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Boston’s Best Champagne Drinks From Local Mixologists

February 27, 2013 6:00 AM

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(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Simply put, champagne is sparkling wine made from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France. We generally drink it on special occasions like New Year’s Eve or weddings but it can also hit the spot alongside a gourmet dinner or a hearty brunch. Perfect alone and even better with complimenting ingredients, champagne has endless uses. Two local mixologists have shared their favorite ways to combine champagne into innovative cocktails, with the following recipes, which can be enjoyed at their restaurant and bars or even at home.

Ian Strickland
Pigalle
75 Charles St. S.
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 423-4944
www.pigalleboston.com

French restaurant Pigalle in the Theater District features a line-up of champagne and sparkling cocktails worth a look. Bar Manager Ian Strickland has two champagne drinks to share, including the Charles 75, which is a favorite of Strickland’s because “Fresh lemon pairs well with the St. Germain. I always like to put a new spin on old classics. It is a homage to the classic cocktail invented in 1915 referencing the powerful French 75mm field gun, but we soften it with the St. Germain elderflower liqueur,” he said. In regards to the other recipe he has shared, the Old Cuban, he explained, “In my opinion, its one of the best cocktails ever created. Where the Mojito has been so overplayed, this a more sophisticated variation, created by Audrey Saunders of Pegu Club. We use Ron Matesalem, a Cuban style rum with sugar, lime, Angostura bitters and top it with sparkling wine. It stands as a refreshing retreat for any season,” he said. Review the two recipes below:

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Charles 75
1 oz Copley gin
1 oz St-Germain
1/2 oz lemon juice
Top sparkling wine in flute with lemon twist

Old Cuban
1 oz Ron Matusalem rum
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
4 mint leaves
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Shake and strain into coup; top with sparkling wine and a mint leaf garnish

Related: Connoisseur’s Corner: Champagne

Bertil Jean-Chronberg
The Beehive
541 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 423-0069
http://www.beehiveboston.com

Bertil Jean-Chronberg, the general manager and beverage director of this South End spot The Beehive is quite a champagne expert and has even taught several classes on champagne. The Beehive boasts the largest champagne list in New England, so it is fitting that he had plenty ideas when it comes to champagne drinks. He said, “The secret to making a good champagne cocktail is choosing the proper element to create it. A champagne from the Champagne region will be too expensive and it’s not necessary to create a great cocktail. If you use a sparkling wine, always choose a sparkling wine that is as close to real champagne as possible: that’s key. Only use a sparkling wine that’s Brut and is made with the traditional method (two things that are easy to find on the wines label). As for your complementing ingredients, always use fresh or quality products. If you follow these simple steps, you’ll always have a great tasting champagne-based cocktail,” he explained.

He has provided a few recipes below.  For the Rhubarb Spritz, he said, “This cocktail brings freshness and warmth. It’s a great combination for a brunch cocktail.” For the Beehive Mimosa, he said, “I I love this cocktail because it’s the perfect substitute to a regular mimosa.” Then the Persian Kitty is “another great winter Champagne cocktail. It combines the spicy sweet flavors of ginger with the bitterness of the pomegranate”, he stated while the Violette “brings an entirely new flavor to a regular glass of champagne. I love to do it with the violet candy. It takes time to melt in the glass and will change the intensity of the flavor with each sip” he said. Check them out below:

(Photo Credit: Beehive/Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Beehive/Facebook)

Rhubarb Spritz
1/2 oz  Aperol
1/2 oz Strawberries/Rhubarb Puree
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
Top with Champagne
Strawberry/Rhubarb Puree
Blend 1/3 fresh Rhubarb, 2/3 fresh strawberries, strain before use. (*Please note: do not add sugar)

Beehive Mimosa
2 oz Fresh blood Orange juice
Top with Champagne
Use only fresh blood orange or quality fresh squeezed blood orange juice

Persian Kitty
1/2 oz Ginger Liquor (Canton Liquor)
1/4 oz Pomegranate concentrate
Top with Champagne.
Use fresh pomegranate concentrate, not pomegranate juice, or French Pomegranate

Violette
1/2 oz. Violet Liquor or 1 Violet candy (Flavigny from France)
Top with Champagne

Related: Connoisseur’s Corner: Using Up The Champagne

Michelle Levine is a creative energetic, young professional that is passionate about everything Boston has to offer. She loves to attend local events, dine out, and cook and wants to share her findings with you. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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