It’s been a busy week since The Bubbly Bar launched last week with an awesome bash for 400 who sipped Domaine Chandon sparkling wine cocktails at the Hotel Solamar. The fun continued this week when I was the guest mixologist at Rock the Cure, a benefit to raise money for juvenile diabetes research through JDRF.org.
My signature event cocktail was The Rich Girl named in honor of the event headliners Hall & Oates. A deliciously potent blend of brut sparkling wine, Grand Marnier and Navan Cognac, the Rich Girl was a revinvention of The Stiletto cocktail from the book. I wish Navan had been around when I was writing The Bubbly Bar; the fine French cognac is infused with Madagascar vanilla and has a wonderfully warm and complex flavor. It blends perfectly with the natural curacao orange in Grand Marnier, which is also a cognac based liqueur.
To make it a more luxurious cocktail, I soaked the orange peel garnish in the Navan and then added a touch of 24K edible gold leaf to the drink. It was a hit with both men and women who liked the blend of crisp Gloria Ferrer bubbles, sweetness and potency.Thanks to Steve and Lisa Altman for inviting The Bubbly Girl to be a part of the benefit and Steve Slater and Sara Southern of Southern Wine and Spirits; and Anne Walraven of Moet Hennessy for making the cocktail possible.
John Oates of H & O got a kick out of the fact that the drink was named The Rich Girl and was kind enough to pose for a picture! And the evening was a success, raising $500,000 to help combat juvenile diabetes!
Man first walked on the moon on July 21, 1969, but did you know there was a champagne cocktail created 40 years ago to commemorate the event? Me either – and I captured so many delicious classic champagne cocktails in my new book The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion.
I heard about the Moonwalk cocktail this week when Grand Marnier came to The Hard Rock Hotel San Diego for a cocktail class and tasting led by Steve Olson of The BAR. We tasted the Grand Marnier 100 and 150 and talked about making the ideal margarita with “Grandma,” tequila, lime and agave nectar. I also learned that the cognac-based spirit created in 1880 was originally called Curacao Marnier, after the oranges used to make it. But hotelier César Ritz thought that the name Grand Marnier sounded more, well, grand, and it stuck.
Bartender Joe Gilmore at the Savoy Hotel in London crafted the original Moonwalk from Grand Marnier, graperuit juice, Moet & Chandon Brut champagne and a touch of rosewater. It’s currently on the menu at the trendy speak-easy style bar on Long Island called Dutch Kills. I think you’ll agree the Moonwalk has a very refined taste, but the rosewater adds a subtle exotic note, just the kind of thing one might want as they were flying to the moon.
Makes 1 cocktail
1 ounce Grand Marnier
1 ounce grapefruit juice
3 drops rose water
2 ounces brut champagne
Add the Grand Marnier, grapefruit juice and rosewater to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled, then strain into an old-fashioned coupe style champagne glass or small martini glass. Top with champagne.