What We’re Loving: Champagne

by Gayle L. Squires on December 27, 2013

in Desserts, Drinks, Entertaining, Featured

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I’ve come a long way since my first glass of bubbly, sipped excitedly (but bought surreptitiously) after my college dance company wrapped up our final performance of the year. The cava was warm and what was left after we opened the bottles with an unnecessarily explosive pop and rush of froth we drank straight from the vessel. Classy, no? {lead image from LEAF}

Since then, I’ve taken to using glasses for champagne and its fizzy cousins and have learned to slip a pressurized cork from a bottle with a gentle twist-twist-nudge, the same satisfying pop sound, and a curling wisp of tiny bubbles. At my first dinner party, I lined flutes with a perfect – though cliché – berry or two and greeted guests with a pour of sweet Asti.

If, like me, you’re planning a party in two days’ time, here are a few fresh ideas for welcoming the New Year with a sparkle.

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For a simple approach, float your favorite bubbly over top a sugar cube and a few drops of bitters or a hibiscus flower preserved in syrup. {from Design by Kelsey}

Of course, there’s always the classic French 75, a champagne-gin-lemon juice-sugar concoction, to which you can add drama with crimson blood oranges. {from Scout}

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If you’re having a big crowd, consider a batch of sparkling sangria, mixing a couple of bottles of prosecco with apples and pears from the winter farmers market, a few tangerine slices, and a bright splash (or two, or three) of orange liqueur. {from Future Wedding via Tip Her}

When you really want to up the ante, make zabaglione, a light Italian custard aerated by furiously whipping sweet wine, traditionally marsala, into egg yolks and sugar. Substitute an off-dry demi-sec effervescent white to make a particularly tingly sauce to pour over fruit and brulée, as in this fig and champagne sabayon (the French term) gratin. {from Canelle et Vanille}

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Of course, what’s New Years without chocolate? How about a dark chocolate cherry champagne cake? {from The Candid Appetite}

And finally, to help the celebration last for weeks or months to come, make preserves out of mandarin oranges and any leftover prosecco, if you – unlike I – possess such restraint. {from Salted and Styled}

Well, I think I know what I’m serving this New Years’ Eve. Now all I have left to do is practice my sabering technique.

Photos courtesy of Leaf, Kelsey, Jenn, Tip, Aran, Jonathan, and Chia.

Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in the Eat Boutique Shop. You can also follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagramTumblr and Pinterest.

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Gayle L. Squires

is a food writer, recipe developer, and photographer, and lives in New York City via Boston, Philadelphia, and DC. Her favorite snack is a tart crunchy apple slathered with peanut butter. Her path to the culinary world is paved with tap shoes, a medical degree, business consulting, and travel. She's quite skilled at convincing chefs to give up their secret recipes.

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