“I need you to make cocktails on Thursday. Sparkling cocktails,” Suzen told me last week.
“How many people?”
“Oh, time for punch.” I gave my natural reaction. I was not making cocktails for 32 people.
“No, individual cocktails. I suggest you do research.” Apparently I was.
And so I have. For that many people, I needed something different and exciting. And easy. I didn’t want to be squeezing lemons or limes or oranges for 30+ people. I didn’t want to have three or four alcoholic components. I needed volume, production, swiftness.
This is why God has given us sorbet. You get flavor, coldness, and — when slightly softened — scoopability. That’s a technical term that has nothing to do with cat litter.
For that many people, I scaled up, putting softened sorbet in our Vitamix and processing to get a base for this cocktail. I had seen a recipe for this beverage that called for orange flavored vodka. For this lunchtime event, we wanted a less forceful drink, so I substituted a simple sugar syrup. I added just enough additional champagne to get a “flowing” mixture. You can then simply pour this mixture into each champagne flute, and top off with champagne. Gently stir to mix. Top with the raspberries and savor the bubbles.
Lemon sorbet works perfectly. You can go down another flavor profile: mango, peach, raspberry, … You can even offer up two or three pitchers, each with its own flavor and color.
Be prepared: people drink this readily and happily.
Lemon Sorbet Bellini
Yield: enough for at least 10 servings
- 1 pint lemon sorbet, softened
- ½ cup simple syrup
- 1 cup champagne
- Chilled bottles of champagne [one or more]
- 1 pint of strawberries
Combine the sorbet with the simple syrup and 1 cup of champagne in a strong blender. Our Vitamix was a godsend here. Process until you have a smooth mixture that is thick but pourable. You may need to adjust the amount of champagne depending on how much you have softened the sorbet. So, I would add the champagne gradually.
Put 2+ tablespoons of this mixture in the bottom of a champagne flute. Fill the flute to the halfway point – or more. Garnish with a raspberry.
Source: Brian O’Rourke
Brian and I are working our way through Kim Haasarud’s wonderful 101 Champagne Cocktails. We’ve had good and great drinks so far, and then we had this one: superior in every sense. This is just an easy, delightful beverage. Champagne in a blender? Who has ever done that before? As the picture above shows, you get a little fizz with your buzz. The balance of this drink is very intriguing: the pineapple and berries simply merge with the sweetness of the syrup to create something that tastes great but that you can’t pinpoint. You can’t tell what berry, or that it is pineapple. It’s just good.
We’ve made this beverage both with and without the ice cubes that are suggested. You certainly more volume with the ice, Brian prefers to add just a couple of cubes. The resulting color and flavor are more intense. For a party, this is an interesting beverage choice. You can just scale it up, turn on the blender and you’re set to serve everyone!
Frozen Berry Bellini
Yield: drinks for 2
- ½ cup mixed berries [blackberries are excellent] plus more for garnish
- 3 ounces champagne
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 1 ounce pineapple juice
Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth. Add 1 cup of ice cubes and process. Pour into small juice glasses and garnish with a few berries
Source: 101 Champagne Cocktails by Kim Haasarud.