Tag Archives: Champagne

Beach 75

Beach 75 is a happy medium combination recipe of the Mimosa and Buck’s Fizz classic champagne cocktails. This variation weighs in at 6 ounces, 75 calories. Full size cocktail, full flavor.

Beach 75 is a happy medium combination recipe of the Mimosa and Buck’s Fizz classic champagne cocktails. This variation weighs in at 6 ounces, 75 calories. Full size cocktail, full flavor.

After weeks of indulgent desserts and holiday feasts it is definitely time to take a look at lower calorie drink choices. Everyone wants a bikini ready body by the time beach season rolls around. But no one likes slapping the word diet on Happy Hour time. Cocktails should always be about having fun with friends and consuming flavors you enjoy.

Small adjustments can make a huge difference without sacrificing flavor. Modify portion sizes and use alternative sweeteners. Your high calorie cocktails will be easily low calorie delicious with a few minor substitutions.

The Mimosa and Buck’s Fizz drinks are breakfast and brunch staples, but thes cocktails make ideal evening refresher drinks. Bubbly drinks make Happy Hour even more festive. No one will know you are watching your waistline, but they will have their on your figure. You go girl!

Champagne contains approximately 19 calories per 1 ounce. Tropicana Trop50 Orange Juice contains 6 calories per 1 ounce. You can find these calorie counts and more on the Counting Calories chart found on this site.

Beach 75 Low Calorie Cocktail Recipe

Beach 75 is a happy medium combination recipe of the Mimosa and Buck’s Fizz classic champagne cocktails. This variation weighs in at 6 ounces, 75 calories. Full size cocktail, full flavor.

Beach 75 – recipe by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

3 ounces Tropicana Trop50 Orange Juice

3 ounces Brut Champagne – chilled

Place Trop50 in chilled champagne flute. Top with chilled champagne. Stir briefly with stir stick.

Beach 75 is a happy medium combination recipe of the Mimosa and Buck’s Fizz classic champagne cocktails. This variation weighs in at 6 ounces, 75 calories. Full size cocktail, full flavor.

All content ©2013 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

Gin Punch Recipe

The Gin Punch recipe is excellent for holiday parties. It can be made a day in advance and served over decorative ice in rocks glasses for elegant presentation. - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

The Gin Punch recipe is excellent for formal events, weddings and holiday parties. It can be made a day in advance and served over decorative ice in rocks glasses for elegant presentation. – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Having a great Gin Punch recipe in reserve for on the fly entertaining or formal gatherings is a must for every host. This Gin Punch recipe makes an excellent pitcher style drink for summer entertaining. It also converts to punch style serve for weddings or holidays. Gin Punch is easy to make. The punch tastes fabulous and is a terrific alternative to usual pitcher drinks such as Sangria.

I first served this Gin Punch recipe at a Halloween party a few years ago. People who swore they disliked gin went back for two and three helpings. They loved it! This Gin Punch recipe does not mask the flavor of gin. It does however work with the flavors of gin to enhance the cocktail experience. The Gin Punch is light, refreshing and fruit forward. It works best with gins that lean more toward floral than pine. Don’t worry about purchasing a high end super expensive gin, but buy quality.

Gin Punch Recipe

This Gin Punch recipe is adapted from the Employees Only Speakeasy cocktail book by Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric.

Having a great Gin Punch recipe in reserve for on the fly entertaining or formal gatherings is a must for every host. - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Having a great Gin Punch recipe in reserve for on the fly entertaining or formal gatherings is a must for every host. – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Gin Punch

Makes 1 large pitcher or 1 punch bowl

3 Fresh Oranges

3 Fresh Lemons

2 Fresh Limes

8 ounces Fresh Strawberries

1/2 Fresh Whole Pineapple

1 – 750ml bottle Gin

1-3/4 cups Fresh Lemon Juice

 1 to 1-1/4 cup Simple Syrup – according to sweetness preference

1/2 cup Orgeat or Almond Syrup

1 cup Strawberry Liqueur

3 cups water

1 – 750ml bottle Brut Champagne or Brut Sparkling Wine

Slice oranges into wheels and cut into quarters. Slice lemons into wheels and cut in half. If lemons are large, cut wheels into quarters. Slice limes into wheels and cut in half. Hull strawberries. Slice into quarters. Cut pineapple into one inch cubes. Place cut fruit into punch bowl or large pitcher.

