Vintage Cellars

VC News Spring Racing

Put the Champagne on ice and dress to impress in your best fashions on the field. It’s time to celebrate the spring racing carnival with a swellegant shindig.


You can almost smell the fresh-cut grass and hear the horses thundering down the straight. Yes, spring for anyone keen on an elegant party means racing season. From the Caulfield Cup to the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup Day itself, it’s one of the most anticipated events on the Australian social calendar whether you’re at the track or entertaining at home. From frivolous hats to Windsor knots, it’s a time for stylish fun, and nothing sums up the season better than a cocktail made with bubbles. With these handy cocktail recipes in your repertoire, your reputation as a host will shine bright indeed.

Champagne cocktail

Let’s hear it for the classics. Soak a sugar cube in Angostura Bitters, drop it into a Champagne flute and top up with a luxury brut Champagne such as Mumm. Garnish with a lemon or orange twist and accessorise with caviar or freshly shucked oysters.

Kir Royale

Be so Frenchy, so chic with the blushing beauty of Champagne cocktails. This apéritif-style little number is made by topping up crème de cassis (a rich blackcurrant liqueur) such as Massenez with Champagne in a flute. To eat? Smoked salmon blinis, darling.


Here’s a great way to keep an eye on your alcohol intake over the course of an afternoon. Mix equal amounts of a sparkling wine such as prosecco such as Brown Brothers’ delicious NV with freshly squeezed, pulp-free orange juice in a flute for an elegant sipper (or opt for peach nectar and call it a Bellini). Garnish with cherries or strawberries for a pop of colour and enjoy with a savoury mini quiche.

Grand Royal

There are many different takes on this sunset-hued cocktail but the simplest is also devastatingly effective. Mix Grand Marnier (a blend of French Cognac and distilled bitter orange) with an equal amount of sparkling wine or Champagne such as Moët & Chandon. Garnish with a twist of orange. Your food match can afford to go equally rich and decadent — think of a charcuterie board groaning with prosciutto, bresaola and spicy peppered salami.

French 75

One for the gin lovers, this little number dating back to World War One is as flirty as a fascinator. In a cocktail shaker with lots of ice, combine one part classic London dry gin such as Bombay Sapphire, two dashes of simple syrup and half a part lemon juice. Shake vigorously and serve in a coupe topped up with Champagne such as Veuve Clicquot. Have some sushi on hand for the perfect accompaniment.

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