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Elegant Champagne Cocktails

Nothing says “celebrate” like a bottle of champagne. This bubbly drink has long been used for the most special occasions, from weddings to the christening of a ship. It’s the drink of choice for those ringing in the New Year and is the perfect romantic sparkler for intimate dinners and cozy getaways.

It’s also an eclectic wine, able to be enjoyed by itself or when mixed with a variety of other ingredients to create enticing, bubbly cocktails that are tasty and refreshing. As a matter of fact, the classic “Champagne Cocktail” has been a party favorite since the mid-1800s, when it was a must-have at social gatherings for the rich and famous.

A Few Champagne Cocktail Basics

Champagne comes in a variety of types including brut – the most popular dry champagne; extra brut – a very dry variety; sec – dry with a touch of sweetness; and demi-sec – a half-dry, half-sweet variety that works well with dessert. This sparkling wine also comes in a variety of price ranges, from very affordable to the classic Dom Perignon and Cristal, which can cost hundreds of dollars.

Because champagne cocktails tend to be sweet, it’s generally best to use brut or extra brut in these concoctions. Most bartenders or other drink experts also advise that you use a mid-priced champagne in these cocktails. The old rule applies – if you wouldn’t drink it by itself, don’t include it in your mixed drinks. However, don’t get carried away and use a really expensive brand. Those should be enjoyed straight.

Champagne and other kinds of sparkling wine should always be kept cold, preferably at about 42-44 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, it’s a nice idea to chill your champagne flutes ahead of time it you are planning on mixing several champagne cocktails for your social event.

Don’t forget to be careful when pouring the champagne as you mix it with other ingredients. It does indeed bubble over easily so pour it slowly to avoid spillage.

Simple Champagne Cocktails

Because champagne is such a pleasant drink on its own, often the best champagne cocktails are the simplest. This way, the taste of the champagne is not overwhelmed but can still shine through.

The Classic – This particular one was invented at New York’s Metropolitan Hotel in 1935 and has been served the world over ever since. Simply soak a sugar cube in a teaspoon of bitters, place it in the bottom of a champagne flute, and fill it slowly with champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.

Mimosa – One of the most popular champagne cocktails for brunch, this one includes 1 oz. of orange juice (preferably fresh-squeezed) and 5 oz. champagne. Garnish with an orange wedge.

Kir Royale – Popular in France, this cocktail includes crème de cassis – a currant-flavored liqueur – and champagne. Simply add a ½ oz. of the liqueur to the sparkling wine and stir. You can also produce a refreshing raspberry-flavored cocktail by using Chambord instead of crème de cassis.

The Ghost – A great drink for summertime parties or even picnics, this one is made with 5 oz. champagne and about a ½ oz. of Midori melon-flavored liqueur. Refreshing!

Poinsettia – Ideal for Christmas but enjoyable any time of the year, the Poinsettia includes 5 oz. champagne, ½ oz. cranberry juice, and ¼ oz. triple sec. Serve it with a twist of lime for a drink that’s not only tasty but also an attractive addition to your festive holiday table.

Bellini – This one is a trendy drink and can be made in a variety of flavors, but peach is the original, invented at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy in 1931. A little harder to make then some of the other champagne cocktails, it is well worth your time. Puree two or three ripe peaches (white is preferred, yellow is okay) in a blender. Put a tablespoon of the puree in the bottom of each chilled champagne flute, top with a few drops of Grenadine or raspberry puree, and fill them with champagne, stirring as you pour. Delightful!





 
yvonnewor's picture

by yvonnewor

Wed, 2011-12-14 19:15

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