When planning the perfect bridal shower you have one very important decision to make-- no, not whether or not to play the "toilet paper" wedding gown game or who's going to keep an eye on your weepy-old-maid Aunt Matilda-- it's what sort of libation to serve. Great cocktails can make or break a party (especially ones with annoying games and weepy aunts) and in the case of a shower there's nothing more versatile than champagne. What's so great about this bubbly little spirit? While sublimely delicious and decadent on its own, it also adds the sparkle to myriad champagne cocktails.
Making great champagne cocktails can be quite simple. Just adding a splash of orange juice turns a simple glass of the bubbly into a Mimosa. A drop of peach nectar (or peach schnaaps) gives you a Bellini. In that vein you can add a dash of any juice that catches your fancy: pomegrante, mango, cranberry or blueberry. Make any one of these the bride's specialty cocktail for the day. Serving "Marlee's Mango Madness" or "Bridget's Blueberry Bash" can be a simple way to make the bride feel even more special during her party.
Besides Bellinis or Mimosas, you can serve the classic Champagne Cocktail which is simply made by placing one sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne flute, adding a few drops of Angoustora bitters and slowly filling the glass with champagne (slowly being the key as the sugar and bitters will increase the amount of bubbles in the wine.) Adding Chambord, a French raspberry liquor, turns simple champagne into a very regal Kir Royale. Garnish it with a lemon twist and you have a beverage fit for a queen.
This is all well and good, you say, but my friends are more of a hip, martini crowd. Fear not. You can still create simple martinis that use champagne as one of the ingredients. Chambord recently also released a raspberry vodka. This light pink concoction is the perfect base for a sweet and smooth martini for the bride to be. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add 1 1/2 oz of the Chambord Vodka and 1/2 oz of white creme de caocao. Shake and pour into a chilled martini glass. Top off with ice cold champagne and garnish with an organic pink rose petal and you will have a picture perfect cocktail for your party.
If you're watching your money you can also explore many delicious sparkling wines produced in California along with tasty Proseccos from Italy and yummy Cavas from Spain. Many times these can prove to be a budget-friendly alternative to more expensive champagnes.
The most important thing when you're planning on what cocktails to serve for your party is that you give your guests a variety of choices while sticking to the confines of your budget and your planning sanity. And, as illustrated above, using a variety of champagne cocktails is the perfect way to do it.
So strap on your "toilet paper" wedding gown, get Aunt Matilda good and boozed up and have a great time!