Tag Archives: champagne cocktails

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a safe and very happy New Year! Cheers and I’ll see you in 2012!

(Oh, and in case you need it, here’s a Bloody Mary recipe to take the edge off tomorrow 😉 )

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A Wine Kir Kind of Day

On my radar today - a Wine Kir with Crème de Cassis

I’m not one to exclude any one type of alcoholic beverage – I’m all for equal opportunity drinking. I’m proud to say I enjoy exploring the craft beer category and have had fun learning to pair food and wine. So with today being National Wine Day (why not?!), it seems fitting to pair together two of our favorite alcohol categories: wine and spirits.

Wine and champagne cocktails  are continuing to see a growth in popularity, and the Kir is a fantastic starting point to explore these cocktails. The sweetness of the Hiram Walker Crème de Cassis I use in this recipe is toned down by the dryness of a favorite Brut champagne or chilled white wine. Together, they simply pair well for a light, refreshing cocktail.

Wine Kir

  • 1 part Hiram Walker Crème de Cassis
  • 4 parts chilled dry white wine

Serve in a wine glass with or without ice. Garnish with lemon twist.

Keep this recipe in your personal cocktail reservoir for Memorial Day weekend coming up – it’s perfect for sitting outside and sipping on a warm summer day!


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Muse in the Form of a Kir

Inspiration struck earlier this week. There was a perfectly petite 200 ml bottle of Hiram Walker Creme de Cassis, coupled with a bottle of Brut and a relatively sunny New England afternoon, and the muse struck. It was time for a Kir Royale!

For what this drink (photographed) lacks in proper glassware and twist garnish, it makes up with flavor. The vibrant, deep-red color and sweet profile of the Cassis come from the blackcurrant berry. I measured one part Creme de Cassis with four parts of a dry Brut sparkling wine; the combination of the two made for a very well balanced drink, not sickly sweet.

Champagne cocktails are perfect for a variety of occasions. Give this one a try for when inspiration strikes you next!


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Countdown to V-Day – Part II

A Strawberry Kir is a beautiful cocktail to serve for Valentine's Day with 1 part Hiram Walker Crème de Strawberry and topped with your favorite sparkling wine.

The Champagne Cocktail is a quintessential romantic drink.

Serving a glass (or two!) of your favorite sparkling wine is a great addition to a Valentine’s Day meal planned at home. By adding a splash of of liqueur to that champagne flute, you can transform your drink from classic effervescence to lively refreshment. Here are a few options to consider as you plan your Valentine’s Day menu:

  • Crème de Cassis – Hiram Walker’s currant liqueur is a  must have for the popular Kir Royale
  • Crème de Strawberry – The beautiful red color and all-natural flavors in Hiram Walker’s product will undoubtedly make you think “love”
  • Peach Puree – Freshly blended is best to make a classic Bellini
  • Pomegranate Liqueur- Pomegranate essence with champagne will make a girl feel truly pampered, and Hiram Walker’s product is a cost-saving alternative to some other pricey liqueurs on the market
  • Elderflower liqueur – This floral component in St. Germain is a classic reminder of summer
  • Homemade syrups – Although these aren’t infused with alcohol, making a homemade syrup with floral notes is sure to pack a punch to your champagne cocktail. Rose and Lavender are among some favorites I’ve tried in cocktails before.

What other liqueurs do you recommend pairing with champagne or sparkling wine? Please, share your suggestions.


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January Recap

My January in New England, in a nutshell...

How is it already the end of January?

Maybe it was all the snow blanketing New England. Yeah, that must be it. Mother Nature was teasing me and messing with my schedule that made this past month one big snowy-white blur.

Nevertheless, there was still imbibing to be had! Here is a brief rundown of a few other happenings that took place this month that haven’t yet made its way onto the blog:

You Can Have Your Cake…:

I have no inkling as to how this one slipped by me, but January 27th was National Chocolate Cake Day. That can only mean one thing – Chocolate Cake Shots! Allow me to stray from the classic cocktails for a moment to share this shooter recipe that some people I know swear by it tasting like chocolate cake.

Chocolate Cake Shot:

Fill a mixing glass with ice and add the liquors. Shake and strain into a shot glass. Enjoy, and immediately bite into a sugar-coated lemon wedge.

Image from CocktailTimes.com

A Toast to Hiram:

This month in 1899, the Hiram Walker passed away in Detroit, Michigan. Celebrate this weekend with a toast to Hiram’s products such as the Canadian Club-doused Quick Kick, from Drink of the Week. Or add a splash of your favorite Hiram Walker schnapps or liqueur (my picks would be Crème de Cassis or Pomegranate Schnapps) to a flute for an easy champagne cocktail.


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Round Up the Bubbly!

Boy, how the days left in 2010 are just flying by!

I’m guessing by now you are stocking up on a few bottles of champagne (or cava, or prosecco, or whatever other varietal tickles your fancy…) in preparation for New Years Eve on Friday night. So why not take the guess work out of how to serve it with some of your favorite spirits?

For one, a simple Kir Royale (pictured) can do the trick! Combine 1 part of Hiram Walker Créme de Cassis with 4 parts chilled champagne in a flute and garnish with a lemon twist.

Additionally, here is an accumulation of some bubbly-inspired sips that have been included in Cocktail Culture posts this year and I hope will add some pop! to your New Years Eve bash. Feel free to click the links in the recipe name to go back to the original posts for more photos, inspiration, and to read reminiscent thoughts from the year in past.

