I don’t know how things are done where you live, but when we throw a brunch in the South there is typically some sort of alcoholic beverage served among the finger sandwiches and McCarty pottery. I’m not talking about bottles of Bud Light iced down in a cooler. We do it tastefully.
I have never combined strawberries with ginger before, but I love the spicy hint that it gave this drink. I asked the guy at my wine store what he would recommend mixing this with and he suggested Freixenet Carta Nevada Semi Dry. Yes, I know the title says “champagne,” and you could totally go that route. However, sparkling wine is a little easier on the pocketbook. This one is not too sweet that it competes with the berries and ginger, but not so dry that it takes away from it either. His recommendation was a perfect match.
If you are planning a Mother’s Day brunch this weekend, this beautiful rose-hued drink would be perfect to serve in lieu of (or in addition to!) a mimosa, bloody Mary, or a screwdriver. If you prefer to serve these sans-alcohol, you can always substitute the sparkling wine for soda water.
Strawberry, Ginger, and Champagne Spritzer
- 1 pound fresh or thawed frozen strawberries roughly chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 ounces about a 2-inch piece peeled and sliced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 bottle 750ml semi-dry champagne, sparkling wine, or 24 fluid ounces soda water
In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar, and ginger with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries are broken down and softened, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or strainer, pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as you can. Add the lemon juice and allow mixture to come to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator to chill.
Just before serving, add about 1/4 cup of the strawberry syrup to six champagne flutes. Fill each glass to the top with the sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon slice and a pinch of mint if desired.