No. Hell no. That would break my heart. But it’s New Years and we ask that silly question time after time. Year after year.
Because in truth I am happy to have your acquaintance and I hope to have it a long auld time. So I gotta keep busy. I gotta post cool stuff. And I gotta ring in the New Year with festive style.
I think a Champagne Cocktail has festive style. But it’s a drink with some controversy attached. Its lineage can be traced back to 1862. It was once wildly popular as a sophisticated drink before dinner, and is the precursor to quite a few modern cocktails. However, it seems to have become a love it or leave it concoction. Opinions about its validity run strong. Especially among true believers of the grape and its almighty power.
So I leave it to you. Is a Champagne Cocktail a delightful way to mark an occasion, or is it a sickly sweet abomination that turns good Champagne into swill? Adding to the kerfuffle is the silly little fact that the Champagne Cocktail is sometimes referred to as “Chorus Girl’s Milk”. Which doesn’t seem like a compliment either to the drink, or the girl.
But the point of the sugar cube is not so much to degrade the Champagne or to sweeten the drink, as it is to make the cocktail all the more festive. Because it makes even the bubbliest of bubblers just a bit bubblier, and that’s downright festive. But this is Sippity Sup, so I have another little tip to make this tippler even more festive. I think I stole it from Martha Stewart. But you can claim it as your own.
You see, if the standard version of a Champagne Cocktail doesn’t suit your delicate sensibilities, why not spike your Champagne with a sugar cube colored (and flavored) with the bright hues of festive liqueurs? So go ahead and skip the Angostura in a classic Champagne Cocktail and replace it with the bright tones and tastes of liqueur. I used Campari, Chambord, blue Curaçao and Midori, but there are lots of great choices.
The trick to success is a light touch, so use an eyedropper and work very slowly– one drop at a time. Let each drop soak in all the way before adding the next drop. Add one drop too many and the whole thing dissolves into a sugary little sludge pile! But even the mistakes are fun. Let the cubes dry completely before you attempt to move them, then simply drop one into a glass of Champagne and watch the colorful fizzle begin.
Happy New Year ye auld acquaintance of mine! GREG
- 1 sugar cube
- 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
- 1 oz brandy
Drop the sugar cube into the bottom of a chilled Champagne flute. Add the bitters right on top of the sugar cube, followed by the brandy. Slowly pour in the Champagne.
Greg Henry writes the food blog Sippity Sup- Serious Fun Food, and contributes the Friday column on entertaining for The Back Burner at Key Ingredient. He’s active in the food blogging community, and a popular speaker at IFBC, Food Buzz Festival and Camp Blogaway. He’s led cooking demonstrations in Panama & Costa Rica, and has traveled as far and wide as Norway to promote culinary travel. He’s been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Los Angeles Times, More Magazine, The Today Show Online and Saveur’s Best of the Web. Greg also co-hosts The Table Set podcast which can be downloaded on iTunes or at Homefries Podcast Network.