlier this year. Add that to M. Lawrence sparkling wine from Michigan and Cocchi Vermouth di Torino for an easy-sipping drink with a rich texture that’s perfect in cold weather.
Bar manager Logan Demmy worked in Singapore at the celebrated 28 HongKong Street, where chef Tim Russ-Watson made a Worcestershire distillate. This inspired Demmy, now in Columbus, to experiment with a rotary evaporator (aka rotovap) he has at the bar. Instead of going the obvious route with a Bloody Mary, he got playful and creative with his version of a Strawberry Daiquiri. Demmy combines that distillate with Plantation 3 Stars rum, fresh lime juice, strawberry water cordial and Foreau NV Vouvray brut, which he says is a “key part of the drink, building on the fruitiness of the rum and berries but maintaining a dry finish.”
To pay homage to Fatboy Slim and a love of rosé, bar director Brock Schulte keeps things simple yet delicious riff on an Aperol Spritz. He uses sparkling rosé, Aperol and Giffard pamplemousse liqueur for sweet and tart balance and papaya to add a touch of flair.
At celeb chef Tom Colicchio’s Financial District restaurant at The Beekman hotel, bar manager Charlotte Mirzoeff tips a hat to a bygone era. Her cocktail comprises crème de violette, Champagne, lavender, absinthe, a sugar cube and Simple vodka, which has a mission to donate 20 meals to hunger relief for every bottle of vodka it produces. Talk about a great reason to imbibe during the holidays.
The Dawson’s head bartender, Eric Hmiel, starts his elegant riff on the 1930s classic with dry vermouth and Bénédictine, then swaps absinthe for tarragon-infused pisco, some funky rum and apple all before topping the drink with Champagne. The result is a slow sipper with the feel of an off-dry cider, according to Hmiel.
Mixing your cocktail