5 to Try: Champagne Cocktails

What a pleasure it is to wake up and immediately drink down. Thanks to the French, who invented Champagne sparkling wine, this is a possibility that's made sweeter and more fun with the more modern discovery of Champagne cocktails, which have come a long way from the mimosas and bellinis you used to sneak sips of at Mother's Day brunch. And now, with a plethora of sparkling wine cocktails gracing the night-time menus of fine establishments all over Philadelphia, Champagne is not just for breakfast anymore.

Updated: December 30, 2009

5 to Try


James

824 S 8th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Don't say ?Cheers,? say ?Salud,? over a cava cocktail at this perennial South Philly favorite. Cava, which is the Spanish version of bubbly, is produced mainly in the Catalonia region near Barcelona and gets its name from the cave aging process that was used 100 years ago. That said, you can try it out in the Citron Cava Cocktail, ?aged? in the glass with St. Germain Elderflower and lemon bitters.


Jones

700 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Phew! Talk about getting in a little post-drinking hair o? the dog with some refreshing vitamin C. There are no fewer than three fruits in the Return of the Pink Elephant: orange vodka, lemonade and cranberry juice (yes, the orange in the vodka counts). Fizz it up with some Champagne and you have yourself an eye-opening morning cocktail. Hello, pink elephant, you are ready for your day.


Alma De Cuba

1623 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Take your wine and spirits a la Castro with a Cuban Cava. Fresh mango puree and a sugar rim give this glass of Spanish sparkly a revolutionary new sweet taste. Raise it to your lips and thank the Cuban labor movement for its good work.


Swanky Bubbles

10 S Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Oh, Swanky Bubbles. How remiss we would be to leave you off this list. Not only do you carry about 35 different bottles of the good stuff, you have elevated sparkling wine to its most festive form with a menu of 15 Champagne cocktails. Red Velvet, Oui-Oui and Lick Me Lemon are all but a few of the fine variations. To discover the ingredients and the myriad other options, you'll just have to head to Front Street and taste them for yourself.


Zahav

237 St. James Place, Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Israeli influenced Jerusalem Cocktail is very simple: sparkling wine and the pulp of the sabra fruit. A sabra is a type of prickly pear with a thick peel that must be removed in order to reach the sweet flesh inside. Incidentally, this is also the slang name for Israeli women. Any American dude who's ever tried to ask one out needn't ask why this is.