Four Ways With Champagne

"I drink it when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes, I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and drink it if I am; Otherwise I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty."
-       Lilly Bollinger

 While there’s no such thing as a bad time to drink champagne, Mother’s Day is an especially appropriate occasion to imbibe it. In recognition of this fact, today we’re sharing four of the best ways to enjoy it.

1. Pair it

 Though the silver service degustation version is a relatively new phemonenon, wine and food pairing is a practice that has been going on ever since wine was a more hygienic alternative to water.  When selecting an appropriate accompaniment it’s important to consider the weight of the particular champagne at hand (which is affected by the alcohol level, presence of tannins and the maceration and aging process) and to decide whether the food or the champagne will be the dominant ingredient – so that they enhance rather than compete with each other.   

Wise choices include quail eggs, tuna sashimi, peaches and even venison (with the right champagne of course) – or you can run with the specially commissioned rose and nut white Belgian chocolate brittle which was created especially to be paired with Vincent Couche’s Perle de Nacre organic champagne, under Master Sommelier Sebastian Crowther’s instruction.

Try the combination...

2. Add Green Tea

In Honore de Balzac’s words, “Great love affairs start with Champagne and end with tisane,” and fragrant jasmine green tea balances a light champagne gloriously. Tessa Bontempo from The Seventh Duchess recommends this cocktail to make the most of the match. 

Jasmine Green Tea Champagne

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Imperial China green tea leaves
Chilled bottle of brut Champagne or prosecco
Mint leaves, for garnish (optional) 

Directions

Steep the tea leaves in 2 cups cold water for 6 hours. Strain, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
To serve, fill champagne glasses halfway with the green tea and top off with the Champagne and mint leaves if desired.

Try it with… Veuve Cliquot

3. Make a Fountain

Champagne fountains trump breakfast in bed every time. To make a champagne fountain, build a pyramid of identically sized coupe glasses (champagne saucers) and pour champagne into the highest glass until it overflows.  Depending on the size of your pyramid, you may need to use several magnums to fill each coupe.

Try it with…Yves Ruffin’s Cuvée Précieuse 

4. Go even Frencher

Georgie Kay of Georgeous is a big fan of St Germain – a liqueur made from French handpicked elderflowers blossoms. “That romantic notion alone and the beautiful bottle make this a particularly special drink to be savoured and enjoyed with good company,” she says. 

Elderflower Champagne 

Simply combine 1/3 of St Germain to 2/3 French Champagne in the most beautiful flute you can find. Enjoy!

Try it with… Dom Perignon

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Image credit: Joan Ransley