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Drinks That Go Pop: 8 Must-Try Sparkling Cocktails

By Suresh Doss
December 13, 2013

There's a lot more to the world of sparkling wine cocktails than mimosas and Bellinis. Toronto mixologists are revamping the fizzy drink with homemade syrups, spherified "fig pearls" and exotic spirits. Read on for some of our favourites. 

  • Buca

    This Italian trattoria has won numerous accolades for its cuisine and chic industrial interiors. Grab a spot by the standup bar where cooks prep antipasti plates and order the Testarossa. A tall glass of Prosecco is topped with a house-made Campari-raspberry syrup. The result is a cocktail that bursts with raspberry jam flavours, lively acidity and a touch of bitterness. 

    604 King St W, Toronto.; 416-865-1600

  • Ritz-Carlton Toronto

    This beautiful concoction is only available at the Ritz's Deq lounge, located at the back of the hotel. Bartender Chris Rail's Le Fruits d'Amour drink is a three-part show: First, a handful of fig pearls (spheres of sweet fig essence) are dropped into a flute, followed by sparkling wine. Then, Rail pulls out a siphon and tops the glass with a dollop of grapefruit-raspberry Champagne foam. The result is a creamy cocktail that changes with each sip as the foam makes its way down the flute, with tart and gentle sweet flavours. Finally, a sweet ending comes from those delicate fig pearls resting at the bottom of the glass. 

    181 Wellington Street W,; 416-585-2500

  • Reds Wine Tavern

    Craft brews and cocktails are a big hit at this new Canadian bistro. A simple mix of Prosecco and St. Germain elderflower liqueur, the Orange Blossom has quickly become a crowd favourite,. The liqueur brings floral and fruity aromas to the tart and crisp sparkling wine, making it almost too easy to drink. 

    382 Yonge St,; 416) 862-7337

  • Momofuku Nikai

    How about an entire lineup of sparkling wine cocktails? To celebrate the season, Nikai is launching five sparkling cocktails, a collaboration between sommelier Jonathan Gonsenhauser and barman Danny Tait. Currently the menu includes the Stratosphere (sparkling wine and Crème Yvette), the B'aktun (tequila, maraschino, Chartreuse and lemon), the Negroni Frizzante (gin, Campari and vermouth), the Frankfort (bourbon, vanilla and Cherry Heering) and the Chrysanthemum (fresh press Toronto sake, ginger and salted plum). And that's not it: Gonsenhauser and Tait might add five more sparklers, including one with tea, before the new year.

    190 university avenue,; 647-253-8000

  • Origin

    Recently, the Origin restaurant group added a slew of sparkling drinks. Notable ones include the sparkling Aviation (Tanqueray, maraschino and creme de violette and the Sweet Avalon (Ketel one vodka, apricot liqueur and lemon juice. Origin also recently debuted three takes on the classic French 75 drink using different style gins.

    107 King St E, Toronto,; 416-603-8009

  • Carbon Bar

    Loosely themed on American classics, the cocktails at the new Southern-themed Carbon Bar feature obscure ingredients like buckthorn-guajillo syrup, orange oils and chili tinctures. The best is that nearly all of them are available in sparkling form, just ask the bartender. Favourites include the Deal Closer with tequila, cardamom and grapefruit bitters, and a classic refreshing Aperol spritz. 

    99 Queen Street E,; 416-947-7000

  • Yours Truly

    Since opening two years ago, this lower Ossington bar has quickly developed a reputation for its changing ingredient-focused tasting menu and interesting and inventive cocktails. Recently, a spritz was added to the menu. Cranberries are muddled and then topped with sparkling wine, Grand Marnier and maraschino liqueur. The result is a tart and slightly sweet drink with subtle hints of orange.

    229 Ossington Ave,; 416-533-2243

  • Jump

    Jump recently celebrated 20 years in the business with a revamped food and drink menu. One of the standouts from the cocktail menu is the Jump Delicious. Although the drink doesn't use prosecco or Champagne, it features Ontario pinot noir from Pearl Morissette, mixed with Absolut Raspberri topped with sparkling lemon-lime soda and chunks of strawberries. It's bright and colourful, with a touch of sweetness and depth that the Pinot Noir brings. 

    18 Wellington St W,; 416-363-3400

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