We are lovers of all things dapper, including the perfect cocktail list. A fact made even truer if said cocktail list is accompanied by great stories. Enter our favorite celebratory libation from stage left: hello Champagne!
A Few Fun Facts:
- Champagne was invented (discovered) by accident.
- The cold weather of the French region stopped the fermentation process during the winter, only to be awoken in the spring. The release of carbon dioxide caused most of the bottles to explode, but the bottles that didn’t burst would become the earliest known versions of Champagne.
- French monk Dom Pérignon is often credited with “creating” Champagne, but later discovered documents would put that fact in dispute. What isn’t disputed is the fact that he introduced the second in-bottle fermentation, which gives us the modern-day version we know. Our hearts are forever grateful monk Dom!
- It wasn’t until after 1715 that the appreciation of Champagne would really catch on, when The Duke of Orléans helped make it the drink of choice for the aristocracy.
- In the 19th century the House of Veuve Clicquot (the Team C+L favorite) developed a process that made mass production of quality Champagne possible.
- For champagne to be Champagne it must originate from the Champagne region of France. To meet increased demand, the French government is looking to expand the region’s Appellation d’Origine Controlée (AOC) zone.
Here’s a few timeless favorites to add to your liquid libation repertoire this season.
Shine Bright + Drink Responsibly
This classic version we enjoy today first appeared during War World I. Earlier iterations lack the addition of the gin that gives this drink its kick and subsequently its name. Legend has it that the addition of gin hit you so hard it was like being hit with a French 75mm field gun and a legend was born.
• 2 oz. London dry gin
• 1 tsp. superfine sugar
• 1/2 oz. lemon juice
• 5 oz. Champagne
Shake gin, lemon juice, and sugar well with cracked ice in a chilled cocktail shaker. Strain into a glass half-full with ice, then top off with Champagne.
The simplicity of this drink is key to its magic. That, and the beautiful rose color it exudes. Named after the fun-loving Mayor of Dijon, Felix Kir, the simple addition of Lejay Cassis to Champagne makes everything in the world a wee bit brighter. We enjoy a boozy cherry in the bottom to add to the mystique.
• 1 oz Lejay Cassis
• 4 oz Champagne
Pour Lejay in a chilled flute, top with Champagne.
Death In The Afternoon
This lovely comes to us via one of the most dapper humans we know of, Ernest Hemingway. Named after his 1932 book about Spanish bullfighting, we thought it best to let him tell the story. But be warned, he was an avid drinker, so proceed with caution!
Here’s what he had to say about it:
“Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.”
Who can argue with that?
• 1 1/2 oz. absinthe
• 4 oz. Champagne (roughly)
We are lovers of a good punch! This recipe is perfect when having a slew of friends over or just one really good one.
We like to get fancy and include a frozen ice ring to chill, but we’ll leave those details up to you.
• 1 bottle Champagne
• 1 1/2 oz. brandy
• 1 1/2 oz. Cointreau
• 1 bottle club soda
• 1 orange rind
• pineapple slices
• orange slices
Put strawberries into a large punch bowl and crush into small pieces. Add ice to punch bowl and pour in champagne, brandy, Cointreau, and club soda. Stir garnish with orange rinds, sliced orange, sliced pineapple, and plenty of fresh mint.
While not truly a Champagne cocktail, this one is perhaps the most necessary one on the list. It’s important to remember not everyone partakes, especially during the holiday season.
In fact, come tomorrow they’ll still be shining bright while the rest of us recover!
While there is a plethora of commercial non-alcoholic options, we think making a fuss over the non-drinkers is just as important, so we prefer to make our own. This is also a brilliant way to include the little ones in a toast to the New Year, and all the magic they are going to bring to the world!
• 11.5 oz. frozen white grape juice, partially thawed
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 2 liters of a good Ginger Ale
Mix together white grape juice concentrate, water, and ginger ale in a large punch bowl or pitcher. Serve and enjoy!