Make that bubbly pop

Louise Lieben­berg brings some fiz­zle to the week­end with on-trend sparkling wine cock­tails and pop­si­cles you can en­joy at home

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY -

I’M a firm be­liever that one should al­ways have a bot­tle of bubbly ready in the fridge – just in case, you know? Spe­cial oc­ca­sions do some­times have a habit of pop­ping up (pardon the pun) com­pletely un­ex­pect­edly! In the ab­sence of a cel­e­bra­tory oc­ca­sion, I find there are times when a per­fectly chilled bot­tle of bubbly is the one thing that will bring a bit of much-needed, spon­ta­neous sparkle to an oth­er­wise dis­ap­point­ing or stress­ful day.

Ev­ery new day is a gift to be cel­e­brated, after all!

I do con­sider en­joy­ing a glass of bubbly to be one of life’s so­phis­ti­cated lit­tle pleasures – but there is no rea­son why the ex­pe­ri­ence should break the bank ei­ther.

Cham­pagne, trag­i­cally, is out of reach for most of us in cur­rent eco­nomic times and even our gor­geous South African MCC’s can crush the bud­get by the time you hit the sec­ond bot­tle.

En­ter J C Le Roux’s re­cently re­leased drier Vi­brazio range at R76 a pop and sip­ping a glass of sparkling wine or two sud­denly be­comes an all-year-round prospect.

The Vi­brazio Sauvi­gnon Blanc, Demi-Sec and Demi-Sec Rosé of­fer a lively dis­play of fruit and el­e­gance, good bal­ance and a play­ful taste pro­file.

And, break­ing the mould on how sparkling wines should be en­joyed, the range is best served in a wide-brim, stemmed wine glass, per­haps with a twirl of or­ange or grape­fruit to fin­ish it off.

The cit­rus fresh­ness is said to en­hance the wine’s fruit flavours and add zest to the cas­cade of bub­bles.

Nicely bal­anced and dry, the Vi­brazio Sauvi­gnon Blanc is re­fresh­ing with litchi, pineapple and granadilla flavours, and is my favourite of the lot.

The Vi­brazio Demi-Sec is off-dry with lively fruity notes of pear and litchi, and a slightly sweet fin­ish.

With its pretty salmon blush colour and invit­ing taste pro­file the Vi­brazio Demi-Sec Rosé de­liv­ers a vi­brant dis­play of berries, plums and trop­i­cal fruit verg­ing on sweet, but never sickly sweet.

The range is very ver­sa­tile in that it also lends it­self to sparkling wine cock­tails – now there’s a clever way to make the fizz stretch even fur­ther!

Spark­ing wine cock­tails are very much on trend at the mo­ment and make a classy and fun drink – es­pe­cially while we are still hav­ing such lovely, sunny weather.

Though ar­guably all the rage right now, sparkling wine cock­tails are, how­ever, noth­ing new – think clas­sics like Aperol Spritz (still my ab­so­lute favourite sum­mer drink) or Kir Royale.

Here are two de­li­cious recipes for you to try this week­end. Feel free to ring the changes too by play­ing around with cit­rus and other ad­di­tions, as I did.

The pink grape­fruit and hi­bis­cus syrups used in these cock­tails are avail­able at most good liquor out­lets – Monin is a pop­u­lar brand.

In the un­likely event you’re left with some cock­tail mix you can also pour it into a pop­si­cle mould to later en­joy an equally fun drinks-as-pud ex­pe­ri­ence with your friends – or you can make your own mixes.


Serves 1 Salty, sour, bit­ter and sweet com­bine in this re­fresh­ing taste ad­ven­ture cre­ated by com­bin­ing grape­fruit syrup, Gor­don’s gin, lemon juice, fresh basil, a pinch of salt and demi-sec rosé. IN­GRE­DI­ENTS 25ml (1 tot) grape­fruit syrup 25ml (1 tot) Gor­don’s Gin 1 lemon wedge 3 basil leaves 1 grind of pink salt Vi­brazio demi-sec rosé METHOD Shake the grape­fruit syrup, gin, lemon, basil and salt to­gether in a cock­tail shaker filled with ice (large blocks are best so the mix doesn’t be­come too wa­tery). Strain and pour into a glass.

Top up with Vi­brazio rosé, gar­nish with cit­rus (I used a wedge of grape­fruit) and en­joy.


This laid-back cock­tail is made with chamomile tea, hi­bis­cus syrup, red ver­mouth, lemon juice and J C Le Roux Vi­brazio Sauvi­gnon Blanc or Demi-sec. IN­GRE­DI­ENTS 35ml chamomile tea, chilled (I made the in­fu­sion quite strong) 25ml (1 tot) hi­bis­cus syrup 25ml (1 tot) Mar­tini Rosso ver­mouth 15ml lemon juice Vi­brazio White (sauvi­gnon blanc or demi-sec) METHOD Thor­oughly shake the chamomile tea, hi­bis­cus syrup, ver­mouth and lemon juice in a cock­tail shaker filled with ice.

Dou­ble-strain and pour into a glass.

Top up with Vi­brazio sauvi­gnon blanc or demi-sec, gar­nish with edi­ble flow­ers and en­joy.


Turn your cock­tails into ice pops sim­ply by pour­ing them into a pop­si­cle mould in­stead of into a glass and freez­ing un­til re­quired.


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