Guest Author - Beth Schreibman Gehring
I love Sunday mornings! Somehow, in my opinion there is nothing better than a lazy Sunday in bed with your favorite someone , the New York Times and your favorite breakfast! Mine would be Eggs Benedict with a side of crispy bacon and a French press of strong coffee, but also there would have to be a champagne cocktail! I adore them, all forms because as far as I'm concerned there is nothing more festive! What's wonderful about champagne is the ease with which it mixes, and the nice thing is that you don't have to use the best champagne available! Use the best that you can afford, but know that Cava or Prosecco are wonderful mixed into an aperitif and sometimes even more delightful than plain champagne.
I've had many different champagne cocktails, some with brandy and some with bottled juices...but my favorites are the cocktails made with juices that I've just squeezed fresh myself! I love the process of making them, I've bought myself a couple of those wonderful handheld juicers and they work really well without getting any of the seeds into the drink. All you do is cut the fruits in half , put them into the press and just squeeze. Presto, and like the best magic out comes pure juice! Mixed with champagne and other ingredients it becomes a drink worthy of any lazy day!
To make this champagne cocktail it is important that you start with very cold ingredients. Chill the champagne overnight and don't open it until you are ready to actually use it. For one you'll need a small blood orange and this should be chilled as well. Slice it open and juice it, add 1/8th of a teaspoon of agave nectar and stir it well. Then take one tablespoon of well chilled Campari, that delightful fruit and herb scented aperitif from Italy and place it into the bottom of a flute champagne glass. Then add the blood orange juice and afterwards fill to the rim with the champagne! It will be absolutely the most gorgeous color that you've ever seen and not too sweet nor too sour! All it needs then is a garnish. You could be simple and just add several mandarin oranges to the glass or try my favorite which would be a lovely piece of candied orange rind... and if its dipped in bittersweet chocolate, even better!
Enjoy and as always, please drink happily but responsibly!