Toast(ed)

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As promised, a blog dedicated to Champagne Concoctions…

Like many of you, I love champagne. I love the triumphant pop of the cork, the festive fizz, the easily overflowing glasses and, of course, the bubbles… anyone who follows my blog knows I have a fondness for bubbles.

Not only is champagne fun to drink but it’s a lot like a celebration in a glass. Even if you have nothing in particular to celebrate, it makes you feel like you do and there’s nothing wrong with that. And while I have no problem drinking champagne straight up (and occasionally with a straw); it’s always fun to get creative. So add whatever you like but here’s a breakdown of what I consider some highly successful and yummy creative champagne concoctions.

Popular Concoctions: These are some champagne fan favorites. For those of us who love champagne (me!!) or just simply don’t like beer (me too!!), these creative, festive drinks are especially fun. There seem to be many variations and new versions get added each New Year, but here’s a brief list of my all-time favorite favorites. If you haven’t tried one of these yet, I suggest you get started!

  1. Poinsettia: Chilled champagne, about 3 oz cranberry juice (or POM is also yummy), splash of triple sec or Cointreau. I’ve also heard a variation of this called a Pretty Woman (maybe because if you drink too many, you might end up in a bandeau tube dress in Richard Gere’s hotel room?)
  2. Bellini: 2 oz peach juice or puree, 4 oz champagne (the colder the better so might I suggest pre-freezing the peach juice in ice cube trays)
  3. Frozen Bikini: Add 2 oz vodka, 2 oz peach Schnapps,   3 oz peach nectar, 2 oz OJ, splash of lemon juice to a chilled glass, then fill the rest of the way with chilled champagne. Drop in a strawberry if you’re feeling especially sassy.
  4. New York City (AKA: Metro): 4 oz chilled champagne, 1 oz Vodka, splash lime juice, splash Cointreau, splash cranberry juice. You’ll be singing New York, New York in no time.
  5. Blushing Bride: Chilled champagne, Peach Schnapps, Grenadine

Nameless (and faceless) Concoctions: Here’s a list of concoctions I’ve come up with on my own over the years, although (since everything old is new again) others have probably concocted the same or similar versions. Fair Warning: These are simple but dangerous!

  1. Equal parts X-Rated Fusion Liquor (it’s pink and sort of tastes like pink grapefruit juice) and pink champagne (Barefoot Bubbly is my fave).
  2. Champagne with just a splash of grenadine (or any cherry syrup) and a lime twist (or squirt of lime juice if you don’t feel like twisting). I almost always love the taste of lime and cherry mixed together.
  3. Champagne Jell-O Shots: These are popular and there are a ton of different recipes available. Here’s mine: Add 1-six ounce box Jell-O (any flavor, I like strawberry if you want to use pink champagne or grape if you want to use white champagne) to 2 cups boiling water (stir till dissolved), add 2 cups cold champagne (pink or white). I use a turkey baster to divide the concoction into tiny cups (I use thin plastic cups or I double up paper cups which can be found at any party store). Chill to set. Note #1: For stronger shots, add just 1 cup of boiling water, then add an extra cup of champagne once solution dissolves. Note #2: I also make a mean margarita Jell-O shot but I’m saving it for Cinco de Mayo… though since it’s green, maybe I’ll post for St. Patrick’s Day.
  4. Chilled champagne is perfect all alone but I like to add fruit (grapes or strawberries are perfect additions) and even a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract to make simple champagne even better! Fruit is good for you!
  5. Raspberry (or any fruit flavored) vodka and champagne (I don’t measure when I do this, but if I did it would probably be about a 1:2 ratio, give or take). So easy… so go easy.

Champagne Punch: Great for parties of 2 or more! This is a sampling of awesome punches I’ve discovered along the way. Bust out your fancy punch bowl (or perhaps a less risky shatter-proof Tupperware or basic plastic bowl if your parties tend to get wild) and get to spiking!

