Monday, 23 December 2013

Pop goes Christmas

There doesn't need to be much of an excuse to crack open the fizz in the TG household, but I know that I won't be alone in popping a cork or two this Christmas. For many, Christmas morning will start with a Bucks Fizz, which is fairly innocuous as Champagne cocktails go, being comprised in half from freshly squeezed orange, but all the same, a step too far far me. Much as I love a tipple, breakfast, (even on Christmas morning), is too early for Mr TG and I who will be sticking to a nice pot of tea until midday, when the bacchanalia begins in earnest. Whilst I've had little to do with the festive preparations this year, having been too busy, painting glass, I have found time to road test a few, new Champagne Cocktails that might just take your fancy this Christmas, although I suggest that unless you want to wake up, face down in a plate of turkey, you join me in holding off until midday…

This first cocktail is a nice alternative to the classic Buck's Fizz and has a gorgeously, festive hue that makes it perfect for a Christmas Day tipple.

Melba Fizz

1 oz Gin (Pinkster would be perfect)
1 oz Catron Creme de Pêche de Vigne
6 fresh raspberries
Champagne or Cava

Muddle (squish) the raspberries in the bottom of your cocktail shaker, along with the Creme de Pêche de Vigne.
Add the gin, a little ice and give it a quick shake just to cool the liquid.
Double strain the cocktail into a chilled glass and then transfer to a chilled champagne flute. This will avoid spilling the cocktail down the side of the glass if your champagne flutes are narrow at the top.
Carefully top up with fizz, avoiding overspill and then briefly stir with a swizzle stick to mix the drink.

This next cocktail is a very delicate shade of green with an equally delicate flavour. The trick is not to overdo the Blue Curaçao, thus lending the drink a hint of orange and a beautiful sea green shade.


1 oz Gin
1/2 oz Blue Curaçao
1 tsp fresh lime juice
Champagne or Cava
Twist of lime zest to garnish

Add the Gin, Blue Curaçao and lime to a large mixing glass, with ice and stir briefly to mix the liquids.
Strain the mixture into a chilled champagne flute and top with fizz.
Twist the strip of lime zest over the cocktail to release the citrus aroma and garnish the drink.

Now tequila may not be a drink you immediately associate with Christmas or with Champagne for that matter, but dispel those preconceptions and open your mind and your tastebuds to this delicious concoction that combines these two elements in a surprisingly light and pleasant quaff.


1 oz tequila resposado
1 oz Chase Elderflower Liqueur
6 grapes (skins removed)
Champagne or Cava to top up
2 slices of grape to garnish

The easiest way to remove the grapes from their skins is to cut them in half and then hold the halved grape between your forefinger and thumb and pinch them together. The grape should just pop out. If not you can remove any little bits of skin by double straining the drink at the end.

Muddle (squish) the grapes with the tequila in the bottom of a shaker.
Add the Chase Elderflower Liqueur, a little ice and shake briefly to chill the liquids.
Double strain the cocktail into a chilled champagne flute and pop in the sliced grape.
Top up with chilled Champagne or Cava.

This final cocktail uses just a taste of Creme de Violette to give a floral note without straying into parma violet territory. The combination of Absolut Raspberri vodka and fresh raspberries keep the flavour fresh and light and a couple of dashes of simple syrup are all this needs to sweeten it.

Raspberri Royale

1 oz Absolut Raspberri
1 tsp Creme de Violette
2 tsp simple syrup
4 raspberries
1 raspberry for garnish

Muddle (squish) the raspberries with the vodka and add everything else except the garnish in the bottom of the shaker.
Add a handful of ice and shake  to cool the liquids.
Double strain the cocktail into a chilled champagne glass and pop a raspberry in the bottom of the flute.
Top up very slowly with Champagne or Cava to avoid the cocktail fizzing over.
Gently stir with a swizzle stick.

I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season and remember; a Champagne cocktail is not just for Christmas….

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