More Bubbles, Please

Because, really, isn't everything better with more bubbles? Here, Chad Michael George of Denver's newly opened The Way Back cocktail bar explains why sparkling cocktails are the pro move this summer.

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Even the slightest tinge of effervescence instantly makes any cocktail so much more refreshing—so, naturally, bubbly libations should be a no-brainer for summer entertaining. But why, then, do sparkling cocktails only seem to make the rounds come holiday time? A hot summer day is as good as any for a little fizz, if you ask us.

Chad Michael George can put together the most complex of cocktails, but knows simplicity is best when entertaining.
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And indeed if you ask Chad Michael George—co-owner of Denver's newly minted The Way Back cocktail bar—who has kindly shared some tips and effortless recipes for sparkling cocktails that can be thrown together on the fly.

You'll want a prime seat at The Way Back to make your way through their stellar cocktail menu.
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First order of business: bubbly cocktails don't need to be made with Champagne or other sparkling wine! In fact, if you have a nicer bottle of sparkling wine, don't even think about mixing it into your cocktails. Savor those precious bottles on their own. "There are a lot of ways to get carbonation into a cocktail," says George. Consider sparkling cider, or even a flavored soda.

A trio of cocktails for your next summer party.

George also points out that everyone's natural inclination—and all-too-common mistake—when serving sparkling cocktails is to top off drinks by adding bubbles last. "If you pour your bubbles into the glass first, then strain the rest of your cocktail into that, you're going to get more balance because the bubbles won't be sitting at the top," says George.

Continue on for three of George's favorite sparkling cocktail recipes: the Lavender 75 with dry prosecco, the Nickel Bag of Funk with sparkling cider, and a simple Paloma with grapefruit soda. Cheers!

For more on The Way Back, see thewaybackdenver.com.

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Lavender 75

1½ ounces dry gin, like Cap Rock

¾ ounce lemon juice

¾ ounce lavender simple syrup

2 ounces prosecco

Lemon wheel, for garnish

  1. Pour prosecco into Collins glass filled with rocks.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to shaker and shake vigorously.
  3. Strain over rocks and garnish with lemon wheel.
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Nickel Bag of Funk

1½ ounces apple brandy, like Germain Robin

¾ ounce lemon juice

¾ ounce tart cherry liqueur, like Leopold Bros.

½ ounce simple syrup

2 ounces off-dry, funky cider, like Isastegi or Le Brun Brut

  1. Pour cider into double old-fashioned glass with rocks.
  2. Add remaining ingredients into shaker and shake vigorously.
  3. Strain over rocks.
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Classic Paloma

1½ ounces tequila

½ ounce fresh lime juice

2 ounces dry grapefruit soda, like San Pellegrino Pompelmo or Oogave

  1. Pour 2 ounces grapefruit soda into Collins glass with rocks and salted rim.
  2. Add remaining ingredients into shaker and shake vigorously.
  3. Strain over rocks.
From: Seventeen
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