  1. Classic Champagne Punch: 2 liter bottle of ginger ale, bottle of champagne, container of orange sherbet  (empty contents into bowl, serve)
  2. Pink Punch: 1 bottle pink champagne, 2 containers frozen pink lemonade concentrate, 2 containers frozen cranberry or fruit juice concentrate, 1 bottle chilled red wine, 1 quart chilled club soda, ice cubes
  3. Hawaiian Punch: 2 liter bottle Hawaiian Punch, 2 cups Malibu Rum, 1 cup Southern Comfort, 1 bottle champagne, 2 liter bottle Pineapple soda, jar of maraschino cherries, 1 bag frozen pineapple (cubed), ice cubes (Note: coconut shell bikini and grass skirt optional)
  4. Sucker Punch: 1 bottle champagne, 1 cup vodka (vanilla is nice in this), 1 cup tequila, 1 cup rum, 2 cups peach Schnapps (sucker!!), 1 can frozen OJ, 1 can frozen pineapple juice, 1 can frozen cranberry juice, 2 liters tonic water, ice, (add club soda if the punch tastes too sweet)
  5. Margarita Punch: 1 bottle champagne, 4 cups clear tequila, 4 cups triple sec, 1 bottle of either lime margarita mix or sweet n sour mix, 2 liters lemon lime soda, 1 cup Agave Nectar (if available), 1 cup lime juice, 4 limes (sliced and quartered), crushed ice, (serve in margarita glasses with salted or sugared rims as an option)

Champagne Floats: Add a scoop of frozen, mashed, sliced or diced strawberries, peaches, pineapples, grapes or berries to champagne and it’s almost like a delicious, nutritious, fizzy dessert! Prep the fruit in advance, store in freezer bags and keep frozen till needed. It’s also fun to add a spoonful of sorbet (any flavor, I like raspberry) or water ice (for yews Philly folks) to a glass of your favorite bubbly (kind of like a party punch but for a party of one).

“My-mosas”: Who doesn’t love mimosas? I know I do. I often joke with my brunch buddies and say they should be called “moremosas” because I like them so much. Occasionally, instead of adding OJ to champagne, I like to add any one of the following: mango nectar (it’s thick so just a splash will do!), Welch’s grape juice (it’s like grape soda, only better!), V-8 Splash (why not drink your veggies?), cranberry juice (yummy, festive and good for the kidneys!).

Born Again Virgins: Non-alcoholic “champagne” concoctions can be made by substituting the champagne for anything fizzy (i.e., tonic water, ginger ale, sparking grape juice). I call these Born Again Virgins. When I host a party, I like to serve both alcoholic and nonalcoholic options so everyone can join in on the fun. It’s a nice way to include your designated drivers, people who can’t or don’t choose to drink, pregnant and nursing women and even kids/teens. Remember: You don’t need alcohol to have fun!

If you come up with or come across new yummy champagne or mock-champagne concoctions or cocktails, please share them by leaving a comment. I’d love to add more bubbly fun to my list.

Most importantly, please be safe and responsible! If you’re going to drink, I suggest doing so in the safety and comfort of your own home and/or with friends or family whom you trust to take care of you. If you’re going to be out and about, it’s always a good idea to select a designated driver in advance and leave your car keys at home. If you (or your friends) aren’t fit to drive but need to get from here to there, please call a cab, a friend or ask someone who hasn’t been drinking to help. Don’t drink and drive. You know better!

AAA offers a wonderful FREE service called Tipsy Tow for folks needing a ride home. You don’t need to be a member; simply call 1-800-AAA-HELP between 6pm on 12/31 and 6am on 1/1 and they will come get you. That’s sure to save lives. Thank you, AAA!

Have fun and be safe!

Here’s to you! Happy New Year!

5 thoughts on “Toast(ed)

  1. My family has been making something called ‘scum punch’ for years now. The name is God-awful, but it’s yummy!
    Champagne, lemon- lime soda (Sprite, 7UP) and rainbow sherbet. To be served in a punch bowl so that the sherbet can look all scummy on top, haha! ( I like to add a bit more ‘punch’ to my punch, like a flavored schnapps or vodka, or even SoCo…)

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