There's nothing like popping a bottle of bubbly to celebrate an occasion, so why not for Labor Day? Just because the summer is ending doesn't mean the fun has to. Invite your friends over to enjoy the long weekend and serve them some refreshing Champagne cocktails. They are sure to impress without ever letting on how easy they really are to make!
By Tara Imperatore
Recipes & Photos Courtesy of Martha Stewart
Classic Champagne Cocktail
Try something pretty, but potent with the Classic Champagne Cocktail. We think the men will really like this one and won't feel too girly drinking it.
Ingredients: Serves 1
- 3 drops bitters
- 1 sugar cube
- 1 ounce Cognac
- 4 ounces chilled Champagne
Drop bitters onto sugar cube; let soak in. Place sugar cube in a Champagne flute. Add Cognac, and top with Champagne.
A Bellini naturally comes to mind when thinking of Champagne cocktails. Why not take it a step further and really cool your guests down with this slushy version (semifreddo means "half cold" in Italian).
Ingredients: Serves 2
- 1 cup peeled, chopped peaches, frozen until hardened
- 1/4 cup peach schnapps
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chilled Champagne or sparkling white wine
- 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
- 1 cup small ice cubes
- Peach slices, for garnish
Blend peaches, peach schnapps, 2 tablespoons Champagne, the sugar, and ice in a blender until smooth. Divide mixture between 2 glasses; top off each glass with 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Champagne, and serve.
Blood Orange Mimosa
This recipe is a great way to take the classic mimosa up a notch. It gives a little extra zing to a crowd favorite.
Ingredients: Serves 10-12
- 2 1/4 cups freshly squeezed or frozen blood-orange juice
- 2 750-ml bottles champagne, chilled
Pour 3 tablespoons juice in each champagne flute. Fill flutes with champagne, and serve.
This punch looks so beautiful no one will know how simple it is to make! The fresh fruit will definitely keep your summer spirit alive.
Ingredients: Serves 6
- thinly sliced peach
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup Simple Syrup
- 1 bottle champagne or other sparkling white wine
In a pitcher, combine ice, peach, raspberries, blueberries, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Slowly pour in champagne or other sparkling white wine.
This cocktail will brighten up your gathering and leave everyone feeling bubbly. And don't worry if you don't have Champagne flutes, any glass will do!
Ingredients: Serves 6
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) creme de cassis
- 1 bottle Champagne or other sparkling white wine
- 6 strips tangerine or orange zest, for garnish
Just before serving, pour 1 tablespoon creme de cassis into each glass. Fill with Champagne, and garnish with zest.
If you're feeling up to a little more of a challenge, this cocktail will take slightly more man power but will be worth the time spent.
Ingredients: Serves 8
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 whole star anise
- 6 cups ruby-red grapefruit juice, chilled
- 1/3 cup Campari
- 2 cups champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water with the sugar and star anise; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove pan from heat; let cool completely.
Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a measuring cup (to yield 1 cup); discard star anise. Cover syrup with plastic wrap, and chill.
In a large pitcher, combine grapefruit juice, Campari, and chilled syrup. Divide among eight glasses; top with Champagne. Serve immediately.
Lemon Drop Champagne Punch
If you are having a larger gathering, this punch is a great way to make sure there is enough to go around. And the bright, refreshing lemon flavor will really wake up your guests' taste buds.
Ingredients: Serves 6-8
- 3 lemons, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 bottle (750 milliliters) Champagne, chilled
- 3/4 cup best-quality vodka, chilled
- 4 ounces candied lemon peels
- With a vegetable peeler, remove zest from each lemon in a long, continuous spiral. Juice lemons, and strain pulp (you should have 3/4 cup juice). Set aside.
- Heat sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add zest. Let syrup cool completely, about 2 hours.
- Pour Champagne, vodka, lemon juice, and syrup into a punch bowl; stir. Serve glasses of punch with candied peels.
Lemons are easier to peel and will release more juice at room temperature than when chilled.
Pear and Cranberry Bellini
For a simpler take on the Bellini, try this sweet and satisfying recipe. It'll go great with the savory bites you'll have on offer for your party-goers.
Ingredients: Serves 8
- 1 cup pear nectar
- 1 cup cranberry juice cocktail
- 1 bottle Prosecco or other dry sparkling white wine
In a small pitcher or large liquid measuring cup, combine pear nectar and cranberry juice cocktail. Pour 1/4 cup juice mixture into each of eight champagne glasses. Dividing evenly, top with Prosecco or other dry sparkling white wine.
Peach lovers will dive into this bowl of sweet, summery punch. All the flavors will marry into a rich, yet light beverage that your friends will most certainly want the recipe to.
Ingredients: Makes 2 Quarts
- 1 peach
- 1 nectarine
- 3 apricots
- 5 ounces peach brandy
- 1 bottle (750 mL) chilled Prosecco, (Italian sparkling wine)
- 1 cup peach nectar
- Superfine sugar (optional)
In a pitcher, combine peach, nectarine, and apricots, all pitted and cut into wedges. Stir in peach brandy; let sit at least 1 hour. Stir in Prosecco and peach nectar. Add superfine sugar, if desired. Serve chilled.