I just love it when my CGA orchestrate things in my favor. You know, CGA–champagne guardian angel. While most people have 1 guardian angel to guide, watch over, and nudge them in the right direction, some of us who are champagne-fixated are blessed with an extra one. This 2nd angel knows and understands that I was born with a genetic predisposition causing me to have an inherent affinity for all things effervescent and bubbly. Having pity on my, uhm, “condition,” my CGA provides me with a little divine navigation system that always seems to steer me in the direction of events that are centered around champagne. No matter whether the events aren’t widely publicized; are obscure; or set up as invite-only, I seem to have a knack for discovering them and/or getting an invitation extended for me to attend.
Oh yes my dears, The Bubbleista’s CGA most certainly exists. How else can I explain the fact that I serendipitously discovered that one of my favorite champagne houses, Perrier-Jouët, would be hosting a champagne happy hour this week–an event where complimentary PJ Brut would be flowing, by the way–less than 48 hours before it happened? See, I told you. Champagne. Guardian. Angel.
Anyway, needless to say, the event was absolutely spectacular. In addition to the PJ Brut, the event also featured Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque; Belle Epoque Rosé; and 5 specialty champagne cocktails. Here’s how the sipping went down.
CHAMPAGNE TASTES ON A CHAMPAGNE BUDGET
Champagne Perrier-Jouët has been making champagne since 1811 and is one of the prominent, Grand Marque Champagne houses. The house wine-making style is described as “A refined and subtle blend of charm and elegance…[f]loral, stylish…richness predominant in the House’s champagnes.” I actually look forward to having the opportunity to drink my way through their entire portfolio. I’m ready whenever you are, Perrier-Jouët.
Perrier-Jouët Brut ($60): This crisp, balanced sparkler is delicate and creamy with flavors of fresh green apple and citrus with some good “breadiness” on the palate. Lemon and grapefruit notes are picked up on the nose as well as the aroma of freshy baked bread. As evidenced in my photo, this champagne has lovely, persistent bubbles, and it has a nice, long finish. An absolute pleasure to sip.
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque ($140): I love how beguiling the aromas of this champagne is–it’s delicate yet alluring with deep and rich peach, pear, and citrus fruit, rounded out with a touch of floral and spice notes. It is very elegant on the palate with peach and citrus mirroring the nose with some added minerality, bright acidity; and toasted bread notes. The finish is long with silky bubbles. This wine is lovely, lush, and elegant.
Each of the cocktails featured were delicious and unique, all made with Perrier-Jouët Brut; vodka; and a distinctive combinations of ingredients:
- “Parliament 75″ made with Yuzu and Angostura Bitters
- “Champagne Garden” made with lime, ginger, and basil
- “Rio Star” made with grapefruit juice and St. Germain
- “Honeysuckle: made with honey and St Germain
- “Brut & Berries” made with a bit of citrus and fresh, mixed berries.
Of the 5 my favorites were the “Parliament 75″ and “Champagne Garden” made with lime, ginger, and basil. The Champagne Garden is the perfect champagne cocktail for spring because of it’s bright green hue and fresh fruit and herbs combination. I can envision myself sipping this one poolside at a luxury spa while I nosh on a fresh green salad. It’d make me feel indulgent and healthy at the same time. And that, my dears, is a win in my book.
My other favorite was a riff on the classic French 75 which is traditionally made with sparkling wine; gin; lemon juice; and sugar (be on the lookout soon for a post on the French 75 and it’s various alternate incarnations!). It’s the perfect balance of sweet, tart; acidic; and herbal, and with just 4 ingredients you have to get the balance right in order to ensure that this cocktail is delicious. That said, I was highly intrigued when I saw this innovative incarnation made with vodka; Angostura Bitters; yuzu; and champagne. I loved how beautifully complex the flavor profile was for this cocktail. The vodka was a fantastic, clean base for the other pronounced flavors of the champagne, the bitters, and the Yuzu to shine through.
“What the heck is Yuzu” you say? Well in case you aren’t up on the trends in food ingredients, allow me to introduce you to Yuzu (you know we’re always up for learning and experiencing something new here at TheBubbleista.com). The yuzu is a citrus fruit that originates in East Asia and has been grown for over 1200 years in small quantities on the coasts of Korea & Japan. So what does it taste like? The flavor is like a cross between a mandarin, lime, and grapefruit and, let me tell you, it is delicious! It added a wonderfully intense, rich, sweet-tart citrus flavor to the flavor to the cocktail. It was a creative craft cocktails that was distinctly delish.
I hope this post will inspire you to do a little champagne cocktail experimentation of your own, whether you try out a couple at your favorite bar or try your hand at concocting on your own at home (like I did). Champagne cocktails are perfect for entertaining as well as solo sipping this spring and summer–and they’re also the perfect “medicine” for a predisposed, inherent affinity for bubbly.
**Hey there champagne cocktail fans! Want to know what the “Parliament 75″ looked like (hint: it was a layered drink)? Want to see a picture of, and get my tasting notes on, the “Honeysuckle?” Be sure to follow me on Instagram!