Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and folks are clamoring for reservations at romantic locales all about town. With the state of the economy and the big event falling on a Saturday many, however, may be choosing to spend the night at home. That would be my choice as nothing is dearer to me than cooking, cocktailing and enjoying with my sweetie at home sweet home.
Now the ladies of LUPEC are no slouches in the kitchen, but that it is not our expertise. If you are deciding to spend a romantic night in with your honey there are a plethora of great ideas for delicious treats at blogs such as Married…with Dinner or in the lovely pages of Bon Appetit. But if you need help with some lovely bubbly libations to start your amorous evening, we are the broads for you!
This week’s column in the Dig features the Champagne Cocktail. To us this is the little black dress of sparkling cocktails. Simple, elegant and fitting for almost every occasion. If simplicity is what you are searching for you can also try a Kir Royale. This French classic is named after former mayor of Dijon Count Felix Kir who enjoyed drinking the local Bordeaux wine with a touch of Cassis. For a Kir Royale drizzle between 1/8 and 1/4 of an ounce of Cassis in a glass of Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.
One of our favorite women behind the stick, Audrey Saunders, is the source of the following delicious rum based bubbly cocktail.
The Old Cuban
1.5 oz Bacardi 8
1 oz Simple Syrup (or less to taste)
.75 oz lime juice
1 dash angostura bitters (we like 2)
Muddle mint, syrup and lime in a mixing glass. Add rum and bitters and shake with ice. Double strain into a larger cocktail glass and top with Champagne. Garnish with a mint leaf.
If you’ve finished a dinner and still have some of the bubbly in the bottle the Seelbach is a bitter filled sparkling cocktail that’s perfect as a digestivo. The Seelbach is named after the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. According to Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails the restaurant director found this forgotten pre-Prohibition recipe in 1995. He began serving the cocktail in the hotel but kept the recipe a secret. He finally divulged the full recipe in 1997 at the urging of Gary and Mardee Regan.
The Seelbach Cocktail
1 oz Bourbon (Old Forrester was specified)
.5 oz Cointreau
7 dashes Angostura bitters
7 dashes Peychaud bitters
Stir Bourbon, Cointreau and bitters briefly over ice. Strain into a Champagne flute and top with bubbles. Garnish with an orange twist.