There’s nothing nicer than relaxing in the sunshine and sipping a glass of sparkling wine – apart from transforming it with the right ingredients into a sparkling wine cocktail.  And while you can make a cocktail with almost any sparkling wine, some do a better job than others based on the sweetness and flavours in them.  So how do you choose the best sparkling wine for cocktails?

Sweetness level

One of the most important things to understand when making sparkling wine cocktails is the sweetness levels of the wine.  This can have a dramatic and sometimes unpleasant effect on the drink.  Wines range from dry to sweet and usually cocktails will use a wine that is quite dry as the other ingredients added to the mix might be sweeter.

When you are looking at prices for sparkling wine offers, to understand why the wine is priced the way it is you must first look at what the different terms mean on the bottle of wine. They are graded from the very driest to the sweetest using the following terms:

  • Extra Brut
  • Brut
  • Extra Dry Sec
  • Demi-Sec
  • Doux

Quality of Wine

Is the more expensive wine always better. The short answer is yes but with some caveats. There are plenty of fancy looking bottles of sparkling wine that may look like they taste good. However, what good is buying an expensive bottle of wine without doing your research first. The most efficient way is to search the web for sparkling wine offers to keep costs down, especially when the plan is to make cocktails. As long as that research is done, the more expensive bottles are almost always better.

Types of sparkling wine

If you want to go for a bottle of the finest sparkling wine, champagne, for your cocktails then there’s no reason not to.  But if you are looking for a little more budget friendly option, then there are lots of great sparkling wines from around the world that are a little less expensive and make superb cocktails.

Prosecco is very on-trend at the moment in terms of drinking on its own and adding to cocktails.  It is the Italian version of Champagne but doesn’t take as long to make and this is why the price is a lot more affordable.  If you want a sweet sparkling wine, then Moscato d’Asti is a sweet, Italian wine made in the Asti region of north-west Italy.

Cava is the Spanish sparkling wine that is available in white and also rose versions and is used for special events such as weddings and baptisms.  It also works well in cocktails.

Cremant is the name for champagne that comes from anywhere in France other than the Champagne region and uses much the same process.  It also tends to be more budget friendly.

Both the US and Australia also produce several good quality sparkling wines that work well in cocktails with Californian wines being particularly notable.

Cocktail ideas

One of the very easiest champagne cocktails to try is the Kir Royale.  It uses sparkling wine and crème de cassis, a black currant liqueur that gives the drink a soft pink colour.  You only need around 1 tablespoon of spirit to a champagne flute for a perfect drink.  You can also substitute the crème de cassis for any number of other spirits including Chambord (called a Kir Imperial) or calvados (known as Cider Royale).

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