WHAT’S COOKINGProsecco cocktails at home

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past few months it’s that, as much as we love going out, there’s joy to be found in replicating our favourite plans at home… this includes drinking with friends, which is why we’ve turned to Thompson & Scott to recommend their favourite fizzy cocktails using their Organic (and vegan) Thompson & Scott Prosecco, as well as Noughty, their Alcohol-free Sparkling Chardonnay… and because we like to try things ourselves, we’ve asked #MVInsider Ben, Graphic Design Lead, to test a couple of the recipes at home.

French 75

The French 75 is one of the all-time classic Champagne cocktails, although perhaps we should nickname our version the ‘Italian 75’ since it uses Prosecco and Due Sorrelle Gin. They’re stronger than they taste and can be deadly, so it’s only fitting that we have an alcohol-free version too if you want to keep your wits about you – just substitute gin for an alcohol free alternative like Caleno, and switch the Prosecco for Noughty.

French 75

Makes 1

  • 25ml Gin/Caleno
  • 12.5ml Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp sugar syrup/icing sugar
  • Prosecco/Noughty

1. Shake all but the bubbles with ice and strain into coupette or flute glass.

2. Top up with Prosecco/Noughty.

3. Garnish with a strip of lemon zest, expressing the oils over the drink and glass.

Jam & Gin Royale

When we were thrown into lockdown and you couldn’t book a delivery slot for two weeks, we all became more inventive with what we had in our cupboards. My friend Steve owns The Goat in Chelsea, and has encyclopaedic knowledge on cocktails. Steve gave me a great tip – put jam and your spirit of choice in a shaker with ice, shake and strain.

The concept of jam or fruit conserve in a cocktail has been around for years; Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book features a Marmalade Cocktail, and years later, while at the helm of the Library Bar in the Lanesborough Hotel at the close of the 20th Century, Salvatore Calabrese created the Breakfast Martini, consisting of orange marmalade, lemon juice, Cointreau, and gin. And jam? The late, great mixologist (and founder of Milk & Honey) Sasha Petraske uses raspberry jam in the Cosmonaut. A vibrant gin sour, where jam is the sweet ingredient. The key to using jam or any kind of preserve is of course, balance. The sharpness of lemon or lime juice and the sweetness of the jam need to be in harmony for the drink to really sing. Of course, we like to make things sparkle, so we’ll be finishing off our drinks using Prosecco and Noughty.

Jame & Gin Royale

Makes 1

  • 50ml Gin/Gin-ish (or your favourite alt-gin)
  • 25ml Lime Juice
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Strawberry Jam
  • Prosecco/Noughty

1. Add the lime juice, jam and gin/alt-gin to a shaker and stir to dissolve the jam a little.

2. Add ice, shake hard and strain.

3. Top up with Prosecco/Noughty and garnish with a lime wheel.

Spritz cocktails

Ah summer. There’s nothing quite like sitting back in the sun with a delicious, cold, and refreshing drink in your hand. For many, the Spritz Veneziano (better known as the Aperol Spritz) is the go to drink for such an occasion and the sight of that orange liquid, the sound of the ice clinking as it lazily moves around in the glass, and the explosion of flavours on the palate have made it a 21st Century summer classic. We’ve also included our Willow Spritz recipe in case you felt like trying something different.

Spritz Veneziano (Aperol Spritz)

Makes 1

  • 50ml Aperol
  • 75ml Prosecco
  • 25ml soda
  • Orange wedge to garnish

This is the old classic, which traditionally uses a 3:2:1 ratio of Prosecco, Aperol and soda. Let’s face it though, we’ll probably all be free pouring to taste, so take those measures as a guide, rather than a strict rule.

1. Fill a large wine glass with ice.

2. Add 50ml Aperol.

3. Top up with roughly 75ml Prosecco.

4. Add a splash (25ml) of soda.

5. Garnish with a wedge of orange.

Willow Spritz

Makes 1

  • 50ml Willow
  • 75ml Prosecco
  • Strip of grapefruit zest to garnish

Willow is a 0.5% ABV CBD infused spirit, created by Will Borrell in the five star dive bar, Ladies & Gentlemen. With a Calvados base, it also contains strawberry, pineapple, tomato, lime and blue agave. It’s complex, fruity, and works beautifully with Noughty.

1. Fill a large wine glass with ice.

2. Add 50ml Willow.

3. Top up with Noughty to taste.

4. Garnish with a strip of grapefruit zest.

Did you know…

The first spritzes were invented in the bars of Veneto during the 1800s. Soldiers, diplomats and employees of the Hapsburg Empire found the local wine too strong and requested it be diluted with a splash of soda water. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the Aperol Spritz became a popular alternative to the classic Venetian mix of white wine and soda.