Champagne Cocktails

 This article first appeared on ChefJohnBesh.com.

Champagne Cocktails 1There are tons of things I didn’t know about British people before I married one. For  starters, they are incredibly funny. Not just the odd one here or there, but all of them. As  a breed. Just funny. They also invented the stiff upper lip. And whatever the opposite of exaggeration is. When my husband has an absolutely horrible day and his clients quit  and his boss hates him and his ideas stink and he steps in dog poop and scratches the side of his new car he freaks out with something like, “That’s not the best day I’ve ever had.”  It’s like they carry the loss of the Empire with them on a daily basis and nothing, nothing, seems bad after that.

But here was my favorite discovery: They love Champagne. Like the way you love that Call Me Maybe song even though you pretend you don’t. Like southerners love college football. The way Millennials love positive feedback. All the time. No special event required.

Champagne Cocktails 6Nick even has friends whose black and white spaniel recognizes the shape of a Champagne bottle and goes crazy when one is pulled out until someone shoots the cork out of the top so he can chase and retrieve it. Sticks? Not interested. A ball? Save your time. Champagne cork? Barney is all over it.

Champagne Cocktails 10 I, like the rest of the world not speaking The Queen’s English, used to think of Champagne as a special event drink but I’ve enjoyed getting used to it as an every day thing. Right now (this may get embarrassing) I have two magnums of Veuve Cliquot and several bottles of Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose in our garage refrigerator, three bottles of Prosecco in the wine refrigerator, a bottle of Gruet and two bottles each of Pol Roger and Nicholas Feuillatte calling my name from their cozy little nook under the stairs. Of course Champagne may best be served ice cold and in perfect crystal Champagne flutes but with all of these bottles knocking around the place, and with my propensity to take anything simple and overcomplicate it, it was inevitable that I would eventually tackle champagne cocktails. Fortunately this is the perfect time of year with Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentines Day and Monday all coming up soon.

French 75 (1)So stick the bubbly in the fridge and polish up the Champagne flutes. There is no time like the present to try your hand at perfecting a signature cocktail for the season.

Grand Champagne Cocktail
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Ingredients
  1. Sugar cube
  2. Angostura Bitters
  3. ¾ oz Grand Marnier
  4. Sparkling Wine
Instructions
  1. Soak a sugar cube with 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and place in the bottom of a champagne flute. Add a half jigger (3/4 ounce) of Grand Marnier. Fill with very, very
  2. cold sparkling wine and top with a lemon twist.
Notes
  1. BEST MADE WITH
  2. a dry American sparkling wine: Gruet, Ceja, Jordan
Belle Année http://belleannee.com/
French 75
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Ingredients
  1. Most places make this classic, lemony cocktail with gin but of course, in New Orleans, it is done differently. We use Cognac.
  2. 1 oz Cognac
  3. ½ oz fresh lemon juice
  4. ¼ oz simple syrup
  5. Champagne
  6. Lemon peel
Instructions
  1. Combine Cognac, lemon juice and simple syrup in a champagne glass. Top with Champagne and serve with a lemon peel.
Notes
  1. BEST MADE WITH
  2. French or American sparkling wine
Belle Année http://belleannee.com/
 

Champagne Mojito
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Ingredients
  1. Sugar cube
  2. ½ ounce white rum
  3. 4 mint leaves
  4. 1 lime wedge
  5. club soda
  6. Sparkling wine
Instructions
  1. Place a sugar cube in the bottom of stemmed glass. Add ½ jigger (3/4 oz) white rum, 3 mint leaves and the juice of a lime wedge. Add a splash of club soda and stir. Fill to the very, very top with ice and then top with Champagne. Garnish with a lime and mint leaf.
Notes
  1. BEST MADE WITH
  2. Prosecco or American sparkling wine
Belle Année http://belleannee.com/

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