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How to Construct a Sparkly Cocktail

It wouldn’t be the holidays without a little bit of sparkle – especially in our cocktails. From their animated appearance to their tongue-tickling bubbles, sparkling cocktails are made for celebrations. And with the right combinations of flavors and additions, such as liqueur infused with bitter orange, sugar cubes, or lemon twists, effervescent cocktails can appeal to everyone in the crowd (over 21, that is!).

Here are four recipes and a few tips to help you perfect the sparkly cocktails you’ll serve this holiday season. The more practice you get with them, the better your cocktail for New Year’s toasts will be!

Photo by James Ransom

Recipe: Champagne Cocktail

This is a bittersweet, simple recipe for champagne lovers made with an angostura bitters-soaked sugar cube (to help disperse the bitters evenly throughout the drink) and a hint of lemon.

Tip: Use either champagne or sparkling wine for any bubbly cocktail, just as long as it’s one you like the taste of enough to drink on its own.


Photo by James Ransom

Recipe: Holiday Sparkler

Take a break from mimosas on New Year's Day and try this pretty, deep pink sparkler. Cranberry, lime and mint dance in the punch bowl with effervescent cava, making the drink tart, sweet, herbal and bright. 

Tip: Sparkling cocktails can be made even easier by creating the mix-in components ahead of time. In this drink, triple sec, lime juice and cranberry juice steep with fresh mint overnight, so mixing drinks the next day is a breeze. Serve the minted juice and champagne separately so partiers can adjust their drinks to taste.

Photo by James Ransom

Recipe: Pomelder Prosecco Punch

Here’s a perfect aperitif for the holiday season. With sparkling pear juice and prosecco, there's double the bubbles. This beautifully crimson punch hits all the right notes with hints of ginger and cardamom, and tart pomegranate juice. When mixed with the elderflower liqueur, you get a nice balance of sweet, tart and floral.

Tip: Freeze sparkling pear juice with pomegranate arils for fancy ice cubes to float in the punch.

Photo by Molly Winzenberg

Recipe: Nardini Spritz

This spritz tastes of rich spices, black licorice, bitter fruit and loads of peppermint. Combined with prosecco and an orange twist, it’s the deeper, darker cousin to that Italian warm-weather drink, the Aperol spritz (hold the soda and fluorescent orange tinge).

Tip: Due to only having two ingredients, you can leave out basic directions for guests (3 ounces of prosecco to ¾ ounce of Amaro Nardini) and let them mix their own spritzes to taste.

What bubbling creations will you serve this holiday season? Share your sparkling cocktail ideas in the comments below.