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Fizz the Season

Nothing gets us into the holiday spirit like champagne -- especially when it's given an exotic kick with, say, pomegranate molasses or aquavit.


There's no better way to ring in the holiday season than with a little bubbly -- especially when it's the featured ingredient in one of the effervescent champagne-cocktail recipes we scored from some of New York's top chefs and mixologists. Their flutes of fancy transport us to the Mediterranean, with pomegranate molasses and orange liqueur; to Austria, with a drizzle of elderflower syrup; to Sweden, with aquavit and berries; to Cuba, with a sparkling mojito; and even, thanks to Dale DeGroff's revival of the Campari-tinged Le Perroquet, back in time. Champagne-cocktail classicists will welcome two newfangled takes on the mid-nineteenth-century trick that have spirit-soaked sugar cubes dissolving gradually in the bottom of the glass, releasing a heady stream of bubbles. If name-brand champagne is too pricey for your budget, Italian prosecco or Spanish cava will also do the delightfully fizzy trick (especially when you're serving a thirsty crowd). That calls for a toast.

Each recipe makes one drink.

Le Perroquet

From The Craft of the Cocktail
by Dale DeGroff

(Clarkson Potter; $35)
Generous dash of Campari
Dash of gin
2 ounces fresh orange juice
4 ounces chilled champagne
Garnish: Twists of lemon and orange peel

Pour the Campari, gin, and orange juice into a flute. Top with champagne. Garnish with lemon and orange twists.

Elderflower Cocktail

Kurt Gutenbrunner

5 ounces Austrian sparkling wine (preferably Cuvée Klimt) or prosecco
1 ounce D'Arbo elderflower syrup (available at Dean & DeLuca, 560 Broadway, at Prince Street)

Pour the champagne into a flute, and drizzle in the elderflower syrup.

Ice Queen

Marcus Samuelsson

1 ounce OP aquavit
1 ounce Chambord
1 teaspoon sweetened (Rose's) lime juice
4 ounces champagne
Garnish: 2 or 3 raspberries

Pour the OP, Chambord, and lime juice into a champagne glass, and top with the champagne. Garnish with raspberries.

The Mistletoe

Kimberly Scarpone

1 sugar cube
2 teaspoons Clear Creek eau-de-vie de pomme or similar apple brandy (available at Union Square Wines, 33 Union Square West)
1⁄2 ounce cranberry juice
4 ounces Daniel Cuvée or other brut champagne
Garnish: 1 thin slice Granny Smith apple

Drop a sugar cube into a flute. Add the eau-de-vie de pomme and the cranberry juice. Slowly add the champagne (it will foam up) and stir gently, trying not to disturb the sugar cube. Set the apple slice on the inner rim of the flute, two thirds submerged, to soak up the flavor.

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