There are many things Italy has given the world that we are eternally grateful for: one of them is prosecco.
The glera grape (used to produce the sparkling wine) has been grown for hundreds of years, specifically in the Veneto and Friuli regions of northern Italy. Over time it’s soared in popularity – and for good reason. With tasting notes of crisp apples and delicate pears, the soft touch of this fizz at the right moment can be truly irresistible.
We’ve found the best places to savour its charm around Europe – and some fresh cocktails to make yourself.
1. Gliffaes Country House Hotel: Crickhowell, Wales
Gliffaes Country House Hotel
You don’t have to travel to northern Italy to enjoy the breezy taste of prosecco.
Head to Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales for a glass, where Gliffaes Country House Hotel is based. The 19th century hotel sits within an abundance of magical trees: just right for savouring refreshing tipple.
It’s a grade II-listed house; with wood panelling, high ceilings and fireplaces. Factor in the modern art, stylish fabrics and plump sofas and you have the ultimate retreat.
Gliffaes bar staff recommend their Queen of the Quinces recipe: a fresh take on the classic champagne cocktail.
Simply put good slug of quince brandy (the Gliffaes team make their own) in the bottom of a champagne flute and top up with prosecco. Enjoy among trees and good friends.
2. Agriturismo L’Unicorno: Bedizzole, Italy
High among the vineyards, fruit and olive groves of Valtenesi is Agriturismo L’Unicorno. It’s the oldest house in the hamlet of Macesina, just a few minutes from the glorious Lake Garda.
L’Unicorno’s chef talks fondly of the cuvée prosecco. It’s made with rare Durello grapes from Lessini mountains, where the volcanic mineral soil gives unique flavours and fresh scents.
And to complement your wine, how about a stimulating entrée of artichoke petals in two Grana Padano crispy waffles, garnished with toasted hazelnuts, bacon and balsamic vinegar. Most ingredients are fresh from the hotel’s garden.
Want to create a fizzy cocktail of your own? Try L’Unicorno’s colourful take on the aperol spritz. Fill a large wine glass with one part prosecco, one part Aperol and two parts soda water. The hotel bar staff garnish theirs with zest of lemon from Lake Garda, a slice of strawberry Mara de Bois and fragrant Moroccan mint leaf. Heaven.
3. Marktgasse Hotel: Zürich, Switzerland
The Marktgasse Hotel is a 15th century building with 21st century charm. It’s the perfect base in the middle of Zurich’s old town – with 39 individually furnished rooms, two restaurants and a bar right in the middle of it all.
And that’s one room you really want to visit. The bar staff really know their cocktails here: they’ve even shared a recipe for you to recreate the contemporary Swiss experience at home. Or you could book a night at the historical hotel and enjoy a glass on its sun-filled rooftop, overlooking the postcard-like Zurich skyline.
2 parts prosecco
1 ½ parts St. Germain liqueur
2 parts soda water
Sprig of fresh mint
Handful of ice cubes
Fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Add prosecco first, then St. Germain, then soda water. Stir up (don’t shake as it will fizz everywhere) and garnish with a sprig of mint.