PROSECCO CHRISTMAS COCKTAILS
I love a glass of prosecco and with the party season fast upon us, it’s time to reach for this fizz and there’s nothing better to make things go with a bit of a sparkle than a great cocktail made from this glorious sparkling wine.
Prosecco is a wine with a rich history and a particular charm that makes it far more than an affordable alternative to champagne. And it lends itself delightfully to cocktails, most notably those of the Italian persuasion. A national newspaper shared a range of prosecco cocktails with me this weekend and here they are:-
This is probably the classic prosecco cocktail, invented by Giuseppe Cipriani at Harry’s Bar in Venice. Pour 50ml peach purée into a champagne flute. Top up with 100ml cold prosecco. Stir together very gently to mix the peach into the wine without losing the essential fizz. Serve at once.
Isola de Sole
Feature Mirto, the Sardinian myrtle berry liqueur. Pour 30ml chilled mirto into a champagne flute. Top up with cold prosecco. Add a dash of orange bitters, and garnish with a thing wedge of orange.
The Winter Bellini
The Winter Bellini is fresh, fizzy and warming. As winter rolls around, you sometimes want a cocktail that manages to be both fresh and warming. To make the purée, bring 3 peeled pears to the boil in a pint of water sweetened with 120g caster sugar. Grate in a 2cm piece of peeled fresh ginger, add a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the pears are tender. Remove from the heat. Then cut the pears’ flesh away from their cores, and blitz into a purée. If you’re feeling very naughty, stir in 60ml Poire Williams once the purée is cold. Make the Bellini to the same proportions as the classic Bellini, above.
Sbagliato' and 'Prince of Milano' (Campari cocktails). “Sbagliato” means “wrong” or “spoiled”, which is appropriate since the Sbagliato is essentially a “wrong” Negroni. Someone reached for the wrong bottle, and added prosecco instead of gin. As it turns out, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. In a tumbler, stir together 20ml red vermouth and 20ml Campari over ice. Top up with prosecco, and garnish with a slice of orange.
Sloe Gin Fizz
You can buy sloe gin if you like, but it’s so easy to make your own if you have the inclination. Simply freeze 450g sloes and, when you’re ready, thaw them out and add them to 700ml of gin mixed with 250g granulated sugar. Leave to steep for a couple of months in a dark place, giving the jar a good shake every day or so, then strain into a sterilized bottle. To make the fix, simply mix 25ml of sloe gin with 125ml cold prosecco. And that’s it!
The Sgroppino can be either a drink or a dessert. In the case of the latter, one simply tops a couple of scoops of good lemon sorbet with some finely chopped mint and a good shot of vodka. For the cocktail, the first question is this: how minty do you want it to be? Some people stick with the chopped mint, others prefer to muddle it in the glass so that just the oils perfume the drink. Pour 30ml cold vodka and 100ml chilled prosecco into a champagne flute. Float a good spoon of lemon sorbet in the glass and garnish with finely chopped mint.
The Prosecco Julep
Mint stars again here. It has to if a drink’s to be a julep. The other vital ingredient being bourbon.In the bottom of a coupe, muddle the leaves of 2 mint sprigs into half a teaspoon demerara sugar. (You could use a sugar cube) Add 30ml bourbon. As they say, the better the deed the better the day, so let’s reach for the Maker’s Mark. Top up with chilled prosecco, and serve.
In a high ball glass, stir together 25ml vodka with 50ml Ramazotti. Add ice and a sprig of mint, and top up with chilled prosecco. Garnish with a slice of lemon.
Sorry there was no blog yesterday but I was busy filming with Channel 4 - a programme to be aired early next year.