Strawberry Kir

1 part Hiram Walker Créme de Strawberry
4 parts chilled dry white wine or champagne

Serve in a champagne flute. Garnish with a fresh strawberry.

The Dancing Scotsman (from Eastern Standard in Boston, MA)

  • 1 oz Blended Scotch
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Honey Syrup (I made mine at 2:1 water to honey)

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe. Fill with sparkling wine and garnish with a flamed lemon twist dropped in.

Summer Gin Punch

5 parts Beefeater Summer Gin
1 part St Germain
1 part Maraschino
5 parts Chilled Green Tea
1 part Lime Juice
5 parts Prosecco

Add ingredients to Punch Bowl with Ice Block. Garnish with pineapple sticks, strawberries, lemon wheels, pink grapefruit wheels, mint sprigs.

The Crooner Fizz (by Lindsay Nader, PDT, New York City)

  • 2 oz Chivas Regal 12
  • .5 oz Chairman’s Reserve Rum
  • .5 oz lemon juice
  • .5 oz raisin syrup

Add all ingredients to a champagne flute and top with Perrier Jouet Champagne.

Wishing you all a very safe and Happy New Year! Cheers!

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The Dancing Scotsman

In preparation for my Rosh Hashanah festivities last week, I asked you readers to provide me with your recipe suggestions that accounted for our not-so ‘secret’ ingredient, honey.

Fred Yarm of Cocktail Slut came to my rescue with this recipe from Eastern Standard in Boston.  This cocktail, at the present time, is not on their cocktail menu online, but here is the honey recipe as Fred shares it:

The Dancing Scotsman:

  • 1 oz Blended Scotch (Fred notes that ES used Dewar’s)
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Honey Syrup (I made mine at 2:1 water to honey)

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe. Fill with sparkling wine and garnish with a flamed lemon twist dropped in.

As you can tell from the photo, the barware I was using at my friend’s home wasn’t quite up to par to make this drink as beautiful as I’m sure it can be. If there is a lesson to be learned with this drink it is to double strain, as a result of some, let’s call it “pithy”, lemon juice. Whoops.  Technique aside, my friends all enjoyed this drink; even more so, I think we can call the cocktail a success at this particular celebration when I managed to get some of my gal pals to ask for seconds (ok, even thirds!) of a drink that they would never otherwise order off a menu. Why? Because it had scotch.

Impressed? So was I. Definitely give this one a try at your next celebration. Or, better yet, if you’re in the Boston area, pay a visit to Eastern Standard in the neighborhood of Fenway Park (ask for Jackson Cannon, of ES fame) and have the staff make you one of these for your night out.


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Triumphant Toast!

Happy New Year cocktail lovers! Cheers!

Triumph by Cheri Loughlin

photo by Cheri Loughlin

1/2 part Hiram Walker White Peach Schnapps

3/4 part Armagnac VSOP

3 parts Brut Champagne

Long Orange Zest Twist

Combine Hiram Walker White Peach Schnapps and Armagnac VSOP together in a cocktail shaker.  Zest orange peel over the liquid mixture to capture the essential oils and then place twist as garnish in champagne flute.  Add ice to mixture.  Shake to chill.  Strain into champagne flute.  Top with Brut Champagne.

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What the Deuce!?!

I’ve made my love of champagne cocktails pretty well known by this point, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to shut up about it. This pretty little thing is not your average vodka cocktail—it’s got kick thanks to a dash or three of Pernod Absinthe. Champagne and Absinthe (a la Death in the Afternoon) always have the potential to be amazing.

I’d like to try swapping in Cranberry puree for the Raspberry this Thanksgiving. What do you think?

Le Deuce

1 part Absolut Vodka

½ part Raspberry Puree

3 dashes Pernod Absinthe

Champagne to top

Shake and strain first three ingredients into a flute. Top with champagne. Garnish with a raspberry.


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Drinks of Summer: To Top It Off

24 Montford SpritzThis post is part of Cocktail Culture’s Drinks of Summer series, in which we will feature light & refreshing warm-weather cocktails.

I’m going to pretend for a moment that I feel at all in the “summer” mood. It’s been tough around here lately—lots of rain and no sign of an end! But here’s the thing—you know we’re going to have to pay for all this rain later (and balance it all out) with a severe heat wave and drought conditions in July. And when that time comes….you’ll have the perfect drink in hand.

Once the warm weather hits, you can always count on finding a bottle of champagne in my fridge. And it’s not because I love to drink it as is (which, by the way, I sure do). I love topping off summer cocktails with a little bubbly to make it light and refreshing!

Here are a few from Beefeater. A brand-spanking-new Beefeater 24 cocktail by Dan Warner, and an old classic I will surely be partaking in while in New Orleans (French 75 bar @ Arnaud’s…here I come!). Keep these recipes on hand, and a bottle of bubbly chilled for when the clouds subside at last. Cheers!

Montford Spritz

1 oz. Beefeater 24 gin

1 oz. Noilly Ambre

1 oz. Aperol

2 dash peychauds bitters

2 oz. champagne

Build first four ingredients in a wine glass. Add ice & stir. Top with champagne and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

French 75

1 oz. Beefeater gin

½ oz. Lemon Juice

½ oz. Hiram Walker Triple Sec

Top with Champagne

Combine the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into a chilled champagne flute. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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