Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tiny Bubbles

‘Tis the season for bubbly…  There are few drinks as festive as a glass of champagne.  For decadent occasions, we highly recommend splurging on a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, yellow label.  It will probably run you around $50-$60, which is considerably cheaper than Dom Perignon, and a better buy for the money in our opinion.

While a good champagne is wonderful all by itself, we sometimes like to have fun and get a little creative with the bubbly.  For the following drink ideas, a less expensive bottle will work just fine. 

We are partial to Cava, the Spanish bubbly.  It is closer to the taste and quality of French champagne, but tends to be much less expensive.  A good inexpensive one that we like is Poema Cava, which you can probably pick up for about $12.  In that same price range, Korbel is always a good choice for a California bubbly, as is Freixenet Cordon Negro.  You can choose brut or extra dry.  The extra dry is a bit sweeter than the brut.


This one involves Hpnotiq liqueur, which is an exquisite blend of premium vodka, fine cognac and natural tropical fruit juices.  It is a lovely shade of blue, comes in a frosted bottle and is quite yummy all by itself as well as great in cocktails.  Look for the “HQ” on the label.
Fill a tall fluted glass about ¾ full of bubbly.  Add a splash of the Hpnotiq, just enough to turn the liquid a nice golden blue. 

Divinely Dangerous

For this one, we use X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, a sensuous blend of ultra premium French vodka and rich blood oranges, mingling with mangos and passion fruit.  This one is the prettiest shade of pink and also comes in a frosted bottle with a large "X." 

Suzi tried this one out on the DIVA's one year, served at brunch along with her famous breakfast casseroles.  We hadn't yet named it, so she asked the girls to help come up with a name.  Of course, they immediately dubbed it a DIVA drink, and so it became Divinely Dangerous.

Fill a tall fluted glass about ¾ full of bubbly.  Add a splash of X-Rated, just enough to turn the liquid a lovely golden pink.  You can also add a strawberry for garnish. 

Raspberry Champagne

This one is particularly elegant and very tasty, using Chambord Liqueur. 

Fill a tall fluted glass about ¾ full of bubbly.  Slowly pour in a splash of Chambord, so that the pretty purple liquid pools slightly in the bottom of the glass, giving the bubbly a layered look.  Drop in one or more fresh raspberries for garnish.

Blooming Bubbly

For this one, you will need to find a jar of Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup.  We get them at a little boutique here in Islamorada, but you can order them on-line.  They are exactly what the name implies…hibiscus flower blooms soaking in sweet syrup, and they are delicious! 

Place one hibiscus flower in bottom of fluted champagne glass.  Add a few drops of the sweet red syrup, then fill the glass with bubbly.  As you watch, the bubbles from the wine will actually cause the flower bud to open up into a full blossom in the bottom of your glass.  When you finish the drink, you can eat the sweet flower.

We were first introduced to candied hibiscus flowers and bubbly one Valentines Day that we spent out on the boat.  It was quite festive and very romantic.

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