By the mid 1800’s the classic Champagne Cocktail was all the rage in genteel society. Cocktails using champagne as a base are as old as the beverage itself. Add fruit to anything that fizzes and you’ve got a drink that’s been around for hundreds of years. One has to believe that the monks who invented champagne put in some local fruit during their experimentation with the bubbly wine that they created. Today champagne cocktails are as hip as ever!
Champagne Cocktail Basics
1. Chill your champagne to 42 to 45° F.
2. Do not use cheap champagne for cocktails.
3. Good ingredients make for a good drink.
4. Use dry champagne for cocktails because most champagne drinks are on the sweet side.
5. Chill the glass/flute ahead of time.
6. Pour small amounts at a time to prevent a foam over. Repeat until the glass is filled.
Classic Champagne Cocktail (From the Metropolitan Hotel, NYC circa 1935)
1 Sugar Cube
Soak the sugar cube with a couple of good splashes of Angostura
Bitters and place in the bottom of a large champagne flute. Fill
Slowly with the sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon twist.
For a stronger drink add a “float” of cognac to your Champagne Cocktail or add a splash of Campari instead of the cognac and you’ve got a “Goodnight Kiss.”
Prepare the lemon twists one or two hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate them until they are needed. Lemon twists are made from the entire peel. Peel half a lemon with your thumb (as you would and orange) and then cut several twists from the peel. A twist should be about ¼ inch wide and 1 inch long.
½ Ounce Crème de Cassis
Large Wine Glass
Pour the champagne into a large chilled wine glass. Add ½ ounce of crème de cassis and gently stir. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
1 Ounce Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
5 Ounces Champagne
Pour the champagne and orange juice into any chilled wine glass and gently stir. Garnish with an orange slice.
Spiced Apple Cider
8 Cups Apple Cider or Apple Juice
1 Medium Sliced Apple
1 Vanilla Bean Split Lengthwise
¼ Cup Honey
¼ Cup Maple Syrup
3 Whole Allspice Berries
3 Whole Cloves
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1 Star Anise
Peel of 1 Orange
Peel of 1 Lemon
In a sachet bag or piece of cheesecloth, combine the allspice, cloves, cinnamon sticks, anise, lemon & orange peels. Tie the cheesecloth with kitchen twine. In a large cooking pot combine the apple cider, apple slices, vanilla bean, honey and maple syrup. Add the spice bag. Cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes. Make sure not to boil. Remove from the heat and throw away the spice bag. Serve immediately. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. Serves 6
Root Beer Float
I remember many a Root Beer Float at the A&W Drive-In when I was young. I still love Root Beer Floats. They are so simple to make and are delicious!
2 Quarts Chilled Good Quality Root Beer
8 Scoops French Vanilla Ice Cream
8 Ten Ounce Drinking Glasses or Float Glasses
Place 1 scoop of ice cream in each glass. Top with 8 ounces of Root Beer. Serve immediately with a straw and a long handled spoon. Serves 8
Blueberry Avocado Smoothie
Adding avocado to this smoothie really thickens it up and adds healthy fats to the equation.
1 Ripe Avocado
1 Cup Wild Blueberries
4 Ice Cubes
1 Tablespoon Agave Syrup
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
½ Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Cup of Milk
Combine all of the ingredients into a blender or a food processor. Pulse for 1 minute and pour into tall glasses. If you do not want to use milk you can substitute with rice milk, soy milk or coconut water. Serves 2