Add gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, almond syrup, strawberry liqueur and water. Stir. Cover with lid or plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator to marinate for several hours or overnight. Add champagne just before serving. Serve in punch glasses or small coupe glasses.

Gin Punch Recipe Tips and Tricks

The Gin Punch Recipe is easy to make and versatile for pitcher serve for outdoor gatherings or punch bowl service for parties. This Gin Punch recipe was served punch bowl style at a Halloween party. I called it "Graveyard Punch" just for fun. - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

The Gin Punch Recipe is easy to make and versatile for pitcher serve for outdoor gatherings or punch bowl service for parties. This Gin Punch recipe was served punch bowl style at a Halloween party. I called it “Graveyard Punch” just for fun. – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

The Gin Punch recipe is extremely versatile. Falernum could be exchanged for Orgeat for flavor variation. Learn how to make Homemade Falernum and Homemade Orgeat for great authentic flavor.

You could also replace fresh strawberries with 1 pint of fresh raspberries & strawberry liqueur with raspberry liqueur.

For decorative purposes make an ice ring with mint leaves frozen into the ice ring. Place the ice ring inside the punch bowl just before serving. For pitcher style serve, freeze mint leaves and / or fruit slices inside large ice cubes. Serve Gin Punch in large rocks glass over decorative ice.

Add your comment: What tips would you give to take a recipe from ordinary to celebratory?

Cheri Loughlin Beverage Consultant & Photography Services

All content ©2013 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

Enjoy a Toast with Bubbly Champagne

Enjoy a toast with some bubbly champagne.

There are many reasons to raise a glass and enjoy a toast or two throughout the year. We celebrate engagements, weddings, anniversaries and promotions with a bottle of bubbly, a few words and clink of the glass. We brunch with friends and enjoy a toast over Mimosas and French 75’s and laugh about the “remember when” times. There are so many moments in life to celebrate; it seems a shame to reserve bubbly for just the highlights.

Bust out the bubbly and enjoy a toast to sunshine, laughter, relaxing with a good book or simply enjoying the sparkling fizz tickle your nose.

Enjoy a Toast with The Duchess

Enjoy a toast with The Duchess - recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Enjoy a toast with The Duchess – recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

The Duchess – recipe by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

1 ounce Apricot Brandy

3/4 ounce Orange Juice

1/4 ounce Peach Schnapps

3 ounces Brut Champagne or Sparkling Wine

Peach Slice Garnish

Combine brandy, orange juice and peach schnapps in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend and chill. Strain into champagne flute. Top with Brut Champagne or Sparkling Wine. Garnish with fresh or frozen peach slices.

Champagne Terms and What They Mean

Hibiscus flowers in champagne flutes. Spanish Cava in champagne bucket. - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Hibiscus flowers in champagne flutes. Spanish Cava in champagne bucket. – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

  • Méthode Champenoise, Champagne Method and Méthod Traditionnelle mean a sparkling wine is produced in the manner of traditional champagne, but cannot be designated as champagne because it does not come from the Champagne region.
  • Cava is sparkling wine from Spain
  • Spumante is sparkling wine from Italy
  • Blanc de noirs is French for “white from black” or white wine from black grapes. Black or dark red grapes have white flesh and dark skins. The champagne is usually pale yellow to silver toned.
  • Blanc de blancs is French for “white from white.” These champagnes are almost always made from Chardonnay grapes with rare exceptions.
  • Rosé or Pink Champagne is produced by either allowing the clear juices to briefly macerate with the darker grape skins or by adding a small amount of red wine during blending.
  • Brut means there are less than 12 grams of residual sugar per liter
  • Extra Dry is slightly sweeter than Brut with 12 to 17 grams of residual sugar per liter
Hold champagne flute at an angle when pouring champagne into glass. - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Hold champagne flute at an angle when pouring champagne into glass. – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Champagne’s ideal drinking temperature is 45 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit

