Last Christmas we invited fifty people to celebrate the holiday season. I looked to history for inspiration on what cocktail to serve as guests arrived. Winston Churchill fondly noted, "A single glass of champagne imparts a feeling of exhilaration. The nerves are braced: the imagination is agreeably stirred." Just the kind of mood setting holiday treat I was seeking! In his honor, I served his favorite Pol Roger champagne. With just a bit of Aperol, a festive cranberry garnish and a splash of sparkling water, I created the perfect bubbling conversation ice breaker.

Winston Churchill Cocktail with Cranberries


  • Aperol--a bright red Italian aperitif with ginger, citrus and rhubarb undertones

  • 1 bottle champagne (Pol Roger is best)

  • A cup frozen cranberries

  • 1 bottle Pellegrino sparkling water


1. Put 3 frozen cranberries in each champagne flute.

2. Add 1 1/2 ounces of Aperol.

3. Add 4 ounces of champagne.

4. Top off flute with sparkling water.

Serves 6