A great use of sparkling wine from London's Trailer Happiness bar
While I've posted a couple of holiday themed drinks over the years such as the Coquito or the Island Holiday, there's another visitor that tends to show up at my house around the holidays and that's Champagne. Ok, let's be honest, it's probably sparkling wine or prosecco that was intended for mimosas but for the sake of appearances, let's call it Champagne! While there are a few Tiki and tropical drinks that use Champagne, I don't make them very often as I'm not keen on opening a bottle that will go flat after I use 2-4 ounces of it. However, over the holidays I often find myself with partial bottles of the bubbly after brunch or when the guests tire of mimosas. Tiki to the rescue!
One of my favorite champagne tropical drinks is the Juan Ho Royale. It's use of tequila sets off the crisp nature of champagne perfectly. I noticed another Champagne/sparkling wine recipe in the Minimalist Tiki that adheres more closely to the traditional Tiki flavors and it will definitely be my go to for champagne use this holiday season. It's the Jezebel's Blush. The Jezebel's Blush was created at Trailer Happiness, a well known tropical cocktail spot in the Notting Hill neighborhood of London. There are a couple of things that I really like about this drink. Growing up in Georgia, I'm a sucker for anything peach, even if it's spelled "pêche". Secondly, the falernum. I'd never heard of the stuff prior to getting into Tiki drinks but anytime I see a recipe that uses it as the spice and sweetener, I'm in. Lastly, it's served in a coupe glass. If I learned anything from all those James Bond movies it's that everybody looks classier drinking out of stemware.
Source - Minimalist Tiki by Matt Pietrek and Carrie Smith
3/4 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce peach liqueur (crème de pêche)
1/4 ounce falernum
1 1/4 ounce lightly aged/filtered rum
2 ounces sparkling wine
Build everything except the sparkling wine in a shaker and shake with cubed ice. Double strain and pour into a chilled coupe glass. Top with the sparkling wine and garnish with a mint sprig.
*Bamboo Sam's customizations: For the crème de pêche I use the Merlet. For the rum, Trailer Happiness uses Real McCoy 3 year. It's an excellent choice with more woodiness than most rums in this category. After all, you can't go wrong with much of anything coming out of Foursquare Distillery these days. But, there are plenty of fine rums that fall in the "lightly aged/filtered" category that work very well in this drink (Denizen, Plantation 3 Star, El Dorado 3 year, etc.) Just choose your preferred level of funk vs woody heat and get after it!
So, I know the hook in this post was using Champagne, however, if you like the flavor of Jezebel's Blush but prefer a lower alcohol long hoist to a coupe, try subbing a lemon lime soda for the Champagne and serving on the rocks. It's nowhere near as intense a flavor but it's in the ballpark and more palatable for light drinkers (or those drinking ALL day...)