London’s best prosecco cocktails
Lemon, mandarin sherbet, Amaro Montenegro, prosecco
Despite the name of the beloved Soho aperitivo bar it’s served at, the Pinwheel is a prosecco spritz to savour rather than knock back at speed. It’s a disco-looking drink, topped with an icing-sugar-dusted mint garnish, plus a couple of chunks of the most retro fruit going: physalis (the one that looks like a kumquat in a leafy cape). Once you get past the herbaceous bush, the throwback vibes continue. You’re rewarded with a lapping pool of mandarin flavours, sherbet and peel included. Dive right in: it’s zesty, bitter and bubbly – and wheely, wheely good.
Bombay Sapphire gin, pine infusion, elderflower, prosecco
You’ll be able to get a good whiff of the woods up on the fortieth floor of the City’s Heron Tower if you order this translucent, bubbly bevvy. The Pine Cone Lemonade has a neat little sprig of pine needles for its garnish and those heavenly, Scandinavian-forest aromas are just a teaser of the flavours you’ll get lost in once you take a sip. The gin is infused with pine, which adds a surprising bitter depth to the drink. Elderflower cordial, sugar syrup and lemon bitters balance things out, and once a splash of prosecco has made it into the glass, you’ve got yourself a faux lemonade that lives up to its name. Just watch out for the Gruffalo on your way home.
£7.50 (£5 during aperitivo hour)
Polpo prosecco, peach purée, crème de pêche
Sure, XXL spritzes are cool, but you’ve not done prosecco properly until you’ve headed to one of our city’s aperitivo pioneers. Polpo, a restaurant and bar group inspired by Venice’s wine bars (or bacàri), is to thank for sorting Londoners out with one-way tickets to prosecco town. Its happy hour sees aperitivi (bitter drinks, usually served before meals) flogged for a fiver. Snap up a bellini, made with peach purée and lashings of Polpo prosecco, sourced from northern Italy. Its fizz of choice is spumante, so expect those bubbles to seriously pop. This one is peachy keen.
Campari, Martini Rosso, prosecco
Every summer evening, up to 1,500 punters fight for a spot at Frank’s to catch sight of London’s sunset skyline. Drinking on the roof of that multi-storey car park has become as iconic an experience as drinking a Sbagliato at Milan’s Bar Basso, where a bartender is said to have first mixed this prosecco negroni. (The story goes that they confused gin for fizz: ‘Sbagliato’ translates as ‘Oops, my mistake.’) At this legendary Peckham hotspot, the drink sells as steadily as a classic negroni. Especially since adding a bit of sparkle to the deep-red drink is a simple way to usher in the summer. Wonder what ‘Oops, I’m drunk on negronis’ is in Italian?
Beefeater gin, rhubarb cordial, Aperol, prosecco
Just one sip of this souped-up Aperol Spritz will leave you with a warm, fuzzy glow like you’re sunbathing on a terrace in Padua (the Italian city where the orange aperitivo was first created). Rhubarb cordial, made in-house at Bar Termini, makes the Spritz Termini extra special, adding a layer of fruity, bitter flavour. But the best thing about the concoction? Most of its components are pre-batched – bar staff add ice and a slice then top up with extra-dry prosecco. That means you can have a spritz at your terrace table in 30 seconds flat. No, wait, 30 seconds fizzy!
Raspberry, hibiscus, rose, prosecco
Sparkling cocktails can have you feeling pretty giddy, but if you’re looking for a less dizzying night on the fizz, you can bank on Nine Lives. The tropical-tinged bar in London Bridge has a menu of ‘Lowriders’, championing cocktails on the lighter side of life. The Alright Blossom doesn’t compromise on flavour despite its lower alcohol percentage, tasting like a fizzy Turkish delight thanks to rose water, raspberry purée and hibiscus syrup. It’s bloomin’ delicious.
Find more fizz in London
‘Cut me open,’ you announce dramatically to your gal pals, ‘and I bleed prosecco.’ You may know the ailment well, when the fizz becomes your life force. When you’re all about that bubble. Once you’ve popped, you literally can’t stop. It’s time to visit these London bars and hangouts where the prosecco game is stronger than your aching, needy fizz-thirst.