I would love to afford to drink Champagne every day but it is not in the budget. What is in the budget is Prosecco. As you probably know only bubbles produced in the region of Champagne can be called Champagne. Everywhere else it is “sparkling wine”. It is also a fraction of the price. My favorite sparkling wine is Proscecco. It is Italy’s sparkling wine and they do a good job. The bubbles are fine; there is a nice balance between acidity and a touch of sweetness. For a change of pace I like to kick it up a notch my making my version of a Champagne cocktail.
I take a handful of cherries and take the seeds out. Simmer them in some brandy, a cinnamon stick, a couple cloves and a lemon wedge and then pour in a simple syrup (half water, half sugar, bring to a boil) and simmer for a few minutes. Store those puppies in a glass jar and you can drop one in a cocktail as well as use the juice. In this case I poured an oz of juice in the bottom of the glass and then filled it up with Proscecco. You get a great pink color. The key is to put the right amount. You want it to take three or four sips for the flavors to build. First sip you say, wow, that is tasty but what is it? Then on the second sip you get some spices and a nice aftertaste of brandy; mild but it is there to add some depth. On the third and fourth sip it is like you bit into a ripe cherry! Your mouth is full of flavor with everything that is going on. Just when you think it is going to be too much the bubbles and the acidity of the Prosecco swoop in and cleanse your palate. Repeat step 1! The cherry brandy flavors work great with a piece of grilled salmon. The acidity cuts the richness of the fat in the Salmon and the brandy/cherry profile stands up to the strong flavor of salmon and the grill. Have a great day!
Eat well, enjoy life, be happy.