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Like I Said … Keep Calm and Drink Bubbly

April 22, 2013
keep calm drink bubbly

keep calm champagne

This really doesn’t need much text; the sentiment expressed is quite self-explanatory. In fact, I’m a bit chagrined I didn’t think of this myself. Bubbly is an instant mood tonic, and I’ve been encouraging everyone to enjoy the Bubbly 365 lifestyle for a while now.

This adorable poster from the Keep Calm Shop on Etsy is pretty in pink, as well as a range of other vivid shades like gold, turquoise and emerald, because they want you to be happy. The poster is just $16 retail, which is the same price as a decent bottle of domestic U.S. sparkling wine, cava, or prosecco, but alas just a glass of champagne.

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Celebrities & Champagne, Drinks

Sip a Sparkling Viola Cocktail: Inspired by Viola Davis

February 24, 2012

For the first time in a few years, I’ll be tuning into the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday. I’ll be watching because I really want to see Viola Davis with the award for Best Actress.

This amazing actress, wife and mother is getting her long-overdue star turn for her work in The Help, a movie about a group of maids in 1960s Mississippi.

She may seem like a late bloomer, but Viola Davis has been practicing her craft for years, giving deeply moving portrayals of people who were often in some kind of pain. One of my roles favorite was on the show “Without a Trace.” She played a mother grappling with the disappearance of her son, and the fact that TV news blasted the story of a missing blond girl, while ignoring her son’s plight.

Davis is making the most of her star turn with gorgeous awards-show ensembles, which inspired the Polyvore set by Svud Je Holivud. Viola’s bubbly, dark and lovely and it inspired me to toast her with a special golden Oscar’s cocktail.

The viola, a dainty flower related to the violet and pansy, is one of my favorite edible flowers. They come in a range of gorgeous shades, and they have so much personality with markings that resemble a face. Candied or in cocktails, they have a sweet cucumber taste.

The Sparkling Viola
1 ounce Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette Liqueur
3/4 ounce blackberry syrup
4 ounces demi sec champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
1 fresh blackberry
1 organic viola flower
24K edible gold leaf flakes

Add the violet liqueur and blackberry syrup to a champagne flute. Top with the sparkling wine. Garnish with the blackberry. Lay the viola on top of the cocktail and top with a sprinkle of gold.

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



Viola Davis

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes

Real Aphrodisiacs for Valentine’s Day Drinks: Watermelon

January 29, 2010
Watermelon has scientifically proven effects on libido, making it a great Valentine cocktail ingredient.

Watermelon has scientifically proven effects on libido, making it a great Valentine cocktail ingredient.

Every year when Valentine’s Day rolls around, lots of foods start getting mentioned with the label “aphrodisiac” attached to them. Shopping for foods that have been thought to have an effect on passion would take one to every aisle of the supermarket: strawberries, steak, avocados, potatoes and oysters have all had their day in the sun.

This year, I decided to research food that have a scientifically documented effect on libido or blood flow, which is generally what an aphrodisiac is all about. Over the next few posts, I’ll be sharing recipes for drinks made with foods that can help put you in the mood.

It turns out that watermelon is good for more than cooling off in the summertime; this juicy fruit is also being called “nature’s Viagra.” A study at Texas A & M University’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center found that watermelon contains a substance called citrulline that helps blood vessels relax, just like Viagra. For more details, check out this post at Science

Watermelon is delicious mixed with all kinds of spirits; I created this cocktail called Watermelon Kiss using NUVO sparkling vodka and brut rosé sparkling wine. It just may do the trick this Feb. 14.

The Watermelon Kiss cocktail is sweet and juicy, just like a kiss.

The Watermelon Kiss cocktail is sweet and juicy, just like a kiss.

Watermelon Kiss
1 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed
1/2 tsp. pink decorating sugar
1-1/2 ounces watermelon juice
1 ounce NUVO sparkling vodka
3 ounces brut rose sparkling wine
dash orange bitters

On a small flat dish, combine the crushed pink peppercorns and the pink decorating sugar. Moisten the rim of a champagne flute with a wedge of lemon. Press the glass in the pink peppercorn/sugar mixture to coat it. Pour the watermelon juice and NUVO into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled then carefully pour into the prepared glass. Top with sparkling wine. Finish with a dash of bitters.
Now make another one for someone special.

Cocktail Recipes

Drink of the Week: The Japanese 75

April 10, 2009
The Japanese 75 offers an Asian twist on the classic champagne cocktail French 75.

The Japanese 75 at Alchemy in South Park offers an Asian twist on the classic champagne cocktail the French 75.

When the work week is finally over, what better way to unwind than with a cocktail?!? In honor of Fridays, I’m starting a new Bubbly Girl feature called Drink of the Week.

This week’s cocktail is the Japanese 75, an Asian riff on the classic champagne cocktail the French 75, which stars gin and sour. Frankie Thaheld, who makes super inventive and delicious drinks at George’s at the Cove in La Jolla, created the Japanese 75 for the new South Park neighborhood restaurant called Alchemy.

Frankie’s drink is tart-sweet and fragrant with Plymouth gin; it gets its tang from yuzu juice. In case you hadn’t heard of it,  the yuzu is a fragrant Japanese citrus fruit that’s intensely sour. The juice is available at nearly any Asian market or on; a little bit goes a long way and it also makes a tasty lemonade.

Japanese 75

1/2 oz. Yuzu Juice
1 oz. Plymouth Gin
1/2 oz. simple syrup
Dry Sparkling Wine

Shake first three ingredients with ice and strain into a champagne flute.  Fill with sparkling wine and drop in a maraschino cherry.

From Mixologist Frankie Thaheld of George’s at the Cove

Celebrities & Champagne

Perfect Beauty: My Champagne Cocktail for Preston Bailey

March 3, 2009
Preston Bailey with one of his floral dogs. Photo Courtesy Brides Magazine.

Preston Bailey with one of his floral dogs. Photo Courtesy Brides Magazine.

When I heard that Preston Bailey, the famous New York City floral and event designer, was coming to San Diego for a benefit and private party at Susie Spanos’ home, I knew I had to create a signature sparkling cocktail in his honor.

His web site calls him the world’s preeminent designer and it’s no exaggeration: he does parties for celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump, the royal family in Abu Dhabi and one secret client who dropped $25 million on a soiree.

Bailey’s speaking before the The Village Garden Club of La Jolla as a part of the high powered group’s Meet the Masters series. He’s appearing at 1:30 Thursday; proceeds from the $65 tickets benefit the Club’s Schoolyard Garden Project. He’s also offering a sneak peek at his gorgeous new book Celebrations that’s being released by Rizzoli in the fall.

I adore flowers so much there’s a whole chapter of floral drinks in my new cocktail book The Bubbly Bar. I knew I had to design a floral drink for Bailey since he’s synonymous with lush and fabulous floral designs. He’s also famous for the whimsical sculptured floral dogs like the ones above. And I knew I wanted it to be pink.

First I created a delicious drink named Vintage Rose with a rose petal syrup I creation, but decided it wasn’t quite original enough.

Scented rose geranium leaves grow easily and are prized for adding a lemony, floral flavor to cakes and syrups, especially in England.

Rose geranium leaves grow easily and are prized for adding a lemony, floral flavor to cakes and syrups, especially in England.

Then I thought of my syrup made from rose geranium leaves, which offers a tantalizing floral note along with a lemony freshness. Since the menu focuses on great regional foods like spiny lobster, upscale fish tacos and Chino farm vegetables, I decided to pair it with the new season’s fresh strawberries that are so delicious.

Check back for pictures from the party and the recipe to make your own Perfect Beauty.