Editor’s note: We’re off to Seattle, so our pal Sean has agreed to man the bar in our absence. He illustrates the maxim that you can’t judge a book by its cover, or a tasty cocktail by its (dreadful) name. And, look! — it even features a locally made vodka. Hmm… Drink Local Challenge, anyone?
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title.
– Juliet, “Romeo and Juliet”
Romantic notions aside, I’m afraid there’s more to a name than fair Juliet would have you believe. Especially when we’re talking about cocktails.
Case in point: Amy and I recently attended an event at McCormick & Kuleto’s designed to showcase their program of classic American cocktails. In a function room with sweeping views over the Bay and Fisherman’s Wharf, a pair of bartenders talked about the place of the cocktail in American history extending back some 300 years; for example, they spoke of the Mint Julep’s origins in Virginia as opposed to Kentucky, and how a classic cocktail should have four elements: Liquor, water, sour and sweet. To complement all this boozy banter, they were of course shaking, stirring and pouring up cockatils — eight in all. But why, then, when talking about classic American cocktails, did they choose to kick the evening off with what they called a Raspberry Cosmimosa?
If I saw this drink on a menu, it would be absolutely the first thing I would not order. The name alone sends up a series of red flags, starting with the portmanteau portion of the moniker: Cosmimosa = Cosmopolitan + Mimosa. You’ll never find me ordering a Cosmopolitan in part because I think of them as grown-up Kool-Aid but mostly because I have yet to have one in a bar that didn’t royally suck. Mimosas are somewhat less offensive … except of course for that whole orange thing. To top matters off, the dangling “Raspberry” at the beginning smacks of some kind of superimposed flavoring, an unwelcome artifice in what was already becoming an overcomplicated concept.
But here’s the thing: It was good. It was balanced, bright, refreshing, and all-around tasty. It certainly had the four major elements: Vodka and champagne made up the alcoholic components; lime juice gave it tartness; orange and simple syrup pumped up the sweetness; and the shaking over ice gave it just enough dilution to open up the flavors.
They were generous enough to share the recipe, and I can attest it’s as good in the home as it was in the restaurant. In fact, this makes a wonderful party drink, as you can make the body of it in bulk, shake it up in batches and just float the champagne on a per-serving basis.
So what’s in a name? Plenty. But if, like Juliet, you are willing to look past that barrier, you may find much to love on the other side.
2 fresh orange wedges
1 1/2 oz. raspberry-infused vodka
(the original recipe called for Stoli Raspberri, but I used Hangar One)
3/4 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. cranberry juice
1 oz. Champagne or, if you prefer, prosecco
In a cocktail shaker, add the orange wedges and crush with a muddler. Add the remaining ingredients except champagne. Fill with ice. Shake vigorously for 5 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass and top with champagne. Garnish with a twist of orange peel and a raspberry.
To make in bulk, change all measurements from ounces to cups, and mix everything but the bubbly in a pitcher. Follow the same instructions, shaking in batches. Serves 8.
Here I was, feeling all smug about having cooked and eaten six days worth of local, affordable, and (dare I brag?) delicious food for the Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge. And then I read CookieCrumb’s post about eating wheatberries to keep your carbs up… and instantly felt terribly guilty about all the bread we’ve eaten this week. But damn, this challenge was hard enough, even with all of the exemptions we claimed.
Every time I reached for a bottle of soy sauce or a pinch of chile, I repeated to myself a favorite quote from the Chronicle article profiling Cookie and her husband Cranky’s early take on the challenge: “One of the things you learn when you do this is that [eating] local is not a cult,” says [Cranky]. “You learn about things and you make exceptions.”
Keeping what I now call “The Cranky Principle” in mind, I’m proud of our results. We certainly did well in the budget department: Our 6-day food expenditures came to $123.73 — equivalent to $144.35 for a 7-day week, or just 35 cents over budget. (If you’re curious about all the gory details, feel free to peek at the spreadsheet, which also details the distance the food travelled to our plates. Oh, and there are some pictures — obviously not everything we ate is here, but it’s a good assortment.)
A few observations on our week:
We ate about the same quantity of food as usual, and about the same protein-to-carbs ratio. We ate more ground meat than we do in a typical week, although in truth I think that if I had had more time to plan my menu, and more time to shop around, could have done better in this regard.
