Cocktail Club

Cocktail recipe: Make the Blood Orange and Bubbles cocktail this Halloween

PPX Hospitality Brands’ beverage director shares how to mix this prosecco cocktail from Strega Italiano.

Blood Orange & Bubbles
The Blood Orange and Bubbles cocktail was created by Christian Gianaris. Photos courtesy of Galdones Photography and PPX Hospitality Brands

Halloween is almost here, and when you’re not busy pulling together a costume, you’re probably making plans for how to spend the night. If part of your evening will involve brewing drinks with friends, a local restaurant is serving up a cocktail to celebrate the spooky season. Christian Gianaris, the Boston-based national beverage director for PPX Hospitality Brands, told us about the Blood Orange and Bubbles that is being offered at Strega Italiano‘s two locations, in Back Bay and the Seaport, through the end of the fall.

“At this time of year, a lot of cocktails that you see can be very heavy,” Gianaris said. “This is a much lighter option. It’s just well balanced and elegant.”


We spoke with Gianaris about how the drink is made, what inspired it, and what revelers can do for fun on October 31. Plus, see below for Gianaris’ Blood Orange and Bubbles cocktail recipe.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

What inspired the Blood Orange and Bubbles drink?

It’s actually something that I had created a long time ago, with another company. It was a cocktail that… when we first played around with it, especially with my introduction to the Solerno blood orange liqueur… the flavor profiles worked. You’ve got a lot of Italian roots. It just made sense.

A lot of liqueurs can be really cloying and thick. This has great flavor, but it has more of a bright flavor, as opposed to a synthetic sweetener flavor. … Because you’re using prosecco, you definitely have the effervescence of bubbles. There is a little bit of sweetness. But you also have the acidity, that helps to create that balance.

Show us how the cocktail is made.

We’re going to be serving it in a coupe glass. The cocktail is served up. We’re building it in a mixing glass. You’re going to use the Solerno blood orange liqueur. You’re going to use blood orange juice and a little bit of sweetener, whether that’s simple syrup that you made at home, or if you purchase it, you could do it with regular white sugar. If you want to make it a little more rich, you could use a darker sugar. We use a white sugar to try and keep it clean.


You’re going to shake that over ice for 10 to 15 seconds, and then strain it into the coupe glass. [You] then top it with the prosecco, and with a nice, big, wide orange swath — a wider peel, or twist — you express that into around the glass, and that’s your garnish.

How did you get involved in mixology?

My first job in a restaurant or bar [was when] I was 16 years old. My father had a fraternity brother who owned a bar, out in Vail, Colorado. So I was exposed to the bar business at an early age. I ended up meeting somebody in New York who was nice enough to teach me how to bartend. Over time, when I was going to school or over the summer, it was always a job that I could rely on. It’s a business that I fell in love with. And here I am, 30 some odd years later, still in it. I wouldn’t change a thing.

What can friends do for a fun Halloween night out?

Strega Italiano is in two fantastic neighborhoods, within the city. If you’re going out to the Seaport for Halloween, we’re a great place to start your evening with a cocktail and an appetizer. Or towards the end of your evening, if you’re looking for an espresso martini or something to pick you up, [it’s a destination]. That would be my recommendation for your night out on the town for Halloween.

Blood Orange and Bubbles:


  • .75 oz. Solerno blood orange liqueur
  • .5 oz. simple syrup
  • .5 oz. blood orange juice
  • 2-3 oz. LaLuca prosecco



Build the first three ingredients in a shaker. Add ice, and shake for 10-15 seconds. Strain up in a coupe glass, and top with prosecco. Garnish with an expressed orange swath. Enjoy!