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Moet & Chandon

Bubbly Events, Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes

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

October 15, 2009

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.

Bubbly Events

Bubbles on Tour: Bubbly Bar Book Events

September 14, 2009
Signing books at the Hotel Solamar on Aug. 26 at the San Diego launch party presented by Slow Food Urban San Diego  and Domaine Chandon - what a blast!

Signing books at the Hotel Solamar on Aug. 26 at the San Diego launch party presented by Slow Food Urban San Diego and Domaine Chandon - what a blast!

It’s been quite the whirlwind since my book The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails (Clarkson Potter, $16.99) launched a few weeks ago. It’s amazing how many different skills it takes to be an author; not only do you need to know enough about a topic to write about it, once you’ve done so and had the incredible good fortune to get a book published, then you need to become an expert at marketing, event planning and logistics! All that is to say that with the help of some friends, I’ve put together some fun Bubbly Bar book events that will start happening around the country in a couple weeks.

If you’re a Bubbly Girl – or even if you just like to have fun while tasting some sparkling wine cocktails and learning something new, then I hope you’ll come out to join the fun as I make my way around the country. Stay tuned for more events in NYC, San Francisco, Atlanta and San Diego but here’s where I’ll be for the next month or so:

Chicago

Oct. 1.  – Pops for Champagne 601 N. State St. 6 to 8 p.m.
Come learn how to make great autumn cocktails with Domaine Carneros – America’s first estate grown organic sparkling wine and fine artisanal spirits. Ticket are $25 and include a signed book, cocktails and nibbles at America’s most acclaimed champagne bar. To RSVP, email rsvp@popsforchampagne.com

Oct. 3 – Shop & Sip at M2 Boutique, 3527 N. Southport Ave. 12 to 4 p.m.
We’ll have fun sipping fizz and browsing through fabulous fall fashions including TANO leather handbags at 20% off at this value-conscious boutique. Free event, no RSVP required.

Los Angeles

Oct. 7 – Moet Champagne Cocktails & A Sparkling Book Party at The Edison, 108 W. Second Ave. 5:30 to 7:30
p.m. Meet me in the Tesla Lounge for an intimate literary cocktail party featuring Moet & Chandon champagne cocktails and appetizers at this unique vintage-style bar in downtown LA. Wear business or cocktail attire – the Edison has a dress code. Stick around for the sexy cabaret show starting at 8 in the main bar. Tickets are $20 and include a signed book and bubbly. All guests must pre-pay by Oct. 3 by emailing maria at thebubblygirl.com.

NYC

Oct. 12  – The Bombay Bubbly Experience at Beekman’s Bar & Books, 889 1st Ave (At 50th) 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
We’ll explore the unique synergy between fine aromatic Bombay Sapphire gin and bubbly at this cocktail demo and party at Beekman’s, a warm and clubby bar that’s filled with thousands of books. I’ll be mixing drinks along with resident bartender Ben Scorah – GQ Magazine’s NYC Bartender of the Year- and Bombay Sapphire U.S. Mixologist James Moreland.  Tickets are $25 and include cocktails, food and signed books. For information on reservations, email maria at thebubblygirl.com

Napa County

Oct. 24- Cocktail clinics & book signing at Domaine Chandon, 1 California Drive, Yountville. I’ll be lounging in the gift shop of this modern showcase winery and giving two cocktail clinics featuring drinks from the book throughout the day. Cocktails from The Bubbly Bar will also be available for purchase at the tasting bar. Come up and make a day of it by taking a behind the scenes tour of the winery and treating yourself to a bubblicious lunch or dinner at Etoile! Free event!

Washington DC

Nov. 4 – Cava and Latin Libations at Masa 14, 1825 14th St. NW, Washington DC 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Masa 14 is the hot new restaurant by Richard Sandoval and Kaz Okochi that serves Latin and Asian small plates in a hip setting. We’ll explore the fine Spanish sparkling wine called cava and Latin libations from The Bubbly Bar paired with small plates from the restaurant. Tickets are $35 and include, drinks, food and a signed book. Make reservations through www.hooksbookevents.com or call 202-328-1414.