I bought more food at the grocery store than I usually do, and less from the farmers market. Sad to say, the ‘Big Organic’ producers like Earthbound Farms make it hard to walk by that $3 bag of (four!) romaine hearts when the budget’s tight. When it came down to it, I suspected the premium for farm-fresh produce would eat into the budget. I’ll be glad to leave the shrinkwrapped lettuce behind next week, though, and go back to my delicate Little Gems.
We didn’t do as good a job of eating seasonally as we could have. I’ll chalk some of this up to my not planning ahead sufficiently — we jumped into the challenge with less than 24 hours’ notice — but a lot of it did come down to the fact that the things we like to eat at this time of year aren’t terribly cheap, yet. So I fell back on a lot of the foods I used to make when money was tighter: Roast chicken, meatloaf, sandwiches, stir-fries… and lots of leftovers for lunch.
Speaking of lunch: Forgetting your brown bag can be disastrous. I left my chicken-salad sandwich in the fridge at home on Tuesday! Luckily, a short streetcar ride put me at the Ferry Building, where the Tuesday lunchtime market meant I had my choice of Donna’s tamales (too long a line), Prather or Taylor’s burgers (too pricey), Acme ‘sandwiches’ (too skimpy!), and Mijita’s chilaquiles. Guess which one this Mexican-breakfast addict chose? At $7 a plate, they’re not a bargain, but compared to Mijita’s other choices, they’re a steal. My forgetfulness did bust the budget, but only by the teensiest bit.
Our revised alcohol budget of $9.75 per week for two people still seems incredibly low. We went to 150% of budget and spent $14, which bought us a six-pack of Speakeasy Untouchable Pale Ale and a 375 ml half-bottle of Bonny Doon Big House Red. And yes, we found ourselves standing in front of the fridge pondering the empty booze shelf by the middle of the week. Next time, maybe we’ll buy a big bottle of Anchor’s Old Potrero Rye and drink a fifth of it — very slowly — mixed with good ol’ Hetch-Hetchy branch water. (Doesn’t sound very food-friendly, does it?)
I definitely enjoyed taking part in the challenge. Even though most of our food already came from local or semi-local sources, participating here opened my eyes to both the variety of items in our foodshed, and the distances that even our ‘local’ farmers market food travels to get to our kitchen. I have to admit that I’m looking forward to being able to just shop and cook from the hip, without taking notes or making calculations. And I know that despite all of the ways we stretched the rules, we learned a lot.
Most of the participants are just past the halfway mark of their challenge — we started early and shortened our week to 6 days due to a previous dinner commitment tonight and a weekend full of travel. For an amazing peek into the nuts and bolts of eating locally, check out all 20 of the participating bloggers over on the PELC roundup page. I’m utterly in awe of folks who are giving this a go in places like Maine and Syracuse, where spring has just barely sprung.
I have to brag: I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon learning the tricks of seasonal fruit desserts at the elbow of Shuna Fish Lydon, the Edible San Francisco regular who sings songs in the key of sweet (and sometimes bittersweet) over at the award-winning eggbeater. But don’t be jealous: You can play, too.
Shuna’s enthusiasm for this subject matter is infectious, and the class style is so intimate and inclusive that — even if you choose a topic that’s all demonstration, as I did — Shuna shows you all the tricks and gives everyone enough hands-on time with the ingredients along the way that you’re ready to fly solo in your own kitchen. The classes are liberally peppered with tales from Shuna’s restaurant career at The French Laundry, Citizen Cake, and Gramercy Tavern, among other places you’ve certainly also heard of.
Even if you think you know it all, you’re sure to find some hidden gems. One example: I make fruit crumbles almost weekly once summer strikes, but I learned a great trick for keeping the oven clean from bubble-over messes and discovered a new secret ingredient to add to my topping.
And as someone who thought she hated rhubarb, I’m here to tell you that if you learn to make it Shuna’s way, you may become a convert, too. (No stringy nursery sludge here, nope.) And, talk about eating locally: The flavorings for the Meyer lemon and lemon verbena ice cream — which we ate with our vanilla-bean roasted strawberries — were sourced right in Shuna’s neighborhood!
The new Eggbeater class schedule‘s just been posted. Check it out:
Sunday May 6, 2007: Pie & Galette Dough
Sunday May 20, 2007: Ice Cream & Sorbet
Sunday June 3, 2007: TBA
Sunday June 10, 2007: TBA
End of June: A Knife Skills Class and a Baking Class in NYC!
