Another tennis tournament has just wrapped up, this one the English classic better known as Wimbledon. One of the favorite beverages, aside from beer, is champagne with strawberries. It’s a delicious concoction, yet so simple – champagne, ice, and strawberries cut into largish pieces. Large enough to hold the strawberry juice that will blend with the champagne, but not so small that the juice is soaked up by the cutting board.
After sampling a few variations with different fruits and bubbly, we decided to pick our favorite champagne cocktails. It’s all about something fizzy for your fuzzy love.
First up, the always popular kir royale. This simple beverage is easy to make but is sure to please just about every palette. Just pour a small amount of creme de cassis into a champagne flute, then add champagne. (It’s easy to adjust the amount of cassis to suit your own taste though we suggest starting with 1 tablespoon). If you prefer yours more chilled, place the flute in the freezer for ten to fifteen minutes beforehand.
For summer, we also enjoy a bubbly version of mojito. Start by muddling (crushing) mint leaves (10 or so) with some sugar (2 teaspoons) in the bottom of a glass. Add 2 ounces of white rum and 4 lime slices and muddle again. Fill the rest of the glass with the bubbly wine of your choice and some crushed ice and you have that wonderful mix of sweet and tang all in once lovely glass.
And from the American Bar at the Savoy in London comes the Savoy 2000. Add 2/3 ounce of gin, 2/3 ounce of Midori, 1/3 ounce Limoncello, and 1 and 2/3 ounce of mango juice to a shaker, close the lid, and shake to combine ingredients. Frost a glass with sugar, then pour in the mix, and top off with champagne.
Finally, it seemed appropriate to end with a French inspired cocktail – the Chanel No. 6. Pour one ounce of vodka, one ounce of chambord, and one ounce of chilled pineapple juice into a chilled champagne flute. Fill the rest of the way with chilled champagne and top with a raspberry or two.
Yes, many people consider it an assault against the senses to use champagne in a cocktail, but if done well, you’ll find that your champagne (or prosecco or other bubbling wine) will acquire new dimensions. Fruit flavors in particular provide a well-spring of soft sweetness against the minerals of the bubbles. Berries are an excellent match, though citrus adds a nice tang as well.
So sit back, fill your flute and sample all the possibilities. Champagne is your new favorite mixer.