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Sparkling Lemony Suze Pitcher Cocktails


It may only be the middle of April, but Christmas seems like a lifetime ago, Easter is firmly in the rear view mirror, and even spring has sprung. So what’s next to look forward to? That’s right summer. Now whilst it might still be a while before you’re packing your bags and jetting off, or even topping up your tan in the back garden you can raise your spirits (no pun intended), and get in the mood with this recipe for Sparkling Lemony Suze Pitcher Cocktails.

It’s bright, warm and bubbly, and the only alcohol is sparkling wine - no hard booze here so you can tell yourself you’re still keeping to your resolutions……if they’ve lasted this long.

The sage leaves included here get steeped into a lemon simple syrup to add a little depth. To further enhance sage’s flavour, it’s mixed with Suze, a saffron-coloured French aperitif whose bitter yellow gentian root flavour makes it a cousin to the Italian amaro family. It has hints of citrus and wildflower, and balances a mild sweetness with vegetal bitterness.

It is ideal to have with an evening meal, but then again adds refreshment to a mid afternoon drink, or even one to see you into the night, so really there is no bad time to drink it!


Sparkling Lemony Suze Pitcher Cocktails

Ingredients & Instructions

For The Lemon-Sage Syrup:
* 6 ounces water
* 8 ounces (about 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) sugar
* 2 ounces fresh juice from 2 lemons
* Finely grated zest from 2 lemons
* 10 medium sage leaves

1. Combine water, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sage in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Bring to boil, remove from heat, and let stand 1 hour.
3. Strain and refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week.

For The Cocktails (Yields 6 drinks):
* 6 ounces Lemon-Sage Syrup
* 1 1/2 ounces Suze
* 1 bottle chilled Cava or other dry sparkling wine
* 6 strips lemon zest
* 6 fresh sage leaves

1. The night before serving, combine the lemon-sage syrup and Suze in a large pitcher. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. When ready to serve, add Cava, pouring slowly, and gently stir to combine.
3. Split between six Champagne flutes, twisting a lemon zest strip over each and garnishing with a sage leaf.

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