Friday, 7 June 2013

Champagne Cocktails

I'm sure it will come as no surprise to hear that I am partial to a glass of bubbly (as demonstated in my Champagne post) and even more partial to a 'champagne' cocktail - I use the term 'champagne', loosely, as actually, this week's cocktails were all made with a decent bottle of Cava. In my opinion, there is nothing much to be gained from using actual Champagne in cocktails as a nice Cava or Prosecco will do the job just fine, but make sure that your chosen fizz is suitably dry as most Champagne cocktails tend to sweeten the bubbles anyway.

This first cocktail is a variation of my favourite Chase Elderflower liqueur, topped up with Champagne - you can see the original recipe in my Mother's Day Cocktails post. In this version I added a raspberry which I allowed to macerate in the  liqueur for about 3 hours until it took on a pinkish tinge, but still remained intact. The subtle raspberry flavour added another layer to the cocktail and the raspberry itself was a delicious sweet treat at the bottom of the glass.

Raspberry and Elderflower Champagne Cocktail

3/4 oz Chase Elderflower Liqueur
1 raspberry
Champagne or Fizz to top up

Pour the liqueur into a champagne flute and pop the raspberry in the bottom of the glass
Cover the top of the glass and leave to macerate for upwards of 3 hours (if you can wait)
Top up with Fizz and stir gently to ensure the liqueur doesn't just sit at the bottom

This next cocktail is a classic and to really enjoy it, you should use a fresh ripe peach and make the peach puree, fresh, but at a push, bottled will do.

Bellini Cocktail

Peach Puree
Champagne or Fizz

To make peach puree, you must first score the skin of the peach and blanch in boiling water for about 20 secs, then remove with a slotted spoon and immediately run under very cold water
The skin of the peach should now peel off fairly simply, starting at the score marks
Cut the peach in half and remove the stone
Using the back of a spoon or a pestle, squish the flesh of the peach through a small sieve and collect the puree in a bowl underneath

The quantities for a Bellini are approximately 1/3 peach puree to 2/3 fizz, so 1 peach should be just about right to make 1 Bellini

Pour the peach puree into the bottom of a champagne flute and carefully top up with fizz, adding just a little at a time to avoid it fizzing over the top

You may have heard me sing the praise of Honey and Ginger Syrup before. It is delicious and fiery addition to cocktails, baked apples and salmon and now I have discovered that it is rather fantastic in Champagne too!

Queen Bee

3/4 oz honey ginger syrup
Champagne or fizz to top up

Pour the syrup in first and top up with fizz
Give a gentle stir to ensure the liqueur and fizz are properly mixed

I think this next cocktail was possibly my favourite of them all. I took a classic gin cocktail, the Southside, and added champagne. It's fresh, it's quaffable and probably very dangerous as it's not short on alcohol, but hey, just one won't hurt....

King of the Southside

2 oz gin
1 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
5-7 mint leaves

Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well
Double strain to remove any traces of mint leaf, into a champagne flute
Top up with fixx and stir gently to mix

This final cocktail is also a take on a classic and for me, taste all the better for it. I really wanted to love the Aviation when I made it for my Gin Cocktails post. It seemed to sum up that wonderful era of Aviation, a true classic, but in truth, it wasn't a favourite. I loved the idea of it more than I loved the actual drink This version, for me, is far more palatable and although the alcohol content is actually more, it tastes far less innocuous - again, quite dangerous...

Night Flight

2 oz gin
1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
1/2 oz creme de violette
1/2 oz lemon juice
Fizz to top up
1 raspberry to decorate

Add all of the ingredients, bar the fizz, to a shaker with ice and shake well
Strain into a champagne flute and top up with fizz
Stir gently to mix the drink

Well this was how Mr TG and I spent our evening, last Saturday and very pleasant it was too. What's more, there was not a trace of a hangover the next day which is nothing short of miraculous. Please don't sue if you aren't quite so lucky. Have a wonderful week and pop back soon to see what's new x

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