Mid July: A Knife Skills Class and possibly a Baking Class in Portland, Oregon!
Yep, you East Coast and Pac Northwest kids can get in on the fun, too.
Still on the fence? Take a peek at the sort of gorgeous desserts you’ll learn to make (and get to eat!) and see if your willpower holds out.
After much hemming and hawing, I decided there aren’t enough good reasons not join in next week’s Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge. So, we’ve committed to spend a week — or, in our case, six days — eating as much as we can from within our foodshed.
As if consuming foods grown or produced exclusively within a short radius of our home wasn’t hard enough, we’re also doing it on less than $144 a week, plus a mere $8 (!) for alcohol, in an effort to prove that it’s possible to be a locavore without spending any more than the average American two-person, two-earner family.
Coming from our house, where we have been known to spend $144 on a single dinner and $8 on one cocktail, this is going to be …interesting. But luckily, we have a gorgeous new kitchen where we love to cook these days. As for dining out, that’s one reason for our loose interpretation of the challenge week (the official start of the event isn’t until Monday the 23rd): We’re attending a benefit for a very worthy cause on Thursday night, and it doesn’t feel right to pinch pennies under the circumstances.
I’ve also done my best to plan meals for this week that are within the grasp of the average American home cook, both in terms of technique and ingredients. I’ve got a serious edge, living in the Bay Area, where we have so many great local artisans and farmers within close reach, so I didn’t want to stack the deck any further by choosing esoteric items or high-falutin’ preparations.
As far as exemptions go, I am allowing myself the so-called “Marco Polo rule”: I’m not tying myself to local spices, nor small quantities of condiments. Cameron’s going to continue to drink his coffee (it’s from Peet’s, a local establishment) and I feel no need to abandon my nasty Fresca habit. We’ll add the cost of these items to our budget, as well as any other non-local items we consume. We’re also buying bread that I have to assume is baked with non-local flour, but at least we’ll be supporting local artisans.
And because some of our favorite items come from slightly further afield, we’re going to extend our challenge radius to 200 miles, from the standard 100. But mostly, when we have a choice, we’ll opt for a product grown or made as close to us as possible. We’ll also be using fruits and herbs from our own garden, so perhaps that will keep our average distance down.
Tonight’s dinner was an old favorite, a taco-salad-like dish known in my family as “Walking Tostadas.” I sauteed some ground beef in a skillet, added some taco seasonings and a pureed tomato, and simmered. On the plate, the dish is simply a handful of broken tortilla chips, topped with the taco meat, then some shredded cheese, lettuce, salsa, tomatoes, avocado, and sour cream.
Here’s how it breaks down…
chips: 1/6 of a bag from Rancho Gordo (Napa / 50 mi) — $1
ground beef: 1 pound Prather Ranch (Shasta / 200 mi)– $6
tomato for puree: Whole Foods “locally grown” (Dinuba / 200 mi) — $0.66
lettuce: 1/2 of a romaine heart: Earthbound Farms (SJ Bautista / 88 mi) — $0.50
cheese: 1/2 wedge raw-milk chipotle cheddar Bravo Farms (Traver / 225 mi) — $1.50
crema: 2oz creme fraiche Bellwether Farms (Tomales / 50 mi) — $1.33
salsa: 2oz prepared Primavera (Sonoma / 50 mi) — $1
avocado: 1/2 a small one, part of a $3 grab bag from Will’s (Soledad / 130 mi) — $0.50
grape tomatoes: 1/6 of a large bunch from
Balakian Farms ( Reedly / 200 mi) — $0.50
(edit: The grape tomatoes were from Bruin Farms in Winters, 65 miles away)
Total this meal: $12.49 with plenty of leftover meat
I’m not going to go into this level of detail all week, I promise. But so far, I’ve estimated we’ll spend a good bit under our budget. Tomorrow’s trip to the farmers market will be the real test, but the most expensive items — meat and cheeses — are very predictable.
“What a party.”
I figured that we were in for a good time when we hosted Mixology Monday: how can you go wrong with champagne and fun-loving crew of cocktailian bloggers? But there’s no way that I could have prepared for this bash.
The place was the kind of mess that only a spectacular party leaves behind. Bottles of champagne stacked three deep on the kitchen counter. The compost bin overflowed with squeezed fruit and zested lemons and limes.
