Suzi's Blog

Lemon Bellini


“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



Feliz Navidad: A Holiday Cocktail with Tequila and Champagne


Blue is not Christmas green or red, but the blue of blue curacao is surely a message of celebration. This cocktail, from Holiday Cocktails by Jessica Strand, is a beautiful surprise. You may love tequila. You probably love champagne, or some sparkling wine. Citrus flavors always make the palette sparkle. In this drink, you combine all those flavors in one enchanting beverage.

This recipe calls for champagne but obviously any sparkling wine will create interesting flavors. I particularly like Cava. A little added sweetness is a great match for the lime juice here. And, as usual, lemon juice can be substituted for the lime juice to form a different flavor profile.

This cocktail can easily be scaled up. A pitcher of these would be a fine way to begin a holiday party.

Feliz Navidad

Yield: 1 drink


  • 1 ounce blue curacao
  • 1 ounce tequila
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 ounces champagne
  • Citrus slice for garnish [orange, lemon, or lime]


Pour the blue curacao, tequila, lime juice, and champagne into a glass — classic cocktail or red wine — filled with 4 to 5 ice cubes. Stir with a bar spoon, then garnish with the orange slice.

Source: Holiday Cocktails by Jessica Strand