Mimosas can be so mundane.
Many local brunch menus mute the flavors of all-you-can-drink prosecco or cava in a mudslide of orange-juice concentrate. For sparkling-wine purists, that’s just not the kind of love we like to show our bubbles.
Inspired by South Florida’s cultural punch bowl of Caribbean fruits and spices, these two- and three-ingredient summer cocktails celebrate different sparkling wines by pairing them with flavors that complement (not condemn) their nuances.
As a general rule, the more voluptuous and yeasty the sparkler, the more likely it will match beautifully with richer, more substantial fruits like guava and mango.
If your imagination and your budget permit, adding papaya droplets to the right Champagne can create an ambrosial cocktail. (And if you’re really daring, try a vintage Champagne).
Fruit-lean, reserved sparkling wines dance with delicate ingredients like passion fruit juice and elderberry lemonade.
With more regions producing dynamic, affordable sparkling wines, the bubble is a blank canvas that’s ready for experimentation and creativity. Here are five ideas to get you started, plus a guide to finding the ingredients:
Sparkling Tootsie Pop
The wine: Syltbar Il Concerto Sparkling Rosé.
The secret ingredient: Choco Chanel Crème.
The mix: Place 1 Choco Chanel in a flute and top with sparkling rosé.
The wine, made from 100 percent merlot grapes, has strawberry and Red Delicious apple aromas and flavors, which combine with the candy’s lavender, milk chocolate and honey to re-create an adult Tootsie Pop. Choco Chanel is a specialty of Buena Vista Chocolate & Wine in Miami; see sidebar.
The wine: Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne.
The secret ingredient: Papaya nectar.
The mix: Pour Champagne into a flute and top with several droplets of nectar.
The Champagne’s gala apple, pear and pluot aromas and flavors welcome the papaya’s luscious, gamey sweetness.
Passion Bubble Blanc
The wine: 2010 Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs Premier Cuvée.
The secret ingredient: Passion fruit juice.
The mix: Pour the sparkling wine into a flute and top with several droplets of passion fruit juice.
The South African sparkler is loaded with savory grapefruit and lemon flavors, which provide a sleek, harmonious match to the fruit juice’s tang.
Lost in Guayaba Bubbles
The wine: Rondel Brut Cava.
The secret ingredient: Guava juice.
The mix: Pour the cava into a flute and top with several droplets of guava juice.
This value-sparkler’s honeycrisp apple, white peach and soft floral notes offer a lovely palette for a splash of guava decadence. (You can also try soursop).
Hot French Kiss
The wine: 2011 Gramona La Cuvee Cava Gran Reserva.
The secret ingredients: Monbazillac (a French white wine) and scotch bonnet pepper.
The mix: Pour the cava into a flute until three-quarters full. Add a good splash of 2011 Château Bélingard Réserve Monbazillac. Top with a sliver of scotch bonnet.
The Monbazillac’s dried apricot and pineapple aromas enliven baby banana and candied ginger flavors, transforming these pepper-spiced cava bubbles into a honey-tinged sparkler.
Miami-based writer and sommelier Dinkinish O’Connor can be reached at email@example.com.
Sparkling cocktail tips
You can use traditional Champagne flutes or try a variety of modern or vintage sparkling wine glasses.
If you don’t find these particular bottles, ask a salesperson to recommend wines with similar characteristics.
Natural and organic juices, nectars and purées are recommended.
The more juice you add, the fruitier the cocktail.
Where to find
Syltbar Il Concerto Sparkling Rosé ($22.95) and Choco Chanel ($1.50) available at Buena Vista Chocolate & Wine, 4512 NE Second Ave., Miami, 305-396-6056.
Rondel Brut Cava ($8.99), 2011 Château Bélingard Réserve Monbazillac ($11.99), 2010 Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs Premier Cuvée ($22.99) and Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne ($36.97) available at Total Wine & More, 14750 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami Beach, 305-354-3270.
2011 Gramona Cava La Cuvee Gran Reserva ($27.99) available at Whole Foods, 12150 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami, 305-892-5500.