February 5, 2010

Lovely Bubbly

"I only drink Champagne when I'm happy, and when I'm sad. sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. when I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am. otherwise I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty"
by Lily Bollinger

~Champagne is exquisite. A modern day love potion~


Valentine’s Day is around the corner of course and although yesterday I went on and on about how gorgeous and romantic a glamorous pair of high heels from your lover might be, another thing to think about is what to serve your sweetheart on Valentine's Day night (or any other for that matter)

In France, before a dinner party or before going out, a good sparkling wine is usually served. No heavy hors devours or appetizers, just a simple and elegant flute of champagne or sparkling wine and perhaps some fresh berries or a light cheese plate.

At Christmas, I bought my mom a lovely bottle of this gorgeous light pink bubbly to enjoy in her garden… she has a beautiful perennial and rose garden that she entertains in and especially loves to taste new, slightly sweet and sparkling beverages. Perle Grosseille is not overly sweet, and has the added flavor and color of tiny red current berries. I found it at my favorite little spot, The Meadow on Mississippi, which is the absolute best specialty shop in Portland, I think. It is romantic and intimate and they have a spectacular selection of wines, chocolate, fresh flowers and an entire wall dedicated to interesting and unique gourmet salts from around the world. It’s the absolute perfect place in the city to find something special to either give as a gift or to enjoy at a special occasion just by yourself.


If you want to try something a little more creative, impress your Valentine by whipping up one of these delightful concoctions.  Throw in a few interesting tidbits about champagne cocktails for good measure...

The French Kiss

Ingredients:

• 3 oz champagne

• 2 oz Alize Gold Passion

• Orange twist

Mixing instructions:

Add champagne to Alize gold in a champagne glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

The Love Drink

Ingredients:

• 4 oz champagne

• 1 or 2 drops Angostura bitters

• 1 sugar cube

• Splash Campari

Mixing instructions:

Put one drop of Angostura bitters on a sugar cube and drop in flute glass. Add champagne and a splash of Campari.

The Classic Champagne Cocktail

Ingredients:

• 4 oz champagne

• 1 drop Angostura bitters

• 1 tsp brandy

• 1 tsp Cointreau

• 1 sugar cube

Mixing instructions:

Drop a sugar cube in a champagne glass. Soak bitters into the sugar cube and add brandy. Top off with champagne. Garnish with an orange twist.

A Valentine’s Day Mimosa

Ingredients:

• 3 oz champagne

• 1 oz blood-orange juice

• 1 oz tangerine juice

Mixing instructions:

Mix blood-orange and tangerine juice together. Slowly add champagne. Garnish with an orange wedge. (The blood-orange juice is what gives this mimosa a Valentine's Day twist.

Cheers to romance and sparkling beverages!

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