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.
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
Â½ ounce tequila
Â½ 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)
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
Eileen Crane, CEO and winemaker of Domaine Carneros in the Napa Valley, has been crafting French style sparkling wines longer than anyone else in America.
Winemakers come and go, but few are as worth meeting as Eileen Crane, the winemaker and CEO of Domaine Carneros in the Napa Valley. She’s in San Diego on Tuesday March 31, for a Bubbly Night Out cocktail party and dinner showcasing her sparkling and still wines at The Winesellar & Brasserie.
She’s a font of fascinating historical and cultural information on champagne; she also crafts some of the most distinctive and satisfying sparkling wines made in America. Whether the Brut Cuvée, the dreamy Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs (my favorite), or the Brut Rosé Cuvée de la Pompadour (my other favorite), all the Domaine Carneros sparkling wines share a French toastiness and structure balanced with the ripe juiciness of California fruit. It’s quite something to visit the gorgeous chateau style winery, which recalls the Louis XV style Chateau La Marquetterie near Epernay, France where Domaine Carneros parent company Taittinger hosts its Maison de Champagne receptions.
Whether the Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs or the Brut Rosé Cuvée de la Pompadour, all Domaine Carneros sparkling wines share a French toastiness and structure balanced by juicy California fruit.
Crane has been blending fine sparkling wine for 30 years — longer than anyone in the country. She studied nutrition and attended the Culinary Institute of America when she became fascinated with winemaking. So she picked up an enology degree at UC Davis and then made wine at Domaine Chandon and Gloria Ferrer before Claude Taittinger selected Crane to lead Domaine Carneros.
As much as I’m looking forward to tasting her wines, I can’t wait to ask her about the organic cultivation at their estate vineyards. As Crane explains in this Q & A in The Organic Wine Journal, they’ve been quietly working towards the organic certification that their four Carneros vineyards received in late 2007 from the California Certified Organic Farmers. Domaine Carneros sparkling wine made from organic grapes can’t be far behind!