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Care for a beverage? Cognac Pear Martini

This stuff is filed under Champagne Thursday. (It's almost Friday, right?)

Watermelon Mimosas and Remedial Bubbly

I don't know that much about champagne, to be honest. It's really Kathy's "thing", but I do love a glass when offered and occasionally will buy a bottle on a whim. I know that Champagne is a region in France and that technically any "champagnes" that come from anywhere else are sparkling wines, not true champagne. Or so I've heard.

I know Dom Perignon is good, but I think Cristal is better? I've had the former and lo, it was good, but I've never had an occasion to "make it rain", so I've never tried that Cristal the rappers love so much.  I know Prosecco is a sparkling wine, but isn't champagne, but I see the terms use interchangeably.

Since I clearly don't know my arse from my Korbel, I thought I'd do some research and put together some links that might help. 

I'm certainly glad I didn't name this post Champagne 101... There are roughly 29 million results for that title... so I shall assume these cover enough of the basics.

It wouldn't be Champagne Thursday if we didn't include a recipe, so I bring you this simple, delectable morsel plucked from Pinterest, courtesy of watermelon.org:

Watermelon Mimosa

Ingredients

  • 3 cups watermelon juice (puree, strained)
  • 1 1/2 cups light champagne (not Brut, but Asti or similar)

Instructions

Divide watermelon juice among 2 to 3 champagne flutes. Fill with champagne and enjoy!

I tripled this recipe because, let's not kid ourselves, 2-3 flutes is not going to be enough, especially if you have guests.  Besides, if you're going to go through all the trouble of buying a watermelon and pureeing it, you might as well do it up!  These would probably be fabulous for a spring or summer brunch and pair well with some eggs benedict or some lighter fruit crepes... mmm....

 
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A Warm Wino’s Weekend

We've been slacking on Champagne Thursday -- just been too busy with actual work!  But with the temperatures rising (we're due for close to 100° this weekend in Vegas already), we bring you a refreshing drink found via Pinterest from Refinery29 -- a light and fruity Sangria Blanca.

I'm not a huge Sangria fan, as a rule. I like red wine and I like fruit, but I'm not into red wine and fruit. I know it's not very Euro of me, but I'm just, well... not that Euro, I guess. But, I do enjoy a white wine sangria from time to time. I just feel it pairs better with fruit.  I'm definitely giving this one a try -- and soon!

 

Sangria Blanca from Refinery29

This recipe makes 2 large pitchers.

  • 2 white peaches
  • 2 white nectarines
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 2 bottles torrontes (or any non-oaked white wine)
  • 1/2 cup rose infused simple syrup

Slice the peaches and nectarines into eigths or tenths, depending on how big the fruit is. The original recipe recommends cutting the oranges into "surpremes". The original author explains it thusly, "For the uninitiated, supremes are when you slice off the skin, and slice between the white membranes segmenting the fruit."  See? Then you can eat them easily when your drink is empty.

Halve the strawberries -- easy enough!  Now, simple syrup is easy to make, but I never feel like making it, to be honest.  But this seems simple enough, hence the name, so I'll probably give it a go, if I can find a rose.

To make the syrup, combine 1/3 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of water. Add the petals of one small very fragrant rose or a 1/4 teaspoon rosewater (if you happen to have that?). Bring to a boil, and let it sit for 10 minutes to steep. Add the syrup and wine to the fruit, and let the mixture sit in the fridge for a few hours to combine.

DRINK. Refill and repeat. And once more with feeling.  Now you're enjoying your warm weekend!

 

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Can we make Champagne Thursday into Champagne and Delicious Treats Thursday?

I have mentioned before I am somewhat of a whore for Champagne.  I do love a good perfectly made martini too, of course.  I'm an equal opportunity drinker.  But Champagne is just so... wonderful.  *sigh*  

Anyway, whenever I hear the word, my attention is diverted immediately.  So when our good friend from Craving Chronicles posted a gorgeous photo and recipe for Champagne Cream Puffs I squealed so loud my kids thought I stepped on the dog. On top of being a pretty awesome dessert maker, Theresa is an aaaamaaaaazing photographer.  So if the recipe alone didn't make you happy, just looking at those little chocolate ganached puffs of champagne cream perfection is enough to make you just faint a little.  I mean, just look at those! They're beautiful.

