Massages and Cocktails: Hawt on Yelp Spa Week

Voda Spa in West Hollywood features luxurious treatment rooms - they also serve cocktails in the lounge. (Courtesy photo)
For the past few weeks I’ve been running around the country doing Bubbly Bar book parties and boy are my legs tired (ba-dump.) Actually, toting suitcases around and being squooshed into less than capacious airplane seats has taken its toll. The Bubbly Girl could use some pampering.

Good thing next week is Hawt on Yelp Spa Week! From Nov. 2-8, Yelp members get 50% off on services at selected spas around Los Angeles. At Mani-Kir Royale (love it) in North Hollywood you always get a glass of bubbly along with a gorgeous set of nails. They also use lots of fun products that have cocktail themes. The Bellini foot treatment include a bubbly foot soak, a peach nectar scrub and a champagne oil massage; the Sangria Massage is done with tropical fruit oils while the Champagne Facial uses actual champagne grape seed extract to leave the skin wonderfully moisturized.

Another highlight is Voda Spa, a chic day lounge in West Hollywood that features a Russian banyas, a private spa room for group events. Signature treatments include the Clear as Water Facial (voda means water in Russian) that uses a unique combination of enzymes, sulfur and probiotics to erase the conditions that cause acne and the Caviar Wrap that uses caviar extracts to exfoliate, nourish and tone the skin all over your body.

Then when you’re firm and and pretty, head down to the Voda Lounge lounge that serves drinks that highlight the health benefits of champagne and vodka. For Hawt on Yelp week, they’re serving a $7 Detox Martini that includes organic Ocean Vodka and a splash of electrolyte blend. To that, I say Na zdrowie!

Download the entire Hawt on Yelp a list of spas here.

White Stars, Anemones & Black Currants: Bubbly Questions Answered

I was greeted by a bottle of Fleur de Champagne and painted flutes when I visited Perrier Jouet in Champagne this summer.

I’ve gotten a few questions lately at my site The Bubbly Girl so I thought I’d answer a few of them in one post. If you have a question about bubbly or cocktails, feel free to ask!

Mal wrote to ask how long the Perrier-Jouët bottle has worn its fabulous cloak of white and gold anemone flowers?

The Perrier-Jouët family has always had an artistic flair, shown most notably in the Chateau Perrier and their home that has been converted into the Maison Belle Epoque on the Rue de Champagne in Epernay. In 1902 Henri Gallice commissioned famed artist Emile Gallé to create a special design for the Perrier-Jouët bottle that captured the artistry and spirit of the art nouveau movement. Gallé painted white and pink anemones outlined in gold with tendrils that hug the curves of the bottle. Apparently, with wars and other drama affecting the maison, the Gallé design sat unused for 60 years. It was unearthed in 1964 when a wonderful vintage inspired Perrier-Jouët to create a special cuvée called Fleur de Champagne, aka Belle Epoque in Europe. It was unveiled at Maxim’s in Paris and at Alcazar to mark Duke Ellington’s 70th birthday.

James, a recent transplant to San Diego, asked where he could find crème de cassis? In Japan, there’s a popular drink called Orange Cassis that’s a blend of crème de cassis and OJ that he wants to recreate stateside.

Luckily for James, crème de cassis – which is black currant liqueur is somewhat popular in the U.S. and Europe as an ingredient in the classic champagne cocktail the Kir Royale or the white wine cocktail called a Kir. It should be available at most well stocked liquor stores – especially the old school ones. The thing I like about creme de cassis is that its kind of sweet balanced by a tang on the back end. There’s a wide variety of styles of crème de cassis out there – some are more commercial and cost about $10; others like Massenez and L’Heritier Guyot are more artisanal and can cost about $20 to $30. For more brands, check out this crème de cassis discussion on Chowhound.

Valerie wrote wondering what champagne to drink now that Moët & Chandon isn’t making White Star any more?

I wrote this post about the demise of White Star earlier this year, though I’ve been seeing it around for much of the year. You might try the new Imperial, the cuveée that Moët created to replace the top-selling White Star. Imperial isn’t quite as sweet, but it’s very tasty. If it was the slight sweetness of White Star you loved, then why not give Nectar Imperial, Moët’s demi-sec style champagne a try.

Moet & Sugar Cubes: The Bubbly Bar Los Angeles Launch Party at The Edison

moet champagne cocktail
Last week I met up with some new and old friends in Los Angeles at The Edison for a Bubbly Bar book launch party that featured Moet & Chandon Champagne. In case you haven’t been, The Edison is a unique night club venue in downtown Los Angeles set in an old private power plant. Many of the old power plant fixtures like doors to coal furnaces remain, but the place has been plushed out with velvet sofas, original vintage style light fixtures and movie screens that show old sepia toned movies.
Members of the Medill Alumni Club of Southern California at The Bubbly Bar launch party in LA.< Besides lots of friends, the party in the Tesla Room drew members of the Medill Club of Southern California, media Los Angeles including Lori Corbin, the Food Coach from KABC, Michael Reel of Reel Urban News and Natalie Bovis-Nelson, The Liquid Muse and Michael Jenkins Brown of South Bay Foodies. I only wish Julia Fitzroy, the lovely and super busy Moet rep who made the party possible, had been able to make it down.

I'm flanked by Annie Kuo, president of the Medill Club of Southern California, Liquid Muse Natalie Bovis Nelson.
The featured drink was Champagne Cocktails which guests could customize. The capital C “Chamapagne Cocktail” is the original drink made with champagne, dating back to the mid 1850s. This was a time when champagne had an undisputed association with luxury and slightly decadent living; it was also known as chorus girl’s milk. The simple recipe for a Champagne Cocktail is a dousing a sugar cube with aromatic bitters before dropping it into the glass. As a variant, I infused sugar cubes with a variety of flavors including La Fee Absinthe, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, Angostura Bitters, and Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters.
A silver tray held sugar cubes flavored with Angostura bitters, absinthe, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur and blood orange bitters so guests could make their own style of Champagne Cocktail.

The Bubbly Bar Launch on NBC San Diego

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/video.

I just got back from Chicago for some fun Bubbly Bar book tour events, but I’m still pinching myself when I think of the unbelievably huge turnout for the Bubbly Bar launch party in San Diego at the Hotel Solamar. Slow Food Urban San Diego hosted the party as one of their popular Metro Mixer series. I can’t wait for the next one!

The crowd of more than 400 enjoyed three cocktails from the book – Lavender Tea, Tisana Punch and The Lava Lamp all made with seasonal ingredients and Domaine Chandon sparkling wine.

I spent most of the party signing more than 200 books – not complaining I swear. But I wish I had been able to mingle more. In case you missed it, here’s a report by Jacques Spitzer of NBC San Diego.com.