Cheers to the holiday season! A champagne cocktail is an easy way to turn an average dinner party into a festive get-together—and, surprisingly, doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Trisha Antonsen, the Chief Cocktail Officer of on-demand alcohol delivery company Drizly, swears by bubbly, crisp Cava (Poema Brut Cava, $11; wine.com), a fresh, affordable sparkling wine (Mumm Napa Brut Prestige, $19; wine.com), or a delicious, mid-range champagne (Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve, $37; wine.com).
Besides being a cocktail whiz, Antonsen also gives some stellar hosting advice: “Only buy stuff that you’ll drink yourself, so you don’t get stuck with half-drunken bottles,” she warns, “And use real glasses! Have one to two per person, and don’t be afraid to mix-and-match the glassware you already own.” Antonsen also suggests cutting down on prep time by mixing the non-bubbly ingredients together the night before the party. (If serving a crowd, multiply the ingredient amounts by three times the number of guests to ensure that everyone gets at least two drinks. Have a pitcher of the mixer and a bottle of champagne on hand to keep the serving process simple and the cocktails fresh.)
Below, three of Antonsen’s favorite champagne cocktails.
1. Classic Champagne Cocktail
6 oz champagne or dry sparkling wine
4 dashes cranberry bitters ($9; kegworks.com)
1 sugar cube
Lemon peel for garnish
1. Coat a sugar cube with the cranberry bitters and drop into the bottom of a champagne glass.
2. Fill the glass with chilled brut champagne or dry sparkling wine.
3. Twist the lemon over the top of the glass and drop the peel into the drink.
2. Pear & Ginger Sparkler
4 oz dry sparkling wine or champagne
1½ oz pear juice
½ oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur ($35; plummarket.com)
Optional: fresh pear for garnish
1. In a champagne glass, combine Domaine de Canton and sparkling wine.
2. Top with pear juice.
3. Optional: Garnish with fresh pear.
3. Pom Holiday Sparkler
4 oz rosé champagne or dry rosé sparkling wine (Gruet Rosé, $20; wine.com)
2 oz pomegranate juice
2-3 dashes orange bitters ($7; webrestaurantstore.com)
Orange peel for garnish
1. In a champagne flute, combine champagne and orange bitters.
2. Fill glass with pomegranate juice.
3. Twist the orange over the top of the glass, then drop the peel into the drink.