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Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Drink a Desert Rose Margarita for Cinco de Mayo

May 5, 2012

The Desert Rose cocktail — with guava, passion fruit, lime and of course tequila — makes a great sparkling alternative to a classic margarita for Cinco de Mayo.

Who doesn’t love a margarita, especially on an important drinking holiday like Cinco de Mayo? As you’re probably aware, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s equivalent of the Fourth of July. May 5 was the date of an important battle near the city of Puebla where the Mexican army defeated French forces.

Here in the US, it makes a great time to enjoy Mexican beer, tequila and margaritas. There are so many great twists on the classic lime and tequila cocktail (Pink Cadillac anyone?), so I thought of a way to add some of my favorite tropical fruits to the drink while I was writing my champagne cocktail book The Bubbly Bar. A few drops of rose water, guava and passion fruit make my Desert Rose one of the most fragrant margaritas you’ll ever enjoy.

Desert Rose

In this sultry sparkling version of a margarita, guava nectar and passion fruit juice add the sweet-tart flavor that would ordinarily come from sour mix.

1 ounce guava nectar

1 ounce passion fruit juice

½ ounce tequila

½ ounce Grand Marnier

Juice of ½ lime

3 drops rose water (optional)

3 ounces dry sparkling wine

1 key lime slice for garnish

Add guava and passion fruit juices, tequila, Grand Marnier, lime juice and rose water if using to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into a margarita style glass. Garnish with the lime.

Makes 1 cocktail

From: The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion (Clarkson Potter, 2009)


Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Celebrities & Champagne, Drinks

Sip a Sparkling Viola Cocktail: Inspired by Viola Davis

February 24, 2012

Inspired by actress Viola Davis, the Sparkling Viola cocktail is a deliciously bubbly mix of violet and blackberry garnished with edible flowers and edible 24 K gold.

For the first time in a few years, I’ll be tuning into the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday. I’ll be watching because I really want to see Viola Davis with the award for Best Actress.

This amazing actress, wife and mother is getting her long-overdue star turn for her work in The Help, a movie about a group of maids in 1960s Mississippi.

She may seem like a late bloomer, but Viola Davis has been practicing her craft for years, giving deeply moving portrayals of people who were often in some kind of pain. One of my roles favorite was on the show “Without a Trace.” She played a mother grappling with the disappearance of her son, and the fact that TV news blasted the story of a missing blond girl, while ignoring her son’s plight.

Davis is making the most of her star turn with gorgeous awards-show ensembles, which inspired the Polyvore set by Svud Je Holivud. Viola’s bubbly, dark and lovely and it inspired me to toast her with a special golden Oscar’s cocktail.

The viola, a dainty flower related to the violet and pansy, is one of my favorite edible flowers. They come in a range of gorgeous shades, and they have so much personality with markings that resemble a face. Candied or in cocktails, they have a sweet cucumber taste.

The Sparkling Viola
1 ounce Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette Liqueur
3/4 ounce blackberry syrup
4 ounces demi sec champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
1 fresh blackberry
1 organic viola flower
24K edible gold leaf flakes

Add the violet liqueur and blackberry syrup to a champagne flute. Top with the sparkling wine. Garnish with the blackberry. Lay the viola on top of the cocktail and top with a sprinkle of gold.

© By Maria C. Hunt aka The Bubbly Girl. All rights reserved.



Viola Davis

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Make a Pink Rose Cocktail for Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2012

Floral rose notes, Pink Pigeon Rum and sparkling wine make for a romantic combination in my Pink Rose Cocktail – it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day.

There’s something incredibly alluring – and delicious – about the combination of roses, raspberries and sparkling wine. The flavor of roses and tart raspberries meld so well, and the bubbles are like an atomizer that bring the gorgeous scent floating out of the glass.

I’ve made plenty of rose and raspberry cocktails over the years, but when Valentine’s Day come around, I like to revisit it to see if I can invent anything new. I love the way the combination of rose and raspberry is a beautiful shade of pink and it’s intensely flavored enough to work with a variety of spirits.

(For some of my favorite pink wines, check out this Valentine’s Day rosé post on Williams-Sonoma’s Blender blog.)

This year I was inspired by the release of Pink Pigeon, a Madagascar vanilla-scented rum from the African island of Mauritius. I used a rose syrup in my cocktail, but it also works with a Tea Rose Petal Jam like this one from Harvest Song. I balanced the fruity and floral flavors in this cocktail with a splash of Campari. Like love, a good cocktail is bitter and sweet.

Pink Rose Cocktail
1 ounce Pink Pigeon Rum
3 raspberries, fresh or thawed frozen ones, plus one for garnish
1/2 ounce rose syrup (or 1 tsp. Tea Rose Petal Jam)
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1 teaspoon Campari
2 ounces sparkling wine, brut, brut rosé or blanc de noirs
fresh organic rose petal

Add the rum and raspberries to a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add the rose syrup (or jam), lemon juice and Campari. Shake until well-chilled, then double strain into a champagne coupe. Top with chilled sparkling wine, then garnish with a rose petal and the remaining raspberry.

