Looking for an easy holiday cocktail for Halloween? It doesn’t get much simpler than these Bloody Champagne Bellinis. This two-ingredient drink is the trifecta of tart/sweet/bubbly — and yes, only two ingredients… champagne and Amarena cherries for a Halloween-inspired red cocktail that’s not scary to make and delightful to sip.
I admit to being a bit of a curmudgeon about Halloween. It’s not that I don’t like the costumes, trick or treaters or the candy-eating aspect, I do. No, the drawback for me has always been the decorating and literal interpretations of this holiday. Do I really need to decorate my foyer with a 6 foot tall Frankenstein that shrieks at me every time I walk by? No — emphatically, no. And I don’t want to have a beverage that’s served in an intravenous drip bag or some scientist’s beaker for that matter, however, one thing I can get behind are red cocktails for Halloween — especially easy holiday cocktails with a bit of bubbly in them.
Champagne Bellini – A Fun Halloween Drink
Though I’m calling this a Champagne Bellini — you don’t really have to use champagne. In fact, I say save the good stuff for a special occasion — it’s best to use a drinkable, but not break-the-bank sparkling wine, Cava or Prosecco for these red cocktails. In this case, I used a Crémant De Bourgogne (literal translation: Crémant from the Burgundy region of France). You can find these sparkling drinks at Trader Joe’s (or any liquor store) and it’s what I used for my easy holiday cocktail. So what is Crémant? Made in the same methodoise as higher priced Champagne, Crémant tends to have a creamier mouth feel than Champagne and this under $10 bottle was perfect for these delightfully red cocktails.
The second ingredient is Amarena cherries. The more sophisticated cousin of maraschino cherries, Amarena cherries are bold and tart without any of the chemicals and preservatives in a grocery store jar of maraschinos. Just like the Crémant, I got the Amarena cherries at Trader Joe’s and when I dug into the jar, I found the darkest red cherries (almost black) in a thick luscious syrup, just begging to be poured over ice cream or drizzled into a champagne bellini to make red cocktails that hint at spookiness without being kitsch.
Making Champagne Bellinis
With a two ingredient cocktail, you don’t need a surgeon’s skill to assemble these sparkling drinks, but here are a few tips to make your red cocktails shine.
- Amarena cherry syrup is thick. Like really thick. And if it touches the flute when you pour it in, it will leave a trail of thick glaze all the way down the glass. If you’re persnicketing like me, you want that viscous syrup to rest in the bottom of the flute creating a blood-red layer of sweet-tart goo. So be precise when pouring the syrup into the center of the glass.
- Continue that theme when adding the cherry — you don’t want smudges. Suspend the fruit in the center of the flute and drop it gently into the syrup without hitting the sides.
- Add the champagne/prosecco/cava/crémant/sparkling wine (whatever you’re using) — and let the bubbles do the work. The wine will pick up enough of the cherry syrup to color these easy holiday cocktails and still leave a bit of richness at the bottom (for later).
See how the Bloody Champagne Bellini actually layers itself? These red cocktails are very sippable Halloween drink with a bit of whimsy — especially if you stage your cherries like I did in spooky skeleton hand. I think my curmudgeonly ways are over.
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Bloody Champagne Bellini
- 1 ounce Amarena cherry syrup (from the jar)
- 1 Amarena cherry
- 4 ounces champagne or sparkling wine chilled
- Pour the Amarena cherry syrup into the center of a flute glass (careful not to drip it on the sides of the glass because the syrup is thick and will cling to the side).
- Place the Amareno cherry into the syrup. Add the champagne to the glass and serve.
“Pin” Bloody Champagne Bellinis For Later!