The magic of a Champagne cocktail
I created this Champagne cocktail recipe for a Valentine’s Day promotion at a Los Anglees hotel. I received reports from the hotel staff that it was a “sure thing” when served to sweeties. So I was sure to share the recipe in my cookbook, Romancing the Stove.
A blush-pink drink, poured into a flute it practically screams romance. But that’s not the only thing I think makes this Champagne Cocktail a success. Subtly sweet, it layers aphrodisiac berries with Champagne. And although you might just assume that Champagne’s aphrodisiac because it’s alcohol, it actually has some unique attributes that make it potentially more powerful than most forms of alcohol when it comes to games of love. Learn more about the aphrodisiac side of Champagne and other sparkling wines.
Technically, this drink is a shrub cocktail, basically meaning that it’s a cocktail made with a fruit acid, usually vinegar. Although it does make an intriguing throwback, I didn’t create it as a nod to historical cocktails. Nor as a part of a cocktail trend, even though shrub cocktails experienced a resurgence shortly after I wrote the recipe. At the time I was working on it, I was simply in a phase where I liked adding vinegar to everything–including my cocktails! If you enjoy this Champagne cocktail, I recommend you look further into the history and practice of shrubs. They really do bring a special something to the cocktail world.
The key to the correct consistency in your balsamic fruit syrup is using thawed, frozen fruit. Though you might be tempted, in season, to use freshly picked berries, don’t waste them in this Champagne cocktail. I’m telling you, it works best from frozen. Save the fresh berries to pop between your lovers lips as a sweet midnight snack.
This shrub cocktail recipe comes from the cookbook Romancing the Stove. It's perfect for Valentine's Day or any romantic occasion.
- 2 tbsp balsamic fruit syrup
- 10 oz Brut Champagne or sparkling wine
- 1/2 cup thawed frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup thawed frozen strawberries
- 3-4 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Marinate fruit and 3 tbsp sugar in the balsamic for 30 minutes-1 hour.
- Taste mixture, and if it is not sweet enough, stir in additional sugar 1 tsp at a time, up to 3 tsp, allowing fruit to marinate for an additional 10 minutes.
- Strain to remove seeds, pressing fruit against the strainer to release all the juice. Store juice in the refrigerator until serving.
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