The secret to making a successful cocktail at home is to keep them simple. And with fabulous champagne as the main magic ingredient, they are bound to taste good! The million-dollar question is, of course, what sort of champagne should you use? Personally, I think it’s a mistake to use vintage, deluxe champagne or the very best, most expensive sparkling wines. Instead I prefer a light -to -medium-bodied, everyday kind of champagne, such as affordable and great-quality Australian Angus Brut NV, the consistently good California fizz Mumm Cuvee Napa NV or Spanish Cava, or for something slightly more fruity, a French sparkler such as Blanquette de Limoux. If you want much sweeter cocktails, use a sweet demi-sec fizz or a sweet Italian bubbly such as Asti Spumante or Muscato d’Asti.
In terms of quantities, to avoid measuring out ingredients, simply keep to the proportions stated and gauge the measure by eye. This means you can make as much or as little as you wish, irrespective of the size of the glass or pitcher. When making fruit-based cocktails, always use freshly squeezed fruit juice for a more refreshing taste.
Finally, as ever with fabulous bubbly, make sure it is thoroughly chilled and don’t be tempted to make cocktails in advance or you will reduce the all-important bubble-count.