This morning  Lois and I discussed Champagne Cocktails on our regular wine segment on CTV Morning Live.

Watch the video here: 

Join us again on January 9th 2015 where I’ll be presenting Budget Friendly Wines to get you through the Winter without breaking the bank.


Saying goodbye to 2014 and hello to 2015 wouldn’t be complete without a few bottles of sparkling wine on New Year’s Eve.   Although sparkling wine on its own is terrific, and perfectly suited to celebrating the occasion, it’s fun and easy to make tasty sparkling wine cocktails so why not give it a try! With so many options, there’s no limit on what you can create with sparkling wine.

I’m not the first to suggest this either. Champagne Cocktails have been around since the mid-1800s and have been captured on screen in movies such as The Godfather and Casablanca!

Sparkling Wine Cocktails can be designed to enjoy before, during, or after a meal, and typically they are terrific on their own!

With most Sparkling Wine Cocktails the ingredients are simple and can be easily set-up on your counter or bar. For some, a bit of preparation is required, but the majority can be easily whipped-up in no time, and impress your guests with your clever creations.

Here are a few of my favourites for this time of the year: Classic Champagne Cocktail; Sparkling Winterlude Delight; Kir Royale; Sparkling Cranberry Cocktail. Other interesting sparkling cocktails include: French 75 (Gin), Black Velvet (Guiness) and the Champagne Julep (Bourbon).

1. Classic Champagne Cocktail



  • 1-3 drops bitters (careful not to add too much bitters).
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 5 ounces chilled Champagne
  • (to up the octane, add 1 ounce of Cognac)


  1. Drop bitters onto sugar cube; let soak in. Place sugar cube in a Champagne flute. Add Cognac (if desired), and top with Champagne.


2. Sparkling Winterlude Delight

Sparkling Winterlude Delight


  • 1 ounce of chilled Ice Wine (or Select Late Harvest wine (less expensive, almost as sweet))
  • 4 ounces of chilled Ontario Sparkling Wine
  • optional: (add a splash of Vokda or Grand Marnier)
  • Garnish (candied lemon or orange slice)


  1. Pour one ounce of chilled Ice Wine (or Select Late Harvest Wine) into Champagne flute.
  2. Top-up with 4 ounces of chilled Ontario Sparkling Wine.
  3. Garish with candied lemon or orange slice.

3. Kir Royale – A legendary French aperitif. Kir originated in Burgundy, France. It is named after the priest Canon Félix Kir, who was a hero in the French Resistance during the Second World War.



  • 1 ounce creme de cassis
  • 4 ounces Champagne or other Sparkling White Wine
  • 1 strip tangerine or orange zest, for garnish


  1. Just before serving, pour one ounce of creme de cassis into each glass. Fill with Champagne, and garnish with zest.

4. Cranberry Champagne Cocktail



  • 1 ounce cranberry juice (sweetened)
  • 1 wedge lime
  • 4 ounces Champagne or other Sparkling White Wine
  • frozen cranberries for garnish


In a chilled Champagne flute add cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime. Top off the glass with Champagne. Garnish with 3 or 4 cranberries.

Lemon Drop Champagne (or French 75 simply add Gin instead).



  • 3 lemons, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) Champagne, chilled
  • 3/4 cup best-quality vodka, chilled
  • 4 ounces candied lemon peels


  1. With a vegetable peeler, remove zest from each lemon in a long, continuous spiral. Juice lemons, and strain pulp (you should have 3/4 cup juice). Set aside.
  2. Heat sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add zest. Let syrup cool completely, about 2 hours.
  3. Pour Champagne, vodka, lemon juice, and syrup into a punch bowl; stir. Serve glasses of punch with candied peels.

Menning Minosa



  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
  • Prosecco, chilled
  • Fresh mint leaf


  1. In a Champagne flute, mix together orange juice, lemon juice, and liqueur. Fill with Prosecco. Garnish with mint leaf and serve immediately.

Champagne Julep – a bubbly twist on the official drink of the Kentucky Derby (since 1938).



  • 2 sprigs fresh mint
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 dash bourbon
  • 5 oz (142 g) chilled champagne


Place mint and sugar cube in chilled mixing glass; add bourbon. Using muddler or handle of wooden spoon, crush sugar and rub mint until fragrant and torn. Add Champagne; gently strain into champagne glass.

Here’s a great visual aid for just some of the tasty Sparkling Wine Cocktails you can make with bubbles…