Tiny Bubbles

While a simple bubble-filled glass of sparkling wine is always a welcome sight around the holidays, fizz-driven cocktails can also provide a lift. Although many classic sparkling-wine-based cocktails are made from just bubbly and juice (like the classic bellini), quite a few old standbys (and new concoctions) have a spirituous spike to them. At Troiani downtown the Ital 75 is an Italofied take on the French 75, according to bar manager Michelle Mace. It is made with Tanqueray gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup, and topped with Jelo Prosecco ($8). The traditional French 75 (named after the French 75mm artillery used by Capt. Harry S. Truman's forces, among others, in World War I) is usually made with champagne, Prosecco gives it an Italian twist at Troiani. The restaurant also makes an updated bellini ($8), with Grey Goose vodka, DeKuyper Peach Schnapps, white peach puree, and Jelo Prosecco. "It's a festive drink year round," says Mace, who notes that the vodka (not usually part of the ingredient lineup) "adds a little kick to it." The original bellini, invented by Giuseppe Cipriani at Harry's Bar in Venice in 1948, was made with just peach puree and Prosecco. When the Cipriani empire expanded to New York, Guiseppe's son Arrigo found a flash-frozen peach puree he could use all year, according to Dale DeGroff in The Craft of the Cocktail. If fresh or frozen puree is hard to come by, DeGroff suggests adding Marie Brizard peach liqueur to the drink instead. Over at Volterra in Ballard, co-owner Michelle Quinsenberry makes a Peach-Thyme bellini ($6) from a mix of white peach puree, fresh thyme, Fee Brothers' bitters, and Canella Prosecco. "At the holidays, you are always wanting a glass of champagne," she says. Volterra also features the Grappa 75 ($9), another twist on you know what, made with Clear Creek grappa, Tanqueray Ten, Grand Marnier, fresh sour mix, and Canella Prosecco. Sparkling wine or champagne-based drinks often work as well after dinner as before. "We sell a lot [of these] cocktails as aperitivos," says Quisenberry. "People tend to drink them with antipasti or predinner." Over at Troiani, "people have them as cocktails and after-dinner drinks," says Mace. lzimmerman@seattleweekly.com

 
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