3 Pretty Ways to Take Your Wedding Champagne Up a Notch

Food & Drink

Photo: Ted Cavanaugh, Food Styling by Roscoe Betsill, Prop Styling by Emily Mullin/Hello Artists

Bring on the bubbly! Whether at your engagement party, rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, after-party, or anything in between, a sparkling cocktail is the prettiest, tastiest way to raise a glass and celebrate your marriage. Soup up your coupe with these festive mixers and garnishes.

Syrups and Liqueurs
An infused simple syrup gives your fizz a fruity tang. (We love Maine-based Royal Rosé's flavors, like orange-vanilla.) Fresh juice is another classic mixer. Think your Sunday-brunch mimosa, but try swapping out OJ for more complex flavors like blood orange, mango, or peach. Rich liqueurs like creme de cassis (black currant) and St-Germain (elderflower) add soft color and a bonus buzz to your bubbly.

Fruits and Florals
Set out small plates of fresh berries, pomegranate seeds, and citrus (try kumquat rounds or thinly sliced blood orange) and let guests DIY the garnish. Edible flowers like pansies, orchids, nasturtiums, and roses make it super pretty. Just be sure to get a pesticide-free variety from a reputable source (like marxfoods.com).

Sweetness and Light
Edible gold flakes are flavorless but festive; add a pinch and watch them catch the light. Don't have the budget for gold leaf? Drop a simple sugar cube in a glass, sprinkle in a
few drops of Angostura bitters, top with sparkling wine, and finish with a twist of lemon for a classic cocktail that's all class.

See More: The Ultimate Guide to Serving Champagne at Your Wedding

Looking for some budget-friendly bubbly to serve with all these delicious mixers and garnishes? We asked Casper Rice, wine director of D.C. restaurants Fiola and the upcoming Sfoglina, for his top all-star sparklers — all under $25 a bottle.

1. Barboursville Vineyards Brut Cuvée 1814

"This standout sparkling wine is produced in Italy using the champagne method. Made of pinot-noir grapes, it's richer in style and very dry." (Brut Cuvée 1814, $25; Barboursville Vineyards)

2. Patrick Bottex "La Cueille" Bugey-Cerdon Rosé

"Everybody loves rosé, especially in summer. 'La Cueille' is like drinking fresh strawberries with a hint of effervescence." ('La Cueille' Bugey-Cerdon Rosé, $20; K&L Wine Merchants)

3. Juve Y Camps Reserva de la Familia cava 2011
Spanish cava is easy on the wallet in general. With fruity notes and chardonnay, this one's "a great blank slate for a cocktail." (Juve Y Camps Reserva de la Familia cava 2011, $17; Wine.com)

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