NYC

Dec. 12 – Book signing & Weekend Tasting at Harlem Vintage, 2235 Frederick Douglass Blvd. 4 to 7 p.m. Perrier-Jouet Champagne will be the featured champagne at this tasting and book signing at Harlem Vintage in this famous neighborhood that was home to lots of gin joints and speakeasies dating back to the classic cocktail era. A bottle of international bubbly and a signed copy of the Bubbly Bar make a fabulous and fast holiday gift. Harlem’s own Hue-Man Bookstore will be our book-selling partner for this special tasting. Free event!

Shopping

Get Crystallized and Bubblified in NYC

July 21, 2009
The Crystallized boutique in Soho features oodles of Swarovski crystals, a stunning waterfall chandelier and a lounge serving champagne and food. (Courtesy Photo)

The new Crystallized boutique in Soho features oodles of Swarovski crystals, a stunning waterfall chandelier and a lounge serving champagne, prosecco and upscale food. (Courtesy Photo)

I’m always on the look out for sparkling new ideas and beautiful places to enjoy bubbly. So I was enchanted to learn about Crystallized, the new high-concept Swarovski jewelry  boutique that opened in late June in New York City.  The legendary Austrian company known for precision-cut crystals has several boutiques around the world and now there’s one at 499 Broadway in Soho.

Besides the truckloads of sparkly stones and baubles, Crystallized also boasts a lounge serving four kinds of sparkling wine and champagne:  Adami Prosecco, Nicolas Feuillatte Brut and Moet & Chandon’s Brut Imperial and Brut Rosé Imperial. I haven’t seen the whole upscale food menu yet, but I heard about a coulibiac of salmon in puff pastry that would be complemented by the Brut Rosé Imperial and I’m sure they’re serving french fries which are fabulous with anything that sparkles.

The all-white space features a stunning  crystal Cascade chandelier created by Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen that illuminates the boutique’s two levels. Yards of display cases show off Swarovski bi-cone and round faceted crystals and pendants like the Lotus in colors ranging from crystal aurora borealis to black diamond (yes, I make jewelry too); shoppers can buy stones to make their own creations or have them assembled at Crystallized. They also sell all kinds of crystal accessories like an almost-practical blinged-out USB thumb drive for $55; jewelry like the Divine Rock Light necklace that raises money for clean-water projects and transfers to make sparkly T-shirts.

The new short sleeve Bubbly Girl T-shirt in berry pink is great for yoga, sleeping or wearing out with jeans.

The new short sleeve Bubbly Girl T-shirt in pretty berry pink is great for yoga, sleeping or wearing out with jeans. (Photo by Maria C. Hunt)

Speaking of T-shirts, it’s a perfect time to mention that the new summer Bubbly Girl T-Shirts with short sleeves  in a delicious shade of raspberry pink are now available in my online boutique. This shade seems to flatter every skin tone and the 100% cotton T-shirt emblazoned with a Swarovski crystal champagne flute and the words “bubbly girl” let you make a chic statement without even saying a word.

Celebrities & Champagne, Pop Culture

Champagne & Charity

May 30, 2009
Eva Longoria and Tony Parker were among the celebrities at Cannes 2009 who signed a 15 liter bottle of champagne to be auctioned for charity. (Courtesy photo)

Eva Longoria and Tony Parker were among the celebrities at Cannes 2009 who signed a 15 liter bottle of Moet et Chandon Brut Imperial champagne to be auctioned for charity. (Courtesy photo)

Champagne is one of the ultimate luxury goods and it’s associated with celebrities and rich people living the good life. But the large champagne houses also do a lot to bring attention and dollars to deserving charities.

At the 62nd film festival recently, Moet & Chandon carried on a tradition of having celebrities sign a massive bottle of champagne. The 15-liter Nebuchadnezzar (named after the famed kind of Babylon) was signed by celebs including Scarlett Johansson, Diane Kruger and Eva Longoria as they stopped on the red carpet.It will be auctioned off for charity later this year.

