Morgan Schick of San Francisco's Bon Vivants cocktail consultants created this cocktail for Aatxe ("Ah-chay") restaurant, also in San Francisco. A twist on the classic Champagne cocktail, it's made with cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and pacharán liqueur. Pacharán (spelled "patxaran" in the Basque language) is similar to sloe gin--both are made from sloe berries, the dime-size fruit of the blackthorn shrub--but it's less sweet, and is usually made with anise liqueur rather than gin.
1 sugar cube
10 dashes Peychaud's bitters
1 ounce (2 tbsp.) Pacharán or sloe gin*
About 6 oz. brut cava (Spanish sparkling wine) or Prosecco
How to Make It
Drop sugar cube into a champagne flute. Shake bitters onto sugar and pour in pacharán. Cut a wide strip of orange zest from an orange with a vegetable peeler and twist it to release its oils. Drop into glass, then fill with cava.
*Order pacharan, also spelled patxaran, from winedelight.com. Sloe gin is widely available in liquor stores, but Schick particularly likes the sloe gin from Spirit Works Distillery, in Sebastopol, CA.