Just in time for the stupid season, here are some easy (and often cheap) ways to sass up an ordinary glass of sparkling wine:
- Wild Hibiscus flowers in syrup - you can get this in many liquor stores – Dan Murphys definitely sells it. The flowers open up when you pour in the bubbles – delicious tipple AND party trick in one.
- Sugar cube drenched with bitters – a classic champagne cocktail.
- Shot of Cointreau or orange curacao/triple sec.
- Shot of chambord. Freaking awesome, although not particularly cheap.
- Orange Juice. Pour half and half bubbly and orange juice for a Formosa. But don’t stop at just the humble OJ. There are so many juices on the market – try something exotic like mango, guava or apple, pear and strawberry (above).
- Liqueur randoms. Try this. Walk into a liquor store and go to the liqueur section. Close your eyes. Pick a bottle at random (being careful not to mow down the entire shelf. Apparently this happens when you choose liquor with your eyes closed). Add a shot of whatever you choose to your bubbles. No wait, if you choose creme de cacao, maybe put that back.
- Peach Syrup. This makes a brilliant Bellini. For the can’t-be-arsed mum who doesn’t want to blend her own peaches (who knew one of those existed?), drain a can of peaches in syrup and use that (of course, putting the drained peaches into your child’s fruit break, as we are all that organised).
- Blueberries and fresh basil. Sounds weird but is delish. Muddle the two ingredients together and top with bubbles for a lovely fresh drink.
- Candied fruit. Last year I made a massive batch of candied cumquats from the tree in our front yard. A piece of candied cumquat with some syrup made for an amazing little champagne cocktail.
- A strawberry. Simple but effective.
What is your favourite ingredient to add to sparkling wine?