The other day, my friend texted me with what should have been an easy question for a bubbly-drink lover like myself: "I just bought a bottle of Prosecco. What cocktail should I make?"
Had she asked me a few months ago, the answer would have been really obvious. An Aperol Spritz! May through September, the bright orange, just-boozy-enough crowd-pleaser is my pick whenever the occasion calls for bubbles (I've yet to meet someone who doesn't love the drink). But there's something that just feels off about toasting with a summer-weather refresher when the temperatures are starting to drop.
While I may not have had one go-to winter sparkler at the ready, that doesn't mean I didn't have an answer for her. Just the opposite — I had a whole bunch of ideas.
In case you ever find yourself in a similar predicament, we've rounded up 19 of our best Prosecco cocktails below for the chillier weather — and spring and summer, too. (Psst: We may be talking Prosecco here, but you can use any dry sparkling wine or Champagne you like or have on hand.)
What is Prosecco?
Prosecco is a type of bubbly wine that hails from northern Italy (specifically the Valdobbiadene region of Veneto, Italy). It's made from the white Glera grape and is renowned for its light-bodied, super aromatic, crisp texture — and so many bubbles, of course. Because it's not produced in the Champagne region of France, it doesn't carry the steep price tag that real Champagne usually has, but don't for one second think that means it's a worse product. They're just different — different grapes, different regions, and even different fermentation processes. Oh, and Prosecco is not always sweet. Yes, it's generally sweeter than Champagne, but not in a cloying way.
Shopping for Prosecco
If you're using Prosecco or another type of sparkling wine to make a cocktail, don't go wildy and spend more than $15 to $20 on a bottle. When mixing Prosecco or cava with fruit juices, Campari, or gin, you won't have the opportunity to appreciate the youthful, fruity nuances. You can't go wrong with Mionetto, which is a dependable Prosecco that you'll be able to find in nearly every liquor store, or Santa Margherita Prosecco, which is possibly the bubbliest bubbly wine I've ever tasted.
Our best Prosecco cocktails
1. Cynar Spritz
Instead of cutting the bubbly with just juice, here we're adding Cynar, an Italian bitter liqueur, into the mix — in the style of my summer jam, the Aperol Spritz.
A lighter, bubblier riff on the Negroni — minus the gin.
3. Pom Fizz
This wintry fizz couldn't be simpler to make once you've got the pomegranate syrup handy (it calls for just one ingredient, pomegranate juice, and lasts in the fridge for up to two weeks).
A refreshing French 75 that actually prefers to be sipped from a laid-back tumbler, rather than a coupe glass.
Rum and honey take center stage in one of our favorite French 75 riffs.
A grapefruit mimosa meets a spin on the French 75 in this crisp cocktail with aquavit, a Scandinavian spirit that's typically flavored with caraway.
An earthy-fruity take on a traditional spritz, with lightly muddled blackberries, sage, and pleasantly bitter Suze.
When topped off with Prosecco, this citrusy sparkler feels just right for festive occasions, like a birthday or New Year's Eve.
We love this rendition of a Bellini — it's light, fruity, just the right amount sweet, and ideal for brunching all year long.
The addition of fresh-squeezed blood orange juice makes this French 75 spin feel right at home during the winter months; the deep-red hue's a showstopper, too.
A two-ingredient effervescent cocktail to sip before dinnertime.
This punch, from the famous New York City bar Death & Co., has a bit of a cult following — make it at home (you can swap in Prosecco) and you'll see why.
13. Gin Spritz
Crisp, clean flavors — mint, lime, gin, and Prosecco — are what this spritz is all about.
"This elixir has everything I look for in a holiday punch: a delicious ruby red color, the effervescence of Champagne, a hint of ginger spice, and enough sweetness (but not too much) to coax this rather potent punch down with ease," writes recipe author and community member Oui, Chef. (Feel free to swap in Prosecco here.)
To balance out the acidity — and play off the citrusy notes — of the blood orange juice, Cointreau comes into the mix in this play on the French 75 (last one, we promise).
"Rhubarb's bracing acidity and generous fragrance make it a perfect medium for drinks," says our founder Amanda Hesser. Here, it works wonders with vanilla, Prosecco, and fresh lime.
17. Aperol Spritz
Of course this list wouldn't be complete without our classic fave, the timeless Aperol Spritz.
This is the only thing I want to drink from Thanksgiving to New Year's. The mulled spices, cherry red color, and Prosecco bubbles are the epitome of the holiday season.
Looking for something lighter during the warmer months? This berry-forward spritz will hit the spot on a hot summer day.