As the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness flows into the season of cheers and fellow mirthfulness, diaries are filling up with so many reasons to celebrate this special time of year – and each other.
Long-awaited gatherings with friends and family. Long lunches, indulgent dinners and entertaining evenings. Sharing a bottle of something sparkling is apt for all these occasions. And to make them even more memorable? Add some sparkle to a special festive cocktail.
So we asked five innovative mixologists from around the UK to create a unique cocktail to celebrate the season using their choice of our sparkling wines. The result is this curated set of showstopping recipes that fizz with their flair for flavours and showcase the versatility of Gusbourne sparkling wine – even more ways to make this a vintage Christmas. (And yes, do try this at home!)
The 1410 Fizz
Created by Walter Pintus, Beverage Manager at The Conduit, London
This is a drink that positively sings with Christmassy notes. Citrus, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla…there’s no more festive combination. But it’s the clementine that’s the real star here, a nod to the original Christmas stocking stuffer. Placing oranges and clementines in stockings are thought to symbolise the gold coins that a kindly man known as Saint Nicholas dropped down the chimney of a less fortunate neighbour. A fitting companion for our bright golden Blanc de Blancs.
“Inspired by the aromas and flavours of autumn, this cocktail combines fresh zesty elements with a hint of winter spices. It’s both warming and refreshing, and it showcases the elegance and minerality of Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs. Completely harmonious. Why 1410? That’s the year the Gusbourne Estate in Kent dates back to.”
30ml spiced clementine sherbet (recipe below)
10ml London dry gin
Stir the gin and clementine sherbet over ice and strain into a champagne flute. Top up with Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs.
For the spiced clementine sherbet:
200ml clementine juice
Zest of 5 clementines
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/4 vanilla pod (or approx. 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, to taste)
50g caster sugar
Mix all the ingredients together, stir well and leave to infuse in the fridge for 24 hours. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and decant into a bottle. Keep refrigerated and use within one week.
Step aside, Buck’s Fizz. The 1410 Fizz is the new Christmas Day in a glass.
The Sloe Down Charlie
Created by Tiren Manning, Master Cocktail Creator at The Elder, Bath, Somerset
“This is a delightfully simple cocktail to make at home and was inspired by a friend who goes foraging for sloe berries in Sussex. The sloe gin lends a sweetness and deeply autumnal colour. The Gusbourne Brut Reserve is such a versatile ingredient – lots of sparkle and nicely dry for balance. The ‘garnish’ is the smell of the bitters.”
30ml sloe gin
20ml lemon juice
10 ml simple syrup (1:1 caster sugar and water, dissolved)
1 drop plum bitters (or misted through an atomiser)
Add the sloe gin, lemon juice (preferably freshly squeezed), simple syrup and ice to a cocktail shaker and give it a couple of short, sharp shakes. Double-strain into a flute and top up with chilled Gusbourne Brut Reserve. Spritz the plum bitters over as garnish.
Take it sloe and kick off a cosy fireside gathering featuring good food and great friends with this elegant aperitif.
The Kent Orchard
Created by Jonathon Downs, Group Bar Manager at Fordwich Arms, Canterbury, Kent
“These ingredients come together beautifully to reflect the crisp green apple and brioche notes in Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs. The addition of Green Chartreuse adds both depth and a herbaceous element. A perfect sparkling cocktail for the autumn/winter season. Fresh and celebratory!”
15ml apple juice
7ml Green Chartreuse
7ml simple syrup (1:1 water and caster sugar, dissolved)
Over ice, shake the gin, apple juice, liqueur and sugar syrup. Then add the sparkling wine. Double-strain into a chilled champagne flute and garnish with thinly sliced fresh Granny Smith apple (or dehydrated apple slices made in advance).
Pre-Christmas lunch? Festive afternoon tea? Start any holiday gathering with this refreshingly unique cocktail. Perfect as an aperitif.
The Wild Strawberry 75
Created by Grant Coffield, Bar Manager at The Gannet, Glasgow
“From our Flora Scotia menu – eight experiential cocktails designed to complement the dishes our chefs create – this recipe uses house-made liqueur, vinegar and shrub infusion. For making at home, these aren’t essential – you could equally use any premium strawberry liqueur, cassis or a seasonal blood orange or quince liqueur. The fruit character and delicate mouthfeel of Gusbourne’s sparkling Rosé make for an elegant match here.”
20ml pisco (or vodka)
20ml strawberry and woodruff liqueur (or any premium strawberry liqueur, such as Bepi Tosolini Fragola)
5ml homemade pineapple weed shrub (aka wild chamomile) infusion (optional)
dash of white Modena vinegar or squeeze of lemon
50ml Gusbourne Rosé
Stir the pisco or vodka, the liqueur, plus the shrub infusion (or white vinegar or lemon) over ice and strain into a champagne flute. Top up with the Gusbourne Rosé and serve with seasonal berry garnish. Try reducing the amount of liqueur to really showcase the character of the sparkling rosé.
Indulge your inner mixologist and experiment with different liqueurs and infusions – or make a festive match with a decadent berry-rich dessert.
The Christmas Morning Wake-up Call (pictured above)
Created by Kian O’Hara, Bartender at The 43 Club, Mobile cocktail experience
“With this twist on a much-loved classic, I wanted to capture everything that is comforting and gratifying about the festive season. The marriage of Edwards 1902 vodka and Gusbourne Brut Reserve, accompanied by some classic seasonal flavours, elevates this tipple to an indulgent Christmas treat.”
25ml freshly squeezed clementine juice
Orange peel twist
Freshly grated nutmeg (or ground)
Pour the vodka and clementine juice into a couple or flute, then top up with Gusbourne Brut Reserve. Twist a shaving of fresh orange peel over the glass to release the oils, then dust with a freshly grated nutmeg.
The clue’s in the name. Cheers to Christmas Day!
Inspired to get mixing at home? Browse our wines for your perfect match.
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