What’s a party without the pop of a champagne cork as it flies across the room? For decades, we’ve opened bottles of bubbly to celebrate everything from marriages to job promotions, and most recently, the new year. Lucky for us, these Pasadena restaurants are far from finished with their celebrations as their bartenders are mixing up a few delicious champagne cocktails worth raising a glass to.
A unique take on a French classic, Foothill Restaurant’s Lillet Spritz makes for a wonderfully boozy addition to any dish from their delicious brunch menu. For this bubbly drink, Lillet Blanc, a mildly sweet white wine with notes of honey and spice, is mixed with a pour of champagne and a dash of house-made rose water. A splash of soda water blunts the otherwise sharp palate, leaving patrons with a perfectly crisp cocktail. The drink comes garnished with a slice of orange and a sprig of rosemary, lending it robust notes of winter and making it a complex yet sippable drink for the season. 2835 E. Foothill Blvd.
White Horse Lounge
This classic cocktail was being mixed in bars across New York as early as the 1920s, even making an appearance in the classic film “Casablanca.” The bartenders at White Horse Lounge have always had a knack for reviving cocktails that have unjustly fallen out of vogue and their French 75 is yet another success. Combining London dry gin with freshly squeezed lemon juice, a splash of simple syrup, and a sparkling pour of California Brut makes for an effervescent drink, just tart enough without overpowering. The crystal cut wine glass it arrives in and the bar’s vintage atmosphere only add to the timeless feel of this reborn classic. 41 S. De Lacey Ave.
Edwin Mills by Equator
Lychee Sake Mimosa
Stand on Colorado Boulevard on a Sunday morning, throw a rock in any direction, and you’ll hit a restaurant serving bottomless mimosas. Edwin Mills by Equator is one such restaurant, but what sets this eclectic spot apart is its full menu of more than 10 varieties of the classic brunch cocktail including strawberry coconut, peach raspberry, and pomegranate. All the fruit mixes are made in-house from scratch and, because they’re bottomless, you can jump from one to the other, working your way through the varied selection. But it’s their lychee sake mimosa that really stands out. It’s a unique take that works surprisingly well with the sake’s sweet floral notes balancing out the crisp tart flavors of the dry champagne. 22 Mills Pl.
La Grande Orange Café
All Dressed Up
The team at La Grande Orange Café is bringing back their popular seasonal cocktail, All Dressed Up, just in time for winter. This drink brings together Fords Gin, a well-rounded blend from London that’s perfect for mixing cocktails, a dash of Leopold Cherry Liqueur, a bit of lemon juice, and sparkling white wine grown and bottled in Paso Robles in partnership with the restaurant. One might expect so many uniquely sharp flavors to clash, but by some kind of alchemy they come together incredibly well. The cocktail, served chilled in a 1920s-style champagne glass, offers warm spiced notes of orange and hints of caramel, perfect for sipping on a cold winter’s night. 260 S. Raymond Ave.