Weeknight Cooking

A Reconstructed Champagne Cocktail

by:
February  8, 2010

 

- Jenny from Rancho Park

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One particularly hot 4th of July, I called my friend Joshua and suggested that we pack up our four collective children and drive 20 miles south to a museum in Carson, California, where there would be a reenactment of the reading of the Declaration of Independence.

“That sounds like a nice idea,” Joshua said, diplomatically, “but I have a really nice bottle of rosé, and we could sit by the pool while the kids swim, and drink it instead.” Now that’s what you call friendship.

Joshua keeps a pretty full bar, and recently he and his wife found themselves with a surplus of Champagne, left over from a holiday party. We wondered about what to do with it, if there was perhaps an easy cocktail in the offing. I came across the Flirtini, and, with a quart of orange juice in hand, headed to Joshua and Jennifer’s house for a Thursday night experiment.

The first thing we did was change the Flirtini recipe from a pitcher to individual cocktails, and, lacking raspberry vodka, substituted a dash of crème de cassis in our shaker to compensate. So I guess I should come clean and say that this really isn't a Flirtini anymore, but Flirtini adjacent.

What you have in this drink, cocktail lovers, is a mad mouth of pineapple, followed by a strong alcohol finish. It’s the kind of drink that guys used to buy at the Cheek to Cheek saloon, where I worked in my youth, for the gals who had used nail polish remover to erase the giant X from their hands, placed there by a bouncer to mark them as under-aged.

We didn’t hate the drink at all. But we wondered about some revisions. In truth, the pineapple juice was overwhelming. So we added a bit more Champagne to the glass, transforming the drink into basically a screwdriver in a cute little skirt.

Then suddenly, things took a radical turn. What ensued was a three-cocktail taste test, beginning with a drink with reduced pineapple, again, and a dash of Campari (vaguely disgusting); moving on to something that removed the vodka all together, replacing it with bourbon, which really is not what Catherinejagers had in mind for any of us; last, hitting upon a twist on this cocktail that I think was nearly perfect.

For your shaker, that is 2 ounces of orange juice, 1 ounce of pineapple, 2 ounces of vodka, 2 ounces of Champagne, an ounce of St Germain and half an ounce of crème de cassis.

St. Germain, should you wonder, is a liquor fashioned from Alpine elderflowers and apparently is all the rage these days among the knowing home mixologists. Its delicate, lychee flavor in completely beguiling and I think you should ask someone who was thinking of buying you some nice chocolate for Valentine’s Day to get you this instead. If they take this sort of direction, and make you a nice cocktail with this new find, you should probably go ahead and get engaged immediately.

So anyway, if you had a raspberry to top this revised cocktail, it would be a nice touch. Or you can make the original recipe, but go lighter on the pineapple juice. And if you have two, please make sure someone else is watching the kids.

Flirtini

Serves many

  • 2 cups champagne
  • 2 cups raspberry vodka
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 cups orange juice (pulp free)

 

Mix equal parts champagne, vodka (raspberry vodka, if you're feeling fancy) orange juice, pineapple juice. Chill and imbibe.

Elder Man

Serves 1

  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 1 ounce pinapple juice
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces Champagne
  • 1 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce creme de cassis

 

Fill a shaker with ice. Add all the ingredients. Shake the drink, then strain into a chilled martini glass.

 

 

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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9 Comments

Aliwaks February 10, 2010
elder man sounds so good, always had a thing for elder men ;0, <br /><br />I want Absloute Boston,( will probably never see it here in the good old Quaker state of Pennsylvania)<br /><br />
 
spinthebottleny February 8, 2010
The Elder Man sounds delightful! Now I need to come up with some other uses for elderflower liqueur to justify purchasing a bottle...
 
Aliwaks February 10, 2010
I splash it into whatever sparkling wine I have on hand for a quickgirlycocktail, and it's lovely in the summer with iced chamomile tea and bit of fresh mint, also fantastic with hendricks gin & lime (garnished with flower petals..so springy) also good for splashing on ripe melon & v. nice with blueberries. Makes a wonderful v. light sangria: Rose (or sparkling rose or sauvignon blanc) + st germain + pellegrino + nectarines + raspberries Sigh...melon, nectarines, blueberries, elderflower cocktails, gin, edible flowers......I am so sick of winter.
 
IMogie February 8, 2010
A fun idea would be to add some Absolute Boston as an adjustment to your Elder Man. It is a limited edition Vodka that is flavored with elderflower (the base of St. Germain) and black tea.
 
Merrill S. February 9, 2010
Wow. Sounds amazing!
 
Kelsey B. February 8, 2010
I take it the Flirtini recipe above serves more than 1, or maybe it serves one mom after a very tough day. Either way, I love the fruity flavors in it, perfect for Valentine's Day. The St. Germain sounds cool too, the flavor sounds unique and I wonder how I could utilize it in baked goods.
 
Jestei February 8, 2010
If you want to make the Flirtini in smaller dose, just use all the ingredients in equal parts. As for IMogie's suggestion of Absolute Boston, I think that sounds fab!
 
CarynCooks February 8, 2010
The Flirtini recipe should be in ounces, maybe? Or does it serve more than one?!?
 
Amanda H. February 8, 2010
Sorry about that --- my mistake! That would make one person *very* drunk! It should say, serves many. Fixing now.