While you may think of Prosecco as the bottle of bubbly you reach for when you’re still waiting for your next paycheck, the Italian sparkling wine is much more than just “cheap Champagne.” More fruit-forward than toasty Champagne, with a lighter spritz, it’s a friendly cocktail mixer that’s happy to let other ingredients get a chance in the spotlight. And yes, a good bottle of Prosecco will leave you with a much fatter wallet than its French counterpart. Here, five cocktails that taste the best when made with sweet and sharp Prosecco.
5 Best Prosecco Cocktails
Champagne may lay claim to the Mimosa, but Prosecco will always have the Bellini—the Italians wouldn’t stand for anything else. Invented in Italy in 1948, the sweet brunch-tail was inspired by 15th century Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini. The pink glow of one of his pieces gave bartender Giuseppe Cipriani the idea for the rosy-hued cocktail, which is made by topping peach purée with Prosecco.
Another Italian classic, the low-proof Aperol Spritz is the perfect daytime sipper. Its namesake Italian aperitif, which has a bitter orange and rhubarb flavor, is lightened with a spritz of Prosecco and a touch of soda water. The combo is so beloved that Gruppo Campari claims 300,000 Aperol Spritzes are drunk every day in the Veneto region of Italy alone.
This equal-parts pairing of bubbly and Guinness stout may be simple, but it’s surprisingly balanced. While the moody-colored cocktail was, appropriately, originally intended to be a mourning drink after the death of Prince Albert, there’s nothing morbid about this low-brow/high-brow treat. Though the recipe traditionally calls for Champagne, tart Prosecco is a great match for the heavy malt flavors of the beer.
Guinness stout, chilled
The Bloody Mary is a meal in itself, but this lighter, effervescent take on the classic is a refreshing alternative. Spicy and briny Clamato Picante mixes with vodka, cucumber bitters and a topping of Prosecco for a lightly sweet and vegetal daytime drink.
The NOLA classic meets the Champagne Cocktail in this sparkling cocktail. A healthy dose of Prosecco tops absinthe and a Peychaud’s bitters-soaked sugar cube for a boldly spiced and briskly herbal tipple.