©By Maria C. Hunt aka The Bubbly Girl

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

The Nutty Persimmon: A Halloween Cocktail in Orange & Black

October 29, 2011

Persimmon creates a delicious and seasonal orange cocktail for Halloween drinking. A fresh candied walnut makes a spooky garnish.

When it comes to creating orange drinks for Halloween, most people reach for a can of pumpkin. Or more creatively, some sweet potato puree. But both of those are so thick and starchy, they make rather substantial drinks.

I’ve discovered that persimmons are the perfect orange base for a Halloween cocktail. They’re a beautiful hue, persimmons are really coming into season in mid-October and their sweet, unassertive flavor mixes well.

Visit Maria’s Good Things for more persimmon recipes.

I paired my persimmon syrup  (mix a cup of organic persimmon puree with a brown- sugar simple syrup) with some preserved fresh walnuts from Harvest Song Ventures. Black, soft and sweet, the candied walnuts are often paired with blue cheese or even foie gras. The baby walnuts do look rather alarming, so you could say they were decaying eyeballs, spider eggs or something equally gross for Halloween.

The Nutty Persimmon

1-1/2 ounces persimmon syrup
1-1/2 ounces Laird’s applejack (or bourbon)
1 teaspoon walnut syrup
juice of 1/4 lemon
shake nutmeg
shake powdered cinnamon
float of blanc de noirs sparkling wine
1/2 fresh walnut, for garnish

Add the persimmon syrup, applejack, walnut syrup, lemon juice and spices to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well-chilled, then strain into a small martin glass or a coupe. Top with the blanc de noirs and stir lightly. Garnish with the fresh walnut half.

Makes 1 cocktail

© By Maria C. Hunt, aka The Bubbly Girl

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Sparkling Grape Harvest in Sonoma & the Tiziano Cocktail Recipe

September 20, 2011

Pinot noir grapes for sparkling wine are being harvested at Iron Horse Vineyards in west Sonoma County. 

The sparkling grape harvest is under way in Sonoma wine country, and of course that means it’s time for harvest parties.

Saturday was the Flavors of Fall Festival at Korbel Winery in Guerneville, which is the largest sparkling wine producer in the United States. The history of the winery dates back more than 100 years when three brothers from Bohemia started a farm in Guernville. They found that nothing grew that well, except for wine grapes. They made their first vintage of sparkling wine in 1882, using grapes that were readily available locally and the same fermentation method as used in Champagne region of France.

If you’ve never been to Korbel, you’ll find it’s a very picturesque property that spreads out among majestic redwood trees. The garden tour takes guests behind a ornate wrought iron gate that’s usually locked and into pathways lined with creeping hydrangea, heirloom roses, elderberry, dahlias, anemone and a variety of other exotic plants. The garden is also a magnet for butterflies; deep sapphire blue swallowtails flitted about. One of the most impressive sights are the ancient redwoods, some of which are more than 1,000 years old.

This stand of redwoods at Korbel Winery in Guerneville is said to be over 1,000 years old.

The winery also offers a range of sparkling wines that can’t be found easily in the market. Since I was signing copies of The Bubbly Bar in the tasting room, I had time to taste some wine. My favorites were the 100% Chardonnay sparkling wine which was dry at just 1.0 dosage, creamy on the palate and full of golden apple and citrus flavors. I was also really impressed with the refreshing Sparkling Riesling made from fruit sourced in Mendocino County. It’s pleasantly off-dry at 3.6 percent sugar with a notes of stone fruit, slatey minerality and good acid structure.

I woke up Sunday to another sunny and hot day in west Sonoma county and the harvest party at Iron Horse Vineyards for members of the Corral Club. We walked up a pathway lined with hand-painted wine bottles holding zinnias from the Sterlings’ garden. Lunch started with duck egg omelets, local sausage and creamy golden cheese with I am the Ocean Reserve. We walked through the tomato, squash and pumpkin patches and hiked up the hill to the tasting room overlooking Green Valley while others line danced. Then the feast began lunch with grilled local lamb, spicy turkey tacos and a jumble of tomatoes along with a reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

We started the party with the Tiziano, a wine country cocktail made with fresh pressed grape juice and sparkling wine. If you decide to try this delicious and simple cocktail, juice your own grapes or buy some high-quality bottled grape juice like the Vignette Wine Country Sodas. Here’s the Tiziano recipe:

With fresh pressed grape juice and sparkling wine, Tiziano is a favorite harvest time cocktail at grape harvest time.

Tiziano Cocktail

15 to 20 red grapes for 3 ounces fresh-pressed red grape juice, plus 2 extra grapes

3 to 4 ounces brut sparkling wine

One red grape, for garnish

One green grape, for garnish

Puree grapes in a blender. Strain puree through a sieve into a champagne flute. Discard grape pulp. Top with Prosecco. Garnish with the red and green grape threaded on  a long bamboo skewer.

Variation: This cocktail takes on a whole different hue and flavor when made with green grapes or an aromatic variety like the Muscat.