Tis the season to enjoy a good stiff drink or two. And I’ve got just the drink for the hectic holiday season: a strong, fancy, delicious champagne cocktail. Perhaps you can help me name it. I’m thinking some sort of play on a Bellini. How does a champagne and elderflower cocktail resemble a Bellini? Well, it also has fruit in it; a refreshing splash of ruby red grapefruit juice. What I didn’t realize when I mixed it up was that elderflower liqueur and champagne are a pretty popular combination. For good reason, as the strong, sweetly herbaceous, vaguely medicinal and liquorice notes of the liqueur are a fabulous fiery counterpoint to the light, tart effervescence of brut champagne. I found the combination to be a bit overwhelming, so I decided to add ruby red grapefruit juice. Together with vodka, elderflower liqueur and grapefruit juice are one of my favorite potent potable combinations, the reason being that the fresh, tart-sweet taste of the juice mellows out the liquorice and herbal tincture notes the perfect amount to make the two a highly enjoyable drink combination. Replacing vodka with brut champagne puts a fancy holiday twist on this scrumptious combination.
I use my homemade elderflower liqueur, but if you haven't any homemade on hand you can use St. Germaine.
Champagne and Elderflower Liqueur with Ruby Grapefruit Juice
1/2 flute (approx 2.2 ounces) brut champagne
3/4 ounce elderflower liqueur
3/4 ounce ruby red grapefruit juice
1. Fill a champagne flute halfway through with chilled brut champagne.
2. Combine juice and liqueur in a shaker over ice. Shake for a few seconds, then strain into the flute over the champagne.
Serve garnished with grapefruit twist.