After the events that gave rise to last week’s post, “A Message from Beyond” (May 11th), I’ve had my mother on my mind a lot lately. So on Mother’s Day this past Sunday, Glen and I decided to toast her with one of her favorite drinks: the Champagne Cocktail.
In the shared memories, conversation and laughter that ensued (and a few tears, too), the picture-taking was largely neglected. But I can show you the open, three cocktails-short bottle of the champagne we used.
And a brand, spanking-new bottle of Angostura bitters without all the rust-colored drips down the side.
The Champagne Cocktail’s history goes back a long way—to at least the mid-1800s. I’ve no idea how my mother first learned of it, but I’d guess she first came across it in either a novel or in the movies. Characters in Casablanca and the Thin Man movies drank them. Since, in her heyday, my mother slipped on glamour as effortlessly as a pair of opera length kidskin gloves, it’s only natural that she adopted this glamourous cocktail as one of her favorites.
The classic version is made with only four ingredients and a garnish. Unlike her variant on the Sidecar (see the “The Eloise Sidecar,” posted September 22nd, 2016), the Champagne Cocktail my mother taught me to make is pretty much the same as it’s been for over 150 years:
THE CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL
In a chilled champagne glass (see Notes below), place:
1 sugar cube, followed by:
A dash of Angostura bitters over the sugar cube. Then pour:
1 to 1 ½ Tbs. of brandy over that.
Add a twist of orange peel (see Notes below) to the glass.
Fill the glass to about ¾ full with champagne (about 4 oz.).
My mother loved champagne in its purest form: poured from a chilled bottle into a chilled glass. Preferably imbibed with loved ones while playing card games, charades, Trivial Pursuit, or just having terrific conversation. (A golden box of Godiva chocolates on the side didn’t hurt, either. Or, God help us, a “baloney” sandwich!) When she went to the trouble of making a cocktail, though, this one was one of her preferred choices.
Thanks for passing on another one of life’s delights, Mother! Here’s to you! *clink*
(Please excuse our hands. We’d been fishing all afternoon, so we were a little grubby. That’s okay, though. She loved to fish.)
To receive notice of the latest blog updates: Go to the right sidebar where it says “Subscribe to Blog Posts” and fill in the boxes.
Thank you for reading! And if you haven’t done so yet, I’d be thrilled if you’d sign up to follow!