The Parasol

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Cocktail History

The Parasol is a brunch cocktail that was created by bartender Paul McGee of RPM Italian in Chicago, Illinois and first appeared in the December 2013 issue of Saveur, an online food, wine, and travel magazine. It’s made with a refreshing combination of sparkling wine, Lillet Blanc, elderflower liqueur, lemon, and honey.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Sparkling Wine: This is the base spirit. It’s poured on top at the end to add sparkling wine flavor and effervescence. We used La Marca Prosecco for its crisp, refreshing taste and floral notes. For a low-proof version of this drink, try Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Prosecco in place of the sparkling wine.

Lemon Juice: This adds sweet and sour citrus flavors. We prefer to use fresh citrus juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes better.

Lillet Blanc: This is a French aromatized wine liqueur that is made with Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon grapes, citrus, florals, honey, and baking spices.

Elderflower Liqueur: This is an alcoholic beverage made with a spirit and elderflower. We used Edinburgh Gin Distillery Elderflower Gin Liqueur because it’s high quality and has a fresh, floral aroma and taste. For a low-proof version of this drink, try elderflower syrup in place of the liqueur.

Honey Syrup: This is a sweetener made with honey and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s simple recipe.

Lemon Twist: This is the garnish. It adds a hint of citrus aroma.

Tasting Notes

The Parasol features aromas of lemon, honey, and wine with a taste that marries tart lemon with slightly herbaceous Lillet and floral elderflower, and it’s all backed with thick honey sweetness and the effervescent notes of a semi-dry wine.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We found the delicious combination of Lillet, honey, and elderflower a welcome alternative to the typical sparkling cocktail formula and look forward to mixing more of The Parasol as we watch the herb gardens and flower fields grow once again over the next few weeks.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“As with the classic French 75, I found The Parasol to be alright. I’ve generally found few sparkling wine cocktails that I really love as I find the bubbly flavor tends to overpower the other flavors in most cases, and this was no exception. The honey does come through a bit and the Lillet is present if you know it’s there, but I mostly get the semi-dry flavors of the sparkling wine only lightly accented by the rest.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I’m a fan of just about any sparkling wine cocktail, and The Parasol is pretty high on the list of ones I’ve enjoyed because it’s unique. Like Alex pointed out, most bubbly cocktails really just taste like whichever brand of wine you’re using, but this cocktail had a sweet-tartness that I haven’t had in a sparkling drink before. The honey is absolutely delectable, the taste is rich, and the sparkling wine isn’t overpowering, in my opinion, especially if you choose to use an extra dry like we did. Overall, this is great drink for spring, and I’d make it again!”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from the December 2013 issue of Saveur magazine.

AuthorSaveur MagazinePrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 3 oz Sparkling Wine
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Lillet Blanc
 ½ oz Elderflower Liqueur
 1 Lemon Twist

Method
1

Add lemon juice, Lillet Blanc, elderflower liqueur, honey syrup, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a champagne coupe or flute.

4

Top with sparkling wine.

5

Garnish with lemon twist.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 3 oz Sparkling Wine
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Lillet Blanc
 ½ oz Elderflower Liqueur
 1 Lemon Twist

Directions

Method
1

Add lemon juice, Lillet Blanc, elderflower liqueur, honey syrup, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a champagne coupe or flute.

4

Top with sparkling wine.

5

Garnish with lemon twist.

The Parasol

Make It a Mocktail: Use Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Prosecco in place of the sparkling wine and elderflower syrup in place of the elderflower liqueur to try a low-proof version of this drink.

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Brunch Cocktails

If you like this brunch cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Garibaldi Cocktail Recipe

Garibaldi: A low-proof cocktail made with orange juice, Campari, and an orange slice

French Toast Flip Cocktail Recipe

French Toast Flip: A sherry, Scotch, and apple brandy cocktail made with maple syrup, allspice syrup, egg white and yolk, orange and fig bitters, and ground cinnamon

Nucleus Mimosa Cocktail Recipe

Nucleus Mimosa: A sparkling wine cocktail made with orange juice, cranberry juice, and a lime slice

Mocha Rum Toddy Cocktail Recipe

Mocha Rum Toddy: A rum cocktail made with coffee, dark crème de cacao, simple syrup, whipped cream, and cocoa powder

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