Dark Sparklers

Chef Andrea Reusing of The Durham Hotel in Durham, North Carolina, uses peak-season black plums to give the rich syrup in this cocktail its striking deep-purple color. "I just want a cashmere sweater in that color!" she says.

Dark Sparklers
Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
16 cocktails


  • 4 small black plums, quartered and pitted

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Sparkling wine, for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients except the sparkling wine with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the plums are very soft and the syrup is deep purple, about 20 minutes.

  2. Strain the syrup through a fine sieve set over a bowl, pressing on the solids. You should have 2 cups. Let the syrup cool completely, then refrigerate until chilled.

  3. For each cocktail, pour 1 ounce of syrup into a flute and top with sparkling wine.

Make Ahead

The black plum syrup can be refrigerated for 2 weeks.

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