I shambled through the house, stumbling across glassware, napkins, and hazy flashes from the night before. I remembered a woman musing on the best cocktail for an Aquarian. An intricate lesson in granita manufacture. A heated debate over the qualities of rye. A dessicated pile of yellow strips reminds me of the impromptu peel-carving contest.
“Oh hell. It’s Thursday. ” Anita wandered into the kitchen. “That party lasted all week. I don’t know what I’m going to tell the office. And what are we going to post for Drink of the Week?”
“There has to be something here we can use,” I said, pawing through the regiment of half-empty liquor bottles standing guard on the counter: bourbon, brandy, gin, vanilla Cognac, homemade infusions, syrups. “What about this?” I waggled the bottle of Benedictine that we’d purchased to make the Pegu Club version of the Prince of Wales.
“Hang on.” Anita dove into the Web and came up with a recipe: gin, vermouth, Benedictine, and bitters. We mixed it up and clinked glasses. “L’Chaim,” I said, “Funny thing, isn’t it?”
A smile touched her lips. “Yes,” she said. “It’s a Cabaret.”
1 oz. gin
3/4 oz. dry vermouth
1/4 oz. Benedictine
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry.
Um, right here? In the BART station??
(seen on the concourse level at Glen Park…)
Edited to add: The Paramount Farms “Everybody’s Nuts” site is pretty amusing, too. Not as funny as the billboard, but obviously their ad agency is …nuts. In a good way. The little nut mascot is named Stach, and he even has a fanclub. (Could I make this stuff up? I think not.)
“I got nasty habits, I take tea at three
Yes and the meat I eat for dinner
Must be hung up for a week”
–”Live With Me,” The Rolling Stones
Quick flashback to five years ago, just before we became legally married with dinner. We relate our honeymoon plans to friends and acquaintances and are met with raised eyebrows and a single repeated question:
“You’re going to England for two weeks? What are you going to eat?”
Everything that we could fit in, thank you very much, and the list was longer than we’d have time or money for. Every Real Ale pub within reach of the Underground. Boxwood Cafe. Pork and stilton breakfast sandwiches from the Borough Market, washed down with Monmouth Coffee. Cheese from Neals Yard Dairy. English breakfast, bangers please. Eton Mess. Branston Pickle. Chip shops. Eccles cakes. Pret a Manger. McVitties. Packaged meals from London groceries as good or better than you could make with fresh ingredients.
But the meal that I was not-so-secretly looking forward to the most was dinner at St. John Bar and Restaurant. It was food that (at the time) I could only find in England. Every possible part of some ridiculously tasty animal prepared and served practically unadorned. Anita still wakes with a start from dreams of Middlewhite pork. Here I found what I adore about English cuisine: naked love for animal fat, roasted flesh, organ meats, connective tissue, and wild things from the hunt. Pig tails, venison, game birds, sliced roast beef, Yorkshire pudding.
And beef marrow. Have mercy, the beef marrow.
Roast Bone Marrow and Parsley Salad
from The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating, by Fergus Henderson
(note: this recipe captures just a bit of Chef Henderson’s calm, dry voice and humor. The actual cookbook is as entertaining to read as it is to use. Plus, who else is going to tell you how to deep-fry lamb’s brains?)
- serves four
twelve 3-inch pieces of veal marrowbone
a healthy bunch of flat-leaf parsely, leaves picked from the stems
2 shallots, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 modest handful of capers (extra-fine if possible)
juice of 1 lemon
extra-virgin olive oil
a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper
a good supply of toast
Put the marrowbone pieces in an ovenproof frying pan and place in a hot 450 degree (F) oven. The roasting process should take about 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the bone. You are looking for the marrow to be loose and giving, but not melted away, which it will do if left too long (traditionally the ends would be covered to prevent any seepage, but I like the coloring and crispness at the ends).
Lightly chop your parsley, just enough to discipline it, mix it with the shallots and capers, and at the last moment, dress the salad.
Here is a dish that should not be completely seasoned before leaving the kitchen, rendering a last-minute seasoning unnecessary by the actual eater; this, especially in the case of coarse sea salt, gives texture and uplift at the moment of eating. My approach is to scrape the marrow from the bone onto the toast and season with coarse sea salt. Then a pinch of parsley salad on top of this and eat. Of course once you have your pile of bones, salad, toast, and salt it is diner’s choice.
