I have to admit from the start that talking about sparkling wine cocktails are a bit heartbreaking. With such excellent sparklers from Cavas and Proseccos to American bubbles and even the Sparkling Shiraz (a great Thanksgiving wine by the way), why would anyone need to hack such delicious wine into a cocktail?

Maybe the budget for your holiday party doesn’t allow for vintage rose Champagne, but you want to serve your guests something distinctive and nothing says celebration like bubbles in your glass. With this in mind, here are some easy additions to your bottle of bubbles that may become the star of your party and will have you buying sparkling wine year round.


The Champagne Cocktail


Small additions to a glass of even less-than-perfect sparkling wine can create a complex and tasty beverage.  Simply the Champagne cocktail is just that:

  • Add a sugar cube to your Champagne flute, sprinkle in some Angostura bitters, add sparkling wine and top it off with a lemon twist.

The Angostura adds an almost “holiday” spice and the aromas of the lemon add complexity.

The liqueur and herb hack


Simply adding a small amount of a liqueur is all that’s needed to satisfy your guests. Add a small sprig of an herb for an added aroma and you are elevated from gracious host to amateur mixologist. Add a berry as well for some color an extra flavor.

  • Add liqueur to your flute and then add your sparkling wine. Finish with a sprig or sprinkle of a complementary herb.

It’s easy and fun to experiment. To start, try:

  • Elderflower liqueur and a sprig of thyme
  • Ginger liqueur and small bit of 5-spice powder
  • Chambord, creme de cassis, or sloe gin and a 1/4 sprig of rosemary

Any other combinations you like? Let us know what they are in the comments!

The Black Velvet Cocktail


This one is for the beer lovers in the group, especially for those who like dark stouts and porters.  Simply, this drink is half sparkling wine topped gently with half dark beer. It may sound strange but try it before excluding it from your options. Also, the black and “white” contrast in the glass goes nicely with the black/white tie options one often sees on New Year’s Eve.

There are many other additions to spruce up your sparkling wine for the holidays, but with the more ingredients one adds to it, the beverage becomes something else, a punch for example or a cocktail. Since we are on that topic, try these:



Algonquin Bar Punch from Sugar and Spice

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch from Food and Wine



The Classic French 75 from Liquor.com and variations on it like:

Blackberry/Thyme Sparkler from The Effortless Chic

What is your favorite drink for the holidays? Let us know in the comments!