As the year draws to a close, Champagne may be the first festive drink that comes to mind for holiday parties.
But Ça Va, the only bar in Kansas City devoted to Champagne and sparkling wine, serves another bubbly holiday drink worthy of festive seasonal celebrations.
Bar manager Sarah Hogan has created The Undercover, an ode to the traditional Spanish Kalimotxo traditionally made with red wine and Coca Cola.
How do you recreate a red wine spritzer when your bar doesn’t stock soda products? Hogan adds a little bubbly — in this case, a gently sweet Prosecco to mimic soda’s carbonation. Then she adds flavors of cola and cherries with two different bitter liqueurs: cherry-inflected Amargo-Vallet from Mexico and softer, more approachable Amaro Averna from Italy. Together, they infuse this low-alcohol sweet sipper with plenty of cola flavor — without the high-fructose corn syrup.
If that’s not festive enough for you, add a glint of gold, as Hogan does at Ça Va, with a coarse demerara or sanding sugar and a metallic-hued recyclable straw. Let the festivities begin!
1.5 ounces cherry red wine syrup (recipe below)
.5 ounces Amargo-Vallet liqueur
.75 ounces Amaro Averna liqueur
Frizzante-style (semi-sparkling) prosecco, to top
Sanding or demerara sugar, for garnish
Combine the cherry red wine syrup with the Amargo-Vallet and Amaro Averna in a shaker filled with ice. Stir with a long-handled bar spoon to combine and slightly chill.
Swipe a bit of lemon peel along the edge of a Collins glass and roll one half of the rim in demerara or sanding sugar to garnish. Pour cocktail mixture into the glass, fill with cubed iced and top with prosecco. Add a festively colored straw and enjoy!
Cherry Red Wine Syrup
1 cup fresh, frozen or dried dark, sweet cherries, such as Morello cherries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Côtes du Rhône wine
Simmer cherries with equal parts sugar and water for about 15 minutes. Strain the cherry mixture through a fine mesh strainer, mashing to extract the juice. Combine the syrup with an equal part of good quality Côtes du Rhône wine. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.