English food is not a joke because nose to tail eating is serious business.
This post is part of the Fish & Quips event hosted by Becks & Posh, in honor of St. George’s Day.
We had no idea when we planned our MxMo theme, but this month marks the first anniversary of Mixology Monday’s inception. So let’s raise a glass of (deliciously doctored) bubbly to Paul, and toast the continued success of everyone’s favorite spirited event.
Les Fruits Rouges
I got a little worried when the first four submissions included one or another small, reddish fruit — what a strange coincidence! (As you’ll see, the field diversified eventually.)
Out east in NYC’s Forest Hill, Sarah at Avenue Food whipped up a cocktail of her own — featuring Morello cherry juice, rye, orange bitters, and champagne — and dubbed it the Cherry Whiskey Fizz. Whiskey and cherries and bitters… hmm, sounds like an upside-down Manhattan (from Queens).
Speaking of upside down: It’s autumn Down Undah in Sydney, and Anna from Morsels & Musings retells the Greek myth of Erebos & Nyx. In the cocktail version of the tale, the sparkling light of wedding Champagne pairs off with dark, dusky blackberries and creme de mures — and sparks fly (in the form of cinnamon schnapps and Frangelico).
From the heartland, Pintoo of Cleveland’s own Lazy Weekend whips up strawberries and apricots in the blender, and combines them in a stem with pink Champagne: Voila! Mesdames et messieurs, vous présenton: La Rouge.
Rounding out the red fruits, blackcurrants make an appearance from (aptly enough) Scandanavia: Thinking Bartender George, currently residing in Stavanger, Norway brings us Russian Spring Punch — vodka, lemon juice, creme de cassis, lightened with bubbles and topped with a blackberry — plus plenty of tempting variations.
The Bourbon Kings
Our favorite new cocktail blogger, Dr. Bamboo brings us the Bourbon Lancer — those of you who find the Prince of Wales too sweet may prefer this simpler blend of bourbon, bitters, sugar and Champagne that shifts shape depending on your chosen mash. And who doesn’t love that mustachioed jug astride his valiant steed?
Over at My Bar, Your Bar, Matt gives us a drink named after the most famous hotel in his hometown of Louisville, KY. The Seelbach employs two types of bitters — and plenty of ‘em! — in a tag-team with bourbon and Cointreau, playing a little rough with the sparkling wine. Over on eG, Lancaster Mike says he never enjoyed champagne cocktails until he tasted this one.
Also on eGullet, Ktepi is thinking ahead to summertime with the Roasted Lemonade Champagne Cocktail — a very gentlemanly (or perhaps even ladylike) mixture of bourbon, bubbly, and both fresh and cooked lemons. Oooh, darlin’: I can’t wait for a hot day on the patio to try this one out.
Brandy (and her belle-soeur, Cognac)
eGullet sprits-and-cocktails forum host (and our Bernal Heights neighbor) Erik gets all fancy on us with the aptly named Rosey Fizz, a highball made with apple brandy, blood-orange juice, egg white, rose Champagne, rosewater, and homemade rose-hip granita. Having tasted Eric’s cocktail prowess first-hand, we’re sure this labor-intensive cocktail is worth the effort.
Up north in London ON, Darcy at The Art of Drink offers up the Laissez’ Affair, a study in elegant simplicity. Despite the brevity of the ingredient list — Champagne plus a titch of vanilla cognac (not, we are at pains to reinforce, “some cheap vanilla vodka or vanilla liqueur”) — this tipple proves itself anything but plain.
Ah, here’s the guest of honor, making a fashionably late appearance! Paul from The Cocktail Chronicles offers fair warning about bubbly drinks’ sucker punch, then explores his library for a less-dangerous variant. He brings home the Crimean Cup, which blends brandy and Champagne with maraschino, rum, orgeat, lemon juice, and soda water in a goblet, over ice. It must be springtime in Seattle!
Another eG county heard from: Andy (ThirtyOneKnots) chimes in with a recipe from Dr. Cocktail (aka Ted Haigh), known as the Soyer au Champagne. This silky “Champagne float” garnishes a mixture of equal parts brandy, Maraschino liqueur, curacao, and pineapple juice with — wait for it — a tablespoon of vanilla ice cream. How very, very naughty!
