Merchant of Venice Sparkling Wine Cocktail

Merchant of Venice sparkling wine cocktail

Wine books can be overwhelmingly technical and, let’s face it (sorry)— boring, but Joseph Bastianich and David Lynch’s Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy, gives a wonderful glimpse into the wines of Italy. Covering the basics of Italian wine, it also includes recipes and stories of the food and wine of the region. It’s a great escape read that lets me fantasize for a brief moment about packing up the fam and moving to a stone house in Fiesole.

This sparkling wine cocktail recipe is inspired by one found in Vino Italiano. Normally I am not a fan of mixing anything with wine, but this sounded simple and pretty. I tweaked the recipe a little (it’s so easy) and I gotta say, it makes a great holiday cocktail.

The cinnamon and pomegranate add a warm, wintry touch to the Prosecco, the Italian sparkling wine. And since it’s an Italian cocktail, stick with Italian wine and use the Prosecco. It’s affordable; I found a bottle at Trader Joe’s for $6.99. A California sparkling wine will be too sweet.

The Merchant of Venice

Adapted from Mario Batali’s recipe in Vino Italiano

Makes 1 drink

1 teaspoon fresh pomegranate juice (I just used some POM juice)

Pinch of cinnamon

Prosecco sparkling wine

Fresh pomegranate seeds for garnish


In a Champagne flute, add the pomegranate juice. Fill the remainder of the glass with Prosecco, and then add a pinch of cinnamon. If you’re making a bunch of drinks, it’s best to pour the Prosecco into a pitcher and keep the pitcher on ice. This will diminish the amount of foaming when you pour the drinks. Toss in a few pomegranate seeds; at first they’ll sink and then rise to the top.


The Virgin of Venice

Adapted for my two daughters

Makes 1 drink

1 teaspoon fresh pomegranate juice (or POM)

Pinch of cinnamon

Sparkling water

Fresh pomegranate seeds for garnish

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