Joe Meleski of
Le Reve Patisserie & Café
sparkly, twinkly time of the year, and there’s no reason why your
cocktail shouldn’t sparkle, too. Sparkle, as in sparkling wine and
cocktails lead into New Year’s Eve, where everyone pops the
bubbly," says Joe Elmergreen, mixologist at Brady Street’s La
Masa Empanada Bar. "But actually, sparkling cocktails are
cocktails that you can enjoy year-round."
owner of Lazy Susan restaurant in Bay View, agrees. "There are
some sparkling cocktails that I just have to keep on the menu all
year," Dixon says.
there have been three main types of sparkling wine or champagne
cocktails. There’s the champagne cocktail, which is made with a
sugar cube soaked in Angostura bitters and maybe a splash of cognac.
Then there’s the French 75, which combines champagne or sparkling
wine with gin and lemon. There’s also the Kir Royale, which combines
bubbly with Chambord.
But while some
of today’s sparkling concoctions pay homage to their traditional
roots, many bartenders mix things up, combining champagne with
different liquors and elixirs for delicious results.
La Masa Empanada Bar
The Pisco Punch
is one of the few made-to-order cocktails at La Masa (versus an on-tap
cocktail). It’s made with Barsol pisco, blood orange puree, fresh
lemon juice and simple syrup, along with Portell California cava and
Jamaican No. 2 bitters. "It’s light and crisp," Elmergreen
says. "We tried making it a couple of different ways before we
came upon the right combination. It’s a labor of love." 1300 E.
Brady St., (414) 885-1866, http://lamasaempanadas.com
Femme, Wine Maniacs on the River and Wine Maniacs
Milwaukee’s own Violet Femmes, this champagne cocktail uses Kenwood
Yulupa cuvee brut and is topped with a half ounce of G. Miclo violet
liqueur. Fragrant and sparkling, it’s a great way to ring in the new
year, says Rik Acken, general manager for Wine Maniacs on the River.
"We also make one we called the Rosie, but instead of violet
liqueur, we use G. Miclo rose liqueur. naming it after Rosie O’Donnell."
106 W. Seeboth St., (414) 278-WINE (9463) and W359-N5002 Brown St.,
Oconomowoc, (262) 244-0385, winemaniacs.com
Lavender 75, Lazy Susan
Made with L’Authentique
Génépi liqueur and Uncle Val’s botanical gin, this twist on a
traditional cocktail gets heady with floral aromas. Additions include
a lavender simple syrup that’s made in house and a splash of Spanish
cava. "It’s really aromatic and really good," says Dixon.
"It’s something I would never take off our menu. I could drink
this cocktail all day long." 2378 S. Howell Ave., (414) 988-7086,
77, Le Reve Patisserie & Café
This cocktail is
a play on the traditional French 75, but instead of gin, Le Reve uses
a French elderberry cordial called St. Germain. The liqueur plays with
lemon juice and prosecco before being topped with a lemon twist.
"It’s a little bit sweeter, with citrus and floral notes,"
says Tim Minor, assistant general manager. "It’s actually quite
amazing." Minor recommends pairing it with any of the appetizers
on Le Reve’s menu. "It’s a great accompaniment to the lighter
faire, but the carbonation also cuts through heavier dishes,
too," he says. 7610 Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 778-3333,
Poinsettia, Union House
is topped with champagne, and a slice of lime floats on top of this
holiday cocktail. But the Union House also serves up a peach ’tini
made with peach vodka, orange juice and topped with sparkling wine.
"Everybody likes a little bit of fizz this time of year,"
says Curt Robinson, who owns the Union House with his wife, Patty.
"You’ve gotta have bubbles." S42-W31320 WI Highway 83,
Genesee Depot, (262)968-4281, theunionhouse.com