Sparkling and glamorous could describe the perfect party or the perfect cocktail with which to celebrate. We speak, of course, of champagne.

“Bubbles add sophistication to any cocktail. While champagne and prosecco both taste great on their own, adding a couple of simple ingredients can really make it a delicious drink that feels very decadent,” says Gino Iovino, owner of Girasole in Atlantic City.

Champagne or prosecco can be a transformative ingredient. “It brings such a bright, dry component to cocktails. The bubbles bring out a whole different flavor profile,” says Peter Hernandez, regional bar operations manager and mixologist for Caesars Entertainment, adding that sparkling wine provides a great foundation to build a wide variety of cocktails. “They mix well with so many different ingredients because they have such a variety ... With the right pairing, they can really bring out flavors,” Hernandez says

Pure pleasure

As it turns out, there is a neurophysiological reason that champagne and prosecco sit on top of the celebratory cocktail hierarchy. The effervescence speeds up the brain’s perception of pleasurable flavors as the bubbles surface and release the aroma before the drink even touches your lips. A fact that was innately recognized by the great Oscar Wilde or as he simply put it, “Pleasure without champagne is purely artificial.” The French 76 cocktail at Gordon Ramsay Steak at Harrah’s Resort was inspired by this quote. This taste of pure pleasure begins with Lillet Blanc and an elderflower sugar cube, which is then finished with champagne.

If you prefer your pleasure-y drink with a side of citrusy decadence, head to Girasole in Atlantic City and try their Limone di Sorrento. This starts with prosecco then adds St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Malfy Gin, homemade Meyer lemon simple syrup, homemade limoncello and lemon for garnish.

While on the topic of decadence, bourbon and champagne is not generally thought to pair well together, but Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Atlantic City has a combo that’s out of this world. The Drinks in Worcester combines bourbon, pear ginger shrub, a few dashes of bitters and prosecc.

Celebrate

Because of its effervescence, it’s undeniable that sparkling wines can lift ordinary cocktails to gala status. “As we are about to enter the holiday season, cocktails with bubbles are just more festive and fun. We created the Gold Royale for our 50th anniversary celebration at La Mer Beachfront Resort and the beautiful golden hue and bubbles were a great way to cheers 50 years,” says George Andy, managing partner of La Mer Beachfront Resort. The Gold Royale is brut prosecco topped off with gold shimmering St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur.

From anniversaries to birthdays, there’s a lot in life to celebrate and a financial victory is one of them. The perfect drink to celebrate that raise, that win or just that paycheck is the Self-Made Billionaire at the 2100 Bar & Lounge at Caesars. The Self-Made Billionaire includes Stoli Blueberi, fresh lemon juice, dry vermouth, vanilla syrup, St. Germain, Angostura and peach bitters, blackberries, mint and sparkling wine.

It even helps bring a certain sophistication to watching sports, like at The Book at Harrah’s. Celebrate your teams’ wins with the Enforcer. In this classy cup you’ll find a mix of prosecco, Angry Orchard Hard Cider and St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur.

Then again, any night out is reason for celebration. Cheers to being out on town with the Sparkling Dusk at the #BWNN (Bar with No Name) at Harrah’s. This mysterious beverage is made with fig shrub, lavender bitters, St. Germain and prosecco.

The classics

While champagne cocktails take many forms on the modern bar scene, these effervescent drinks first made their appearance around the mid-1800s and include several that are considered classics. As one of the more recognizable champagne cocktails, the Kir Royale was created in France to honor a hero, Canon Felix Kir, a priest in the French resistance during World War II. For a delectable take on this classic head to MADE Atlantic City Chocolate Bar for the MADE Kir Royale. This version includes 48 Blocks vodka, Chambord, triple sec and MADE cacao-infused extract. It’s finished with sparkling wine. And, as science tells us, those bubbles will stimulate sensory gratification. So the chocolate arouses pleasure by raising serotonin levels in the brain.

Reportedly originated in Italy during the 1800s when Venice was part of the Austrian Empire is the classic champagne cocktail the spritz. The story is that the occupying soldiers found Italian wine too strong, so they asked for it with a “spritz” of water. Over time, the water was replaced with sparkling wine and the wine was replaced with liquor. For a fruity take on this classic, try the Berry Spritz at Council Oak Fish at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. This take on the bubbly classic has Stolichnaya Razberi vodka, Chambord, raspberry and blackberry puree, cranberry juice and (of course) prosecco.

Girasole, 3108 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City. Call 609-345-5554 or go to MyGirasole.com

Gordon Ramsay Steak at Harrah’s Resort, 777 Harrah’s Blvd., Atlantic City. Call 609-441-5060 or go to Caesars.com

Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Atlantic City, 2100 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City. Call 609-343-2600 or go to Caesars.com

2100 Bar & Lounge at Caesars Atlantic City, 2100 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City. For more information call 609-348-4411 or go to Caesars.com

The BOOK at Harrah’s Resort, 777 Harrah’s Blvd., Atlantic City. For more information call 609-441-5800 or go to Caesars.com

MADE Atlantic City Chocolate Bar, 121 S. Tennessee Ave., Atlantic City. Call 609-289-2888 or go to MADEChocolate.com

Council Oak Fish at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City. Call 609-449-1000 or go to HardRock Hotels.com

La Mer Beachfront Resort, 1317 Beach Ave., Cape May. Call 609-884-9000 or go to CapeMayLaMer.com

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