This pretty Cupid’s cocktail recipe is perfect for a romantic evening. I call this Champagne cocktail the Cupid’s Kiss, for its kiss of sweetness and beautiful blush pink color. Serve it for Valentine’s Day or just turn any ordinary evening into a romantic occasion.
Why the Cupid’s Kiss is a great cocktail for a romantic evening
I created this Champagne cocktail recipe layered with famously aphrodisiac ingredients for a Valentine’s Day promotion at a Los Angeles hotel. (Think strawberries, raspberries and Champagne.) I received reports from the hotel staff that it was the best Champagne cocktail if you were looking for a “sure thing.” So I was sure to share the Champagne drink recipe in my cookbook, Romancing the Stove. And now I’m happy to bestow the secret to a great Valentine’s Day cocktail upon you.
This drink recipe features just five ingredients, including the Champagne. But they might not be the ingredients you were expecting. That’s because this Champagne drink is a shrub cocktail.
What is a shrub cocktail?
Calling a cocktail a shrub basically means it’s a cocktail made with a fruit acid, usually vinegar. In this cocktail, I add homemade balsamic fruit syrup to the Champagne. Although it does make an intriguing throwback, I didn’t create it as a nod to historical cocktails. At the time I was working on it, I was simply in a phase where I liked adding vinegar to everything–including my cocktails!
If you enjoy this Champagne cocktail, I recommend you look further into the history and practice of creating shrubs. They really do bring a special something to the cocktail world.
Ingredients in the balsamic fruit syrup
- Balsamic vinegar
- Thawed, frozen raspberries
- Thawed, frozen strawberries
- Granulated sugar
Be sure to allow 30-60 minutes to allow the mixture to marinate. If you like berries, you are going to love the resulting flavors!
A note on the fruits used in the fruit syrup
Although this drink starts with good sparkling wine, you’ve got to get your fruit syrup right. And that means you have to use thawed, frozen strawberries and raspberries. Though you might be tempted, in season, to use freshly picked berries, don’t waste them in this cocktail recipe. I’m telling you, it works best from frozen. Save the fresh berries to pop between your lovers’ lips as a sweet midnight snack.
How do you make this Cupid’s cocktail?
Once you’ve allowed your balsamic syrup to marinate and you’ve strained out the berries, making this cocktail couldn’t be more simple. Just add one tablespoon of balsamic syrup to each of two Champagne flutes then top each with five ounces of Champagne or sparkling wine.
What kind of Champagne should you use for this Champagne cocktail recipe?
To make this drink you should use what’s called Brut-style Champagne. (This is a dry style of Champagne, which is what you want for blending with the sweet syrup.) Of course, you can use sparkling wine from anywhere in the world but it should be a Brut-style wine, whether you use Champagne, Cava, Cremant or an American sparkling wine. Note that you do not need to use a special bottle of sparkling wine for this cocktail recipe. Save that vintage bottle for another occasion. If you don’t want to splurge for Champagne, I recommend looking for a Brut sparkling wine in the $15 range.
Why is this drink a great choice for a romantic evening?
As you may already know, both strawberries and raspberries enjoy history as aphrodisiacs. But if that’s not enough to make Cupid’s arrow hit the target with this romantic cocktail, how about the fact that Champagne not only has a reputation as a legendary aphrodisiac but there’s also some scientific investigation demonstrating that Brut-style sparkling wine may contain antioxidants beneficial to sexual health? Here’s some additional information on the potential link between Champagne and sex. And even if you’re not a believer, know that a sip of sparkling wine is said to give the drinker a warm and giddy feeling. Not a bad tone to set for a night of romance!
Cupid’s Kiss Champagne Cocktail
- 2 tbsp balsamic fruit syrup
- 10 oz Brut Champagne or sparkling wine
for the balsamic fruit syrup
- 1/2 cup thawed frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup thawed frozen strawberries
- 3-4 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
To make the balsamic syrup
- Marinate fruit and 3 tbsp sugar in the balsamic for 30 minutes-1 hour.
- Taste mixture, and if it is not sweet enough, stir in additional sugar 1 tsp at a time, up to 3 tsp, allowing fruit to marinate for an additional 10 minutes.
- Strain to remove seeds, pressing fruit against the strainer to release all the juice. Store juice in the refrigerator until serving. Store leftover fruit syrup in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.*
To assemble the cocktail
- Add 1 tablespoon of the balsamic fruit syrup to each of two Champagne flutes.
- Top each flute with five ounces of Champagne or sparkling wine. Enjoy immediately.
A note on the provided nutrition informationThe nutrition information provided has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator and is not a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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