Also in this category: Prince of Wales
Secret Herbs and Spices
Wherin our faithful hero encounters all manner of roots and herbals….
The lone entrant featuring a home-brewed root infusion mixed with sparkling wine, Burdock Bubbly is Intoxicated Zodiac‘s Taurus-inspired cocktail. Gwen tells us that burdock has “a woodsy, earthy flavor” and that “in Britain the burdock/dandelion cordial is a best seller!” It’s also known as a blood purifier — a wise idea if you’re drink testing.
Over on eGullet, BostonApothecary pays tribute to Duke with a little number called Creole Love Call, jazzing up “a very sincere Champagne” with creole shrub, pimento dram and Peychaud’s bitters.
Also in this category: The lovely and talented Miss Chanteuse and the Rosemary Five.
Classics and their Kin
When I proposed this topic, I thought we’d see a lot of takes on The Big Four: Mimosa, Kir Royal, French 75, and the original Champagne Cocktail — drinks that come to mind when mixing sparkling wines with other ingredients. But, in reality, the number of original creations and uncommon concoctions far outweighed the biggies.
Susan at The Well-Seasoned Cook ponders the appearance of the original Champagne Cocktail in the cinema classic Casablanca, then tweaks it ever-so-gently with a shot of Campari — a bitter+sweet drink for a bittersweet love story.
Over at A Dash of Bitters, Michael combines gin, cardamom syrup, and plum puree into a cordial-like base for the Plum Royale, a drink that nods at the French 75 and adds a Kir-like blush. (The delicious-sounding cardamom syrup makes this one a candidate for the Herbs & Spices category, too. You see how hard this hosting gig can be??)
Katie Loeb (she of the eGullet Limoncello and Spicy Sangria that have earned their place in the MWD permanent collection) tarts up the classic brunch beverage. Adding red grapefruit-flavored vodka and lime juice to the usual OJ and fizz, she clevery dubs her remix the M-mosa.
Mercifully sparing us from a complete classic shut-out, the ladies of Liquor and Libations in Vancouver BC instruct us in the history — and proper spirits — of a French 75. I love the idea that it’s “like an extra special, extra tasty G&T, with champagne replacing the tonic”! (And a special shout-out to these first-time MxMo participants.)
Also in this category: The Ramblin’ Rose and the Poire Royale.
What a lovely turnout! Thank you all for making this edition of MxMo such fun to host.
Don’t forget: Today’s the day to post your champagne-based drinks for Mixology Monday 14!
Our final entry has me stumped. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why this very un-British cocktail would have the name it does. I found a reference to the history of Cointreau, which claimed that the one-time “Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, [was] a great connoisseur of French gastronomy” and, presumably, French spirits, too. Joe Gilmore at the Savoy invented an identically named (but very different) recipe in honor of the investiture of the current Prince of Wales, Prince Charles. But beyond that, I am at a dead end — if you know more about this drink, I’d love to hear it.
I do know that most recipes call for Triple Sec as the citrus-liqueur component of this drink, but Pegu Club bartenders make it with Benedictine instead, which provides herbal notes that take a bit of the edge off the sweetness of the other ingredients. The end result’s a slightly more-complex drink, which I prefer to the original.
Prince of Wales a la Pegu
3/4 oz. Cognac
3/4 oz. Benedictine (in lieu of the traditional Triple Sec)
1 dash Angostura bitters
dry sparkling wine, to fill glass
In a mixing glass or cocktail shaker, stir the Cognac, Benedictine, and bitters with ice until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass or champagne coupe. Fill with sparkling wine. Garnish with a wide piece of lemon peel or, alternately, a slice of orange.
Here’s another Champagne cocktail, in honor of next week’s Mixology Monday festivities.
A word-prankster of the highest order, Cameron turned to me at the bar one night and asked: “If you mixed Chartreuse and Champagne, would you get a Chanteuse?” I laughed, and then exclaimed: “Hey, wait — that sounds like a tasty drink!”
Back home, a bit of experimentation proved that the two ingredients alone weren’t really much of a cocktail. But add a few dashes of bitters and a splash of citrus, and you’ve got yourself a sparkling combination worthy of the fussiest diva.
1 oz. green Chartreuse
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
3 to 4 dashes orange bitters
In a Champagne flute, combine the Chartreuse, lemon juice, and bitters. Top with bubbly, and garnish with a lemon twist, if desired.