We love to have a pre-made cocktail on hand for a party – it just adds to the festive atmosphere and is a great way to welcome guests.
The cocktail pick for Thanksgiving this year is our Cherry Amaretto Sparkler. It’s like a cherry mimosa with a splash of amaretto, which elevates it to elegant sophistication somewhat reminiscent of a chocolate-covered cherry cordial.
This stunning cocktail is super-easy and you can make it in bulk or by the drink. The ratio is 4-1-1: 4 parts sparkling wine, 1 part amaretto and 1 part tart cherry juice.
Tart Cherry Amaretto Sparkler Recipe
For One Drink
- 4 oz. chilled sparkling wine
- 1 oz. chilled tart cherry juice
- 1 oz. amaretto
- Optional garnish: fresh cherries
Add all ingredients to a champagne flute or small wine glass and serve immediately.
For a Batch
- 1 bottle sparkling wine (750 ml)
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp tart cherry juice
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp amaretto
- Garnish: frozen cherries and fresh cherries
Combine the liquid ingredients an hour before your party and chill in the refrigerator. Add frozen cherries to the pitcher just before serving, which will help keep the cocktail cold.
Pick the Right Sparkler
The sparkling wine doesn’t need to be expensive. I saw an editor from Wine Spectator on Good Morning America years ago and his advice was never to use high-end sparkling wine if you’re going to mix it. But by the same token, don’t use a bottle you wouldn’t drink straight, either. I tend to buy something in the $15 – $20 range.
The wine should not be sweet. Labels on sparkling wines are tricky: “dry” is actually sweet, so stay away from that, sticking to brut or above. I tend to go for a California bubbly like a Brut or Extra Brut Prosecco, or a Blanc de Blancs, or a Spanish Cava. Asti Spumante is too sweet for this drink. Don’t go there!!!
Be Sure to Get Tart Cherry Juice
The magic in this drink is the mix of the tart cherry juice with the almond-flavored amaretto, which gives the cocktail all the sweetness it needs and is a perfect balance with the dry bubbly. The juice should have no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Below are a couple of the brands we’ve tried.
Regarding the Garnish
While the drink is great by itself, the garnish makes it more festive and attractive. For the bulk recipe, I recommend buying a large bag of frozen cherries at the grocery store. (We usually have them on hand because of other drinks like sangria.) The frozen cherries will help keep your bulk cocktail nice and cold. But have some fresh cherries on hand, too, for the garnish of the drinks themselves. They taste GREAT when you eat them after they’ve been hanging out in the lovely cocktail.
Fresh cherries are all you need for the individually-made drinks.
You could also have a bowl of fresh cherries near the drink to amplify the cheeriness of the cherry-ness.
Pro Tip: Tiny Fancy Glasses are Too Small
I love my champagne flutes, but fancy ones like Perrier-Jouet painted flutes are too small for this drink. They only hold about 3.5 ounces, so save them for toasts with vintage champagne at another time and use larger ones or small wine glasses to enjoy the Tart Cherry Amaretto Sparkler at your holiday party.
Shout-Out to Sofia Blanc de Blancs
The Grill-Meister and I learned about the Sofia Blanc de Blancs (in a can!) at a wine tasting years ago at a wine bar that also showed movies. We saw The French Connection and tasted Coppola wines – not sure what the ‘connection’ was, but the wines were FINE. The Sofia Blanc de Blancs (in a can!) made an appearance and I had to overcome my ‘wine in a can bias’. I LOVE IT! These delightful little pink cans are just right when you only want one glass of bubbly. And absolutely perfect for a test kitchen (‘test bar’) single drink approach.
Cheers for cherries, bubbly and amaretto!
© 2022, Glover Gardens