Scintillating Quotes & A Cocktail Recipe for World Champagne Day

The original Champagne Cocktail started the fashion for sparkling drinks.
The original Champagne Cocktail started the fashion for sparkling drinks.

In case your Hallmark calender didn’t clue you in, Oct. 28 is World Champagne Day.

Actually, it’s a brand new observance created as a time to celebrate all the wonderful things about the unique sparkling wine called La Champagne from the region southeast of Paris known as Le Champagne.

I wanted to share a recipe for the Champagne Cocktail, which dates to the 1850s and is the first documented cocktail made with champagne. Just drop Angostura Bitters on sugar cube, drop it into a glass of cold brut champagne and finish it off with a lemon twist.

The other thing that’s so lovely about champagne is the way it’s inspired bon vivants and lovers of the good life through the ages to say all sorts of witty things. These are some of my favorite champagne quotes:

“A woman should never be seen eating or drinking, unless it be lobster salad and Champagne, the only true feminine and becoming viands.” – Lord Byron

“I drink Champagne when I win, to celebrate…and I drink Champagne when I lose, to console myself.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“Burgundy makes you think of silly things; Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them.” – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Lily Bollinger was a wit and a savvy Champagne widow.
Lily Bollinger was a wit and a savvy Champagne widow.

“I drink champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.” – Madame Lily Bollinger

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.” – Mark Twain

“Champagne is the only wine that leaves a woman beautiful after drinking it.” – Madame De Pompadour

“Champagne offers a minimum of alcohol and a maximum of companionship.” – David Niven

“Pleasure without champagne is purely artificial.” – Oscar Wilde

“There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.” – Bette Davis in ‘Old Acquaintance’

“Champagne makes you feel like it’s Sunday and better days are around the corner.” – Marlene Dietrich

“My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne.” – John Maynard Keynes

The Bubbly Girl at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Maria Hunt aka the Bubbly Girl is appearing at Epcot Food & Wine Festival Oct. 22-25.
Maria Hunt aka the Bubbly Girl is appearing at Epcot Food & Wine Festival Oct. 22-25.

Sparkling wine and gourmet cuisine might not immediately come to mind when one thinks of a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida.

But right now during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which runs until Nov 14, the park has been transformed into a culinary amusement park. Epcot has attracted an exciting line-up of celebrity chefs like Cat Cora of The Food Network, Boston’s Todd English and Art Smith of Table 52 fame to do cooking demonstrations and appearances. I’m looking forward to seeing Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods at a Celebrating Family & Friends Luncheon Oct. 22 and Gale Gand at her Sweet Sunday dessert tasting and brunch on Oct. 24. Throughout the park, international chefs are serving up tastes of German spaetzle, Spanish Serrano ham and Korean barbecued ribs paired with regional wines and beers.

I'll be signing books and talking about bubbly at Epcot's Food & Wine Festival Oct 22-25.
I'll be signing books and talking about bubbly at Epcot's Food & Wine Festival Oct 22-25.

I’ll be speaking on Oct. 22, 23 and 24 as a part of Authors Without Borders, a program that features cookbook authors talking about their favorite subjects. I’ll be sharing what I love about “Bubbly: The Happiest Drink on Earth” and exploring international sparkling wines in my cocktail recipe book The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion (Clarkson Potter, 2009).

On Monday, Oct. 25 I’m mixing up my Stiletto Cocktail, giving tips on entertaining with bubbly and signing books for the discerning gourmands who are part of Disney’s Grape Getaway, a luxurious four-night package of exclusive food events and tastings limited to 100 guests.

Since one cannot live on great food and wine alone, there’s a series of free concerts called Eat to the Beat, featuring acts like Boyz II Men, 38 Special, Billy Ocean and Rick Springfield.

With all the good wine and food flowing at Epcot, it’s sure to be the happiest place on earth.

Chambord Has a New Look, and a Vodka too

Chambord, the venerable black raspberry liqueur has a new sibling - a flavored vodka.
Chambord, the venerable black raspberry liqueur has a new sibling - a flavored vodka.

I was sitting at the long carrara marble bar of the Lake Chalet looking out at Lake Merritt and the rows of liquor bottle on the back bar. I saw lot of familiar bottles, but noticed that the familiar round Chambord bottle had changed.

The bottle has lost its crown, it’s replaced with a crown medallion on front. The top of the cap and the bottle have a new flower with four pointed petals, like a play on the French design called a quatrefoil.

Chambord has a new look that stars the quatrefoil, a four-pointed floral motif.
Chambord has a new look that stars the quatrefoil, a four-pointed floral motif.

Quatrefoils are popular motifs on churches in France, England and especially Italy. But the most familiar example of the quatrefoil is on the iconic Louis Vuitton logo created in 1896.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the distinctive and deep berry taste of Chambord liqueur. It starts with blackberries and raspberries being infused into neutral grain spirits. Then it’s blended with flavors of black raspberries and currants, cognac, vanilla and herbs.

The new Chambord vodka is a pretty berry pink color and carried the same berry favor with a cleaner – and sharper – vodka edge.

It’s easy to think of lots of ways to use both: splashed into sparkling wine, shaken into a French Martini or even just poured into lemonade. I like the looks of the French Sparkle, a cocktail with mango nectar, Chambord vodka and champagne on the company’s website.

A mimosa gets so much more interesting with a splash of Chambord.
A mimosa gets so much more interesting with a splash of Chambord.

But one of my favorite ways to use Chambord is in a simple cocktail I’ve dubbed the Queen for a Day Mimosa. It’s a delicious libation that makes you feel royal whether you’re sipping it at brunch or any time of day.


Queen for a Day Mimosa

1/2 ounce Chambord Liqueur
2 ounces fresh orange juice
3 ounces brut sparkling wine or champagne, chilled
fresh or frozen raspberry or blackberry

Add Chambord to a champagne flute. Top with the orange juice and sparkling wine or champagne. Garnish with a raspberry or blackberry.