And just this weekend, the Veuve Clicquot Manhattan Polo Classic on Governor’s Island in New York City drew a star-studded crowd that included special guest player of Prince Harry of England. The Prince was there to help support Sentabale, a charity that Prince Harry co-founded with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho to help African orphans and vulnerable children. Lesotho has about 200,000 orphans and the third highest rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Africa. After a successful documentary that showed much of the unfunded volunteer work being done in Lesotho to help children, the princes decided to form the professionally-run charity called Sentabale, which means “Forget Me Not.”

Prince Harry said he was pleased to be able to carry on his mother Diana’s work to help people affected by AIDS and to do so in a city that she loved.

Prince Harry during a visit to Lesotho Africa to support Sentebale, the charity he co-founded with Prince Seeiso. (Courtesty photo)

Prince Harry during a visit to Lesotho Africa to support Sentebale, the charity he co-founded with Prince Seeiso. (Courtesty photo)

“The prince and I both lost our mothers when we were very young,” Harry told a pre-match VIP gathering, according to an account on the Associated Press. “We set up Sentebale in their memory, and because my mother loved this city, it makes this occasion all the more poignant for me.”

Champagne, Lifestyle, Pop Culture

Of Spies & Champagne: The Movie Duplicity Sparkles

March 23, 2009
Clive Owen and Julia Roberts play a pair of international champagne-loving corporate spies in the new movie Duplicity that opened March 20.

Clive Owen and Julia Roberts play a pair of international champagne-loving corporate spies in the new movie Duplicity that opened March 20.

Apparently champagne is the drink of choice among international corporate spies. That’s one of the take-away’s from Duplicity, a new romantic thriller starring Clive Owen and Julia Roberts. They’re former government spies carrying on a secret romance while playing out a high-stakes game of corporate espionage. The pair meets in Dubai, but the romance takes off with an extended tryst in what appears to be a luxury suite at the St. Regis Grand Hotel in Rome (it’s really a space at Convent of Sacred Heart in NYC). The champagne — mostly the bold Moët Grand Vintage Brut and off-dry White Star — keeps flowing in London and Miami, with champagne corks becoming a signal for a rendezvous.

Moet et Chandon Grand Vintage 2000 is one of the champagnes poured in the new film Duplicity.

The assertive and distinctive Moët et Chandon Grand Vintage 2000 is one of the champagnes poured in the new film Duplicity.

Duplicity was written and directed by Tom Gilroy, who wore the same two hats on the superb and dark movie Michael Clayton, also about corporate spying — but with less champagne. Duplicity is fast-paced and fun, with a rising tide of dramatic and romantic tension that at turns reminded me of the films Prizzi’s Honor, The Thomas Crown Affair and The Sting. Even at the dénouement, there’s Dom Pérignon. It’s a lovely piece of product placement, which adds to the plot and underpins the ideal of the glamorous life.

But spies and fine champagne have gone together ever since Ian Fleming created the archetypal international spy James Bond. The literary Bond drank Taittinger, but it hasn’t been featured on-screen since the Blanc de Blancs was sipped in 1963’s From Russia With Love, according to the site Atomic Martinis, which chronicles every ounce of booze consumed in James Bond films. Over the years, the cinematic Bond has been torn between two loves: Bollinger and Dom Pérignon. According to luxury site Bond Lifestyle, Sean Connery turns up his nose when offered Dom ’55 instead of the ’53 in Dr. No; Roger Moore’s Bond comments that the villain in The Spy Who Loved Me can’t be all that bad if he serves Dom Pérignon ’52 and Moore wishes he had been greeted with a Dom ’62 instead of ’64 when he gets busted sneaking onto the villain’s private island in The Man with the Golden Gun.

In Goldeneye, Pierce Brosnan’s Bond pushes a button on the dashboard of his Aston Martin to open a compartment with a bottle of Bollinger La Grand Année 1988 and two flutes. Daniel Craig, the newest Bond, sips Bollinger in both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace which is available on DVD March 24.