Korbel Blanc de Noirs

What would some Champagne Cream Puffs be without some Champagne to go with it?  I am not an expert on pairing food with wines but a little research turned up that a sparkling rose tends to go well with profiteroles (which is basically what these are, just filled with more awesome).  One of my basic go-to Champagnes are the Korbels.  They are reasonably priced and come in several types that fit any occasion.  They're also rather good.  You can of course go the fancy route and do a Veuve Cliquot (which I won't argue with... I do love Veuve).  

Korbel has a Brut Rose that pairs well with chocolate or fruit and has a really pretty pink hue in the glass.   My favorite, which is also somewhat versatille is their Blanc de Noirs. It's light, beautiful, and pairs perfectly with desserts, especially ones featuring chocolate. You may gift this to me at any time if you like. 

Check out the talents of Theresa Sullivan at The Craving Chronicles to see the recipe for these Champagne Cream Puffs and all her oher delicious creations! 

 

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Cheers to Pawcurious with the Italian Greyhound!

We're super excited for our client, Pawcurious, is nominated for a Weblog Award (or a Bloggie, as they are also known) for Best Pet or Animal Blog. If you haven't a favorite, you should definitely vote for Pawcurious. I'm not biased at all or anything. No, but seriously, Dr. V's site is chock full of great information and animal antics.

For this week's Champagne Thursday, we'd like to honor Dr. V and Pawcurious with a pet-themed beverage: The Italian Greyhound.  (I couldn't find a Labrador cocktail, sorry, Koa and Brody!)

 

 

You can find the original recipe for this beautiful Italian Greyhound with Rosemary Sugar, along with other delicious looking recipes on FamilyStyleFood.com.

Congrats again, Pawcurious. We hope you win! 

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Shaken, Not Stirred

Source: greygoose.com via Joelle on Pinterest

Kathy re-kicked off our Champagne Thursdays last week with her favorite adult beverage and the namesake of this (hopefully, weekly) feature, but now it's time for me to bring you an example of my kind of drink -- one with booze, like nature intended.

I do like champagne, but I don't drink it that often. It gives me a wicked headache.  When I choose to libate, 95% of the time, I choose an old school classic -- a vodka martini, preferably made with Grey Goose, but I'm open to most top shelf vodkas.  I've never been one for sweet drinks and always preferred the retro cool factor that a classic martini offers. It's a slow sipper (at least the first one) and isn't full of sugary fruit juices or creamy milky whatnot.

Plus, olives. Mmm... I prefer mine stuffed with blue cheese, if the establishment has them lying about. Ultimately, the olives should be plump (but not huge) and firm, not tiny, hard, speckled or pruned up or that weird shade of green-yellow that happens to olives that sit in a garnish tray too long.  If you're going to indulge in what is basically straight, expensive vodka, please -- for the love of all that is decent and holy -- don't use crapola olives. Do it for the children!

I like my martinis very light on the vermouth. Like, light -- a mere suggestion, a hint, a whisper. So I prefer to use a martini mister for the addition of the vermouth to the shaker. Others prefer to add the vermouth, swirl to coat the shaker and then dump it out (which is my second-most preferred method).  And yet others feel vermouth should be heavy, as once upon a time a classic martini was almost half vermouth.  To that I say, bleh. Also, yuck.  

I also am not one of those girls who seductively asks the bartender to "make it dirty".  I like a little "dirty" (meaning, a bit of olive juice) in my martini, but very, very little and find most bartenders tend to be heavy-handed here, so I end up with a murky drink that looks and tastes like seamonkeys. So I just skip it and let my olive garnish add the "dirty" for me.

Anyway, I picked up this recipe from the website of my favorite vodka, Grey Goose. They include orange bitters, which I've never tried, but am intrigued about, so I may ask for that next time!

The Classic Vodka Martini

Ingredients

  • 2 parts Grey Goose vodka (or the vodka of your choice)
  • 1/2 part Dry Vermouth
  • 1 Dash orange bitters

Instructions

  • Fill a shaker with ice.
  • Add vermouth. Stir to coat ice and strain out.
  • Add  Vodka and bitters, if desired, and stir well. (I shake, not stir. I know some people say that "bruises the vodka", to which I say ,"whatever!".)
  • Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  • Present with an olive or lemon twist. (Olives! Three for me, please.)

Feel free to experiment with garnishes. Mix olives and lemon twists or use a fresh bay leaf instead. These additions will give subtle yet unique changes to the cocktail.

You can view a video on the Grey Goose website of their mixologists whipping one up if that blows your dress up. 

Finally, please, please drink responsibly -- this is straight-up booze, my friends. Have a snack with it or something so you don't make an ass of yourself. Not that I've ever done that. *cough*

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