This simple drink oozes elegance. There is no fancy name, no long story behind it and no unusual ingredients, but this pear-thyme Prosecco cocktail is a tasty one and the perfect festive cocktail for the holiday season. I have always been a fan of bubbles. The trend of serving sparkling wines and campaigns with any meal has become more common and I personally could not be more thrilled. Bubbles go with absolutely everything, even with green bean casserole.
For a long time Champagne was the gold standard and the only sparkling wine that most Americans drank. But times have changed; and good Italian Prosecco and Spanish Cavas are now in abundance. But what are the differences between these three popular sparklers? Here’s what you need to know.
- Champagne, comes from the Champagne region of northeast France and made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes.
- The grapes used are Pinot Noir, Pinto Meunier and Chardonnay.
- Champagne requires a traditional method of carbonation in which the wine sparkles while it’s bottled.
- Has tiny bubbles.
- Taste notes for Champagne include: Citrus fruits, white peach, white cherry, almond, and toast.
- Popular brands of Champagne are Veuve Cliquot Brut Yellow Label, Moët & Chandon and Dom Perignon.
- Prosecco originates in the Veneto region of Italy, just north of Venice.
- Made from Glera grapes, the use of which for wine can be traced back to the Roman era.
- Prosecco is made using the “méthode champenoise” and carbonates in stainless steel vats, a less time and money-intensive process.
- Light and frothy bubbles.
- Tasting notes for Prosecco are sweeter: Green apple, honeydew melon, pear, honeysuckle, and fresh cream.
- Popular brands of Prosecco are La Marca, Zonin and Bisol.
- Most Cava comes from the Penedès region of Spain.
- The grapes used are Macabeu, Parellada and Xarello.
- Cava, like Prosecco, is made by “méthode champenoise”, the same method that is used to make Champagne, thus it’s often called Spanish Champagne.
- Fine bubbles.
- Tasting notes for Cava ripe, exotic citrus and stone fruit aromas
- Popular brands of Cava are Freixenet, Codorniu and Segura Viudas.
You can make this seasonal plum-thyme Prosecco cocktail with Champagne, Prosecco or Cava, but I prefer Prosecco because of it’s characteristic lightly frothy bubbles. In addition, Prosecco is the least expensive and therefor great for groups. In addition, the sweetness of the muddled pears and earthy thyme hold up well against this less delicate bubbly wine, without overpowering it. This is a lovely cocktail to have during the holiday season as it can hold up to just about anything you think up, including yams with marshmallows.
Pear-Thyme Prosecco Cocktail
- 1 red Anjou pear
- 1-2 thyme sprig, plus more for garnish
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons agave
- 6 ounces Prosecco
- Step 1 Slice 2-3 thin slices of pear for garnish and set aside. Using. knife, roughly chop up the rest of the pear.
- Step 2 Fill a cocktail glass with crushed ice and set aside. Using a cocktail shaker, add the pear, the leaves of two thyme sprigs, lemon juice and agave. Using a muddler, muddle the mixture well, breaking up the pear as much as possible.
- Step 3 Double strain the mixture into the prepared cocktail glass. Pour the Prosecco on top and garnish with the pear slices and some additional thyme sprigs.