San Diego

Beyond the Mimosa: Cool Champagne Cocktails

Dec 27th 2010 9:14AM / by Nanette Wiser

Jazz up your holiday with inventive champagne cocktails that make a mimosa look under-dressed. The more festive the flute, the better and be sure not to waste the good stuff when brewing up a batch. Mixologists swear by the soft, clean taste of prosecco, very fizzy spumante or under-$20 domestic sparklers such as Korbel for bodacious Bellinis.

El Bizcocho: Rancho Bernardo Inn serves up this champagne, Crème de Cassis and blackberry caviar cocktail. It's berrilicious while you enjoy the vintage Old-World holiday decor and exceptional tasting menus. If bubbly isn't your boite, grab something French from the 1,600 label wine cellar.
Rancho Bernardo Inn, 17550 Bernardo Oaks Dr.; 858-675-8550
FLUXX Nightclub: Mixologist Branno Kent's celebratory cocktail combines Cointreau, Pernod, sugar, orange zest, dried bay leaves, all spice berries for a scentsational brut bubbly. Fluxx also offers bottle service.
500 Fourth Ave.; 619-232-8100
George's Ocean Terrace: George's chef Trey Foshee's festive cocktail features brandied Mirabelle plum puree, Pernod and champagne. It's best sipped from the rooftop overlooking the mighty Pacific winter waves and whales. During the holidays, you'll bump into old friends stopping into La Jolla's culinary City Hall, hoping to shake hands with the owner for a bit of 2011 luck.
1250 Prospect St., La Jolla; 858-454-4244
Grant Grill: Grant Grill 's sommelier Jeff Josenhans loves Pierre Morlet 1999, but his last 2010 champagne cocktail features Tanqueray, rosemary-infused sugar, pear puree, and champagne, topped with a clover garnish. "It is herbaceous, complex, fruit forward and spritzy all at the same time," says Josenhans. This luxurious hotel bar's chic, classy ambiance and notable live jazz makes it a local favorite.
U.S. Grant Hotel, 326 Broadway; 619-744-2077
The Prado: This bellini is moto bene thanks to the fresh white peach puree complimenting the peach Schnapps and Kenwood champagne. Wile away the afternoon at Prado after meandering through the Natural History Museum and Museum of Photographic Arts, while lions and tigers from the San Diego Zoo roar in the background.
1549 El Prado, Balboa Park; 619-557-9441
Sally's Seafood On The Water: Gazing at the yachts, wondering where yours is? Down your sorrows with Sally's frozen bellini, a heady concoction of Absolut Raspberri vodka, peach Schnapps, Domaine Chandon Brut and sour mix, topped with Chambord. Sally's boasts one of the best happy hours downtown -- especially Wasabi Wednesdays (2:30pm - 5:30pm).
One Market Place; 619-358-6740

Favorite Hotels
The Pearl Hotel
Hotel del Coronado
1906 Lodge on Coronado
The Cosmopolitan Hotel
Andaz San Diego
Paradies Point Spa & Resort
Hotel Indigo San Diego
Hilton San Diego Bayfront
The Se San Diego
Porto Vista Hotel & Suites
The Grand Del Mar
Temecula Creek Inn

Everywhere Else
Anna Maria Beach Cottages
Epic Hotel Miami
Los Cabos Resort
Crystal River, Florida
Sanibel Beach Resort, Florida
Sonoma Mission Inn

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