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Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

The Bubbly Girl Drink of the Week: Sparkling Strawberry Summer Sangria

June 19, 2011

This Sparkling Strawberry Summer Sangria stars everybody’s favorite berry, apricots and brachetto, the sweet-tart red sparkling wine from Italy that tastes of roses, currants and raspberries.

Summer is almost upon us, so I figured it was time to start concocting one of my favorite styles of summer drinks: sangria.

Sangria, which takes its name from the Spanish word for blood, is usually a mix of red wine, fruit, spirits and a little spice.  But really, any inexpensive wine — red, white, or bubbly — can be the start of delicious sangria, as I learned while travelling through Spain’s cava sparkling wine region. Gareth of Mont Marçal Cava shared his Spanish sangria recipe that works equally well with red or white wine.

They can be made year-round with whatever fruit you have on hand, but to me sangrias are most delicious in summer, when they showcase fleeting gems like apricots, white cherries and ripe berries. One of my favorite sangria recipes ever is this Apricot & White Cherry Sangria I created a couple seasons ago.

Best of all, if you’re hosting a party, sangrias are crowd-pleasers – even people who claim not to like sweet drinks will be back for another fruity glass. The trick is achieving a balance between the sweet, tart and spirited elements in your mix.

Last weekend I discovered a bargain bottle of brachetto, a sweet-tart sparkling wine from Piedmont, Italy at a store called Grocery Outlet. Priced at just $7.99 this wine bursting with aromas and flavors of raspberries, strawberries and roses begged to be mixed with fruits in a sangria. So I gave in.

Sparkling Summer Strawberry Sangria

1 cup Limoncello liqueur

1 cup apricot liqueur

1 cup fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

4 ripe apricots, cut in slivers

4 key limes, thinly slices

¼ cup lime juice

1 bottle brachetto Italian sparkling wine, chilled

1/2 bottle peach sparkling cider

3 shakes orange bitters

whole strawberries, for garnish

If you’re starting your sangria a few hours or the night before you plan to serve it, combine the Limoncello, apricot liqueur, strawberries, raspberries, apricots, limes , and lime juice in a glass pitcher. Just before serving, add the chilled brachetto and the sparkling cider. Garnish the glasses with a whole strawberry.

Makes 6 to 8 servings


© 2011 By Maria Hunt aka The Bubbly Girl


Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Framboise Apricot Punch Recipe

January 30, 2011

I have my friend Kalisa, an extraordinary cook and entertainer who once catered to ex-presidents, to thank for this recipe. It’s sweet and potent and you and your friends will want more when the bowl is dry.

1 cup orange juice
½ cup water
1 cup pomegranate seeds (or frozen raspberries depending on season), divided use
¾ cup Framboise (raspberry eau de vie)
½ cup VSOP Cognac
¼ cup apricot brandy
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
½ cup sugar
½ cup sour mix
2 bottles Rotari or Mirabelle brut sparkling wine

Combine the orange juice, water and ½ cup pomegranate seeds (or raspberries) in a small ring gelatin mold or a small square plastic container with a lid. Freeze for 24 hours. Combine the Framboise, Cognac and brandy, orange and lemon slices and sugar in a plastic container. Let fruit soak in the liquor overnight.

The day you plan to serve the punch, pour the sour mix and two bottles of sparkling wine in a large punch bowl. Add the liquor-soaked fruit and the rest of the pomegranate seeds (or raspberries). Crown punch with the orange and pomegranate or raspberry ice mold, which will keep the punch cold.


© Adapted from The Bubbly Bar by Maria C. Hunt, (Clarkson Potter, 2009)

All rights reserved.

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes

The Bubbly Girl Drink of the Week: Apricot & White Cherry Sangria

May 22, 2009
Fresh white cherries and apicots - soaked in apricot brandy and maraschino - make this sparkling sangria a delicious treat for Memorial Day weekend.

Fresh white cherries and apricots - soaked in apricot brandy, Cognac and Maraschino liqueur - make this golden sparkling sangria created by The Bubbly Girl a delicious treat for Memorial Day weekend parties. (Photo by Paul Body)

The somewhat awkward season between spring and summer is actually one of my favorite times of year. It’s the time when the first soft and fragrant apricots appear in the stores, along with the gorgeous white cherries that might be called Rainiers or Napoleons.

Besides their delicate flavors, these fruits look  beautiful together, so I decided to make up a special white sangria to use these early summer fruits. The market had some gleaming white Asian pears that looked very fresh and juicy, so I threw those in the mix too.  Of course, the wine in this sangria is a sparkling wine, in this case a bottle of sparkling pinot grigio that I had snagged from Trader Joe’s. Sangria doesn’t need expensive wine, something in the $5 to $8 range works just fine.

Apricot & White Cherry Sangria

Makes 8 servings

8 fresh apricots, cut in quarters

1 cup white cherries, pitted and halved

1 white Asian pear, cored and diced

1 lemon halved and thinly sliced in half moons

Juice of 1 orange or 2 tangerines

1/2 cup apricot brandy

1/2 cup Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur (at BevMo)

1/2 cup Landy Cognac

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon orange bitters

1 bottle brut sparkling wine, well chilled

handful fresh mint, torn

Add the apricots, cherries, Asian pear, lemon slices and orange or tangerine juice to a large pitcher. Top with the apricot brandy, Maraschino and Cognac. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. You could let the sangria sit for a while in the refrigerator at this point so the fruit has some time to soak and release its flavors. Or if you’re in a hurry, next add the orange bitters and sparkling wine to the pitcher. Add a cup of crushed ice, since this is a pretty potent sangria or you could add another bottle of sparkling wine if you want it to serve more people. Top with the freshly torn mint and serve by ladling some fruit into each glass and then pouring sangria on top.

By Maria Hunt aka The Bubbly Girl, author of The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion (Clarkson Potter, August 2009)

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