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champagne cocktail

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Scintillating Quotes & A Cocktail Recipe for World Champagne Day

October 27, 2010
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

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes

Bubbly Girl Drink of the Week: Amelie at The Edison in LA

July 18, 2009
The Amelie  is one of the champagne cocktails at The Edison Room in LA. (Photo by Maria C. Hunt)

The Amelie is one of the champagne cocktails at The Edison Room in LA. (Photo by Maria C. Hunt)

After months of anticipation, I finally managed to be in LA on a night when The Edison was open, so I went to check it out. Of course, a lot of the key people were away at cocktail conference in New Orleans, but you can’t always get what you want.

I walked a short distance into an alley near Second Ave. and Spring Street and immediately saw two big bouncers and a hostess in a long vintage style beaded dress. Once inside, I spotted a shoeshine guy in vintage attire; he sat in a room ringed in art Nouveau style iron work. The main part of the spacious bar is down a long, nearly two-story staircase. Casting a dim glow over the lower floor was a trippy  hanging light made up of Tungsten filament bulbs and old blue glass insulators that spiraled down for what seemed like forever.

This unique light fixture at The Edison in LA features tungsten filament bulbs and vintage glass insulators. (Photo by Maria C. Hunt)

This unique light fixture at The Edison in LA features tungsten filament bulbs and vintage glass insulators. (Photo by Maria C. Hunt)

The voluminous bar is in the basement of an old private power plant; big metal structures that look like burners and furnaces are still in place, with low velvety banquettes and sofas set around them. Light is a recurring theme at the Edison, in the decor and even down to cocktail skewers in the shape of little light bulbs.

Part of the reason I wanted to visit was because I knew from conversations with Edison Spirits Director Aidan Demarest that the Edison loved champagne and sparkling cocktails. Demarest said that bubbly has a beguiling quality that tempts visitors to try other ingredients they’ve never tasted before. As you might expect, the bartenders dress in shirts, ties and vests and greet guests with a politesse not found a most bars in LA. The drink menu is labeled a Catalogue of Parts; inside I found drinks like the Absinthe 75, made with the licorice flavored green spirit; and The Mistress, a flirty drink with pomegranate syrup and champagne.

But since it’s spring I decided to try a the Amelie, a seasonal strawberry sparkling cocktail that’s new on the list. Demarest was even kind enough to share the recipe below. I sipped the fresh, cool Amelie and then got on to my next appointment, unfortunately before the 8:30 aerial dance and acrobatic show. I plan to go back on July 28 for the special event called Radio Room, when Demarest will be working behind the bar and treating guests to some of his electrifying cocktails while a unique cabaret style show that includes AiRealistic unfolds above.

The Amelie

2 fresh strawberries, hulled
2 cucumber slices
1-1/2 ounces white rum
3/4 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce honey syrup (equal parts honey and water blended)
float of champagne
In a cocktail mixing glass, muddle the strawberries and cucumber slices. Add the rum, lime juice and honey syrup and ice. Shake until well chilled then strain into a tall, Collins style glass filled with ice. Top with a float of champagne. Serve with a straw.
From The Edison Room in Los Angeles

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks, Entertaining

A Golden Champagne Cocktail for Academy Awards Parties

February 22, 2009
Tiny flecks of edible gold leaf dance on champagne bubbles in the Grant's Gold cocktail. Photo by Ramona d'Viola/Ilumus

Tiny flecks of edible gold leaf dance on champagne bubbles in the Grant’s Gold cocktail. Photo by Ramona d’Viola/Ilumus

There’s no doubt lots of champagne corks will be popping all over Hollywood and surrounding districts as the Academy Awards – which gives Oscars to the best work in the movies the past year – rolls out another list of winners. If you ask me, the best supporting actress is just too hard this year — I wish they could split the Oscar five ways between Marisa Tomei, Amy Adams, Taraji Henson, Penelope Cruz and Viola Davis. Or maybe the best dress should win.

If you want to make like the red carpet crowd, then pick up a bottle of bubbly by Moet & Chandon – Oscar just chose the venerable champagne house as the official champagne of the Academy Awards. Their wines including Nectar Imperial, Imperial Rose and the latest Grand Vintage will be poured from the Red Carpet cocktail party to the Governer’s Ball after party.

But if you want a golden champagne cocktail that fits the occasion, then try my Grant’s Gold, a champagne cocktail that features edible 23K gold leaf dancing in champagne along with VSOP Cognac and Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur. I created the signature drink recently for a special event at the Grant Grill, the fine dining restaurant in Starwood’s U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego.

While developing this recipe, I found that static cling can make the delicate gold leaf difficult to handle, but chopping it with the sticky candied ginger takes care of this. And when you drop the pieces of decorated ginger into the drink, they’ll slowly release little flecks of gold. The Grant’s Gold is potent and delicious and whether you choose to add the gold or not, the cocktail will add a luxurious note to any party.

Pair this cocktail with creme brulee, pound cake or dark chocolate desserts. The intense flavors of fresh ginger and cognac are a perfect counterpoint to sweets while the edible 23K gold leaf from Italy makes it memorable.

Grant’s Gold
Makes 1 cocktail
3 to 4 ounces brut champagne like Moet Brut Imperial, chilled
1 ounce Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
1/2 ounce VSOP cognac
2-3 slivers candied ginger with 23K gold leaf
Pour the champagne or sparkling wine into a flute. Add the ginger liqueur and
cognac. Just before serving, drop in the slivers of candied ginger with gold leaf.

© 2009 By Maria Hunt aka The Bubbly Girl. All rights reserved.