A properly chilled bottle of champagne is less likely to spew when opened. This is why it is important to chill champagne in a champagne bucket with ice and water before opening.

Hold champagne flute at an angle when pouring champagne into glass. This preserves the most bubbles.

Post sponsored by Wine Chateau – All commentary and opinion by Cheri Loughlin

Cheri Loughlin Beverage Consultant & Photography Services

All content ©2013 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2013 Grand Tasting

It was recently my pleasure to have been invited to attend the Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2013 (PBFW) event in Pebble Beach, California. Driscoll’s berry growers invited me to join a group of talented food and cocktail writers for a weekend of education that included Driscoll’s University “field to fork” learning event and the Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2013 Grand Tasting event with additional classes. Driscoll’s was also a sponsor of the PBFW event.

Driscoll’s Lounge

Driscoll's Berry Lounge - PBFW2013

The Driscoll’s Lounge featured berry-licious foods with amazingly fresh berries as the centerpiece. There was even a fresh berry cocktail with non-alcoholic mocktail provided for those interested in a liquid treat that wasn’t of the wine variety.

Driscoll's Berry Lounge - PBFW2013

Driscoll's Berry Lounge - PBFW2013

Stay tuned for future post detailing just how serious Driscoll’s is about providing you and me with the finest berries nature has to offer. Two Peas and Their Pod has already written a post covering the Driscoll’s University tour and Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2013 tasting event through her eyes. Tess Masters of The Blender Girl created a wonderful fresh Strawberry Smoothie that everyone in our group raved about while on the Driscoll’s Tour. You might want to try it too. By the way, Tess is amazing! She and others will be writing about Driscoll’s and the Pebble Beach Food & Wine event soon, too.

Chocolates by Jacques Torres

Chocolates by Jacques Torres

I’m not sure how Chef Jacques Torres had so much energy this far into the Pebble Beach Food & Wine event, but this is an amazingly generous and gregarious gentleman. Chef Torres entertained with his incredible smile and of course, plentiful chocolates.

60 percent Dark Chocolate Sheets Melt in your with with lays potato chips in it

Though there was much to choose from and “Mr. Chocolate” encouraged me to sample a little of everything, I chose the 60% dark chocolate sheets with crunchy potato chips layered in the chocolate. They were thin, crisp and melt in your mouth good. I took a quick look at Mr. Chocolate online and found some really cute Champagne Truffles (with real champagne) in the shape of champagne corks of course! I think they are a must have!! Be sure to keep up with Jacques Torres on Twitter (@JacquesTorres) and Facebook.

The Gold Rush Cocktail

The Gold Rush Cocktail is a 3 ingredient drink consisting of bourbon, honey and lemon juice. The booth’s menu board said as much, but all I saw on the back table was Bushmill’s Irish Whiskey. So, I asked which bourbon was used in The Gold Rush cocktail. The bartender said it actually contained Bushmills Irish Whiskey and some sort of liqueur to mimic the flavor of bourbon.

I’m wondering why the menu board said bourbon rather than Irish Whiskey? Aren’t we trying to educate consumers rather than keep people confused?

Gold Rush Cocktail 105

Gold Rush Cocktail

2 ounces Bourbon

1 ounce Honey Syrup*

3/4 ounce Lemon Juice

Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice. *Honey Syrup: 1 part Honey to 1/2 part Water – Mix honey with heated water. Stir. Allow to cool.

Church & State Bistro rolled out their new summer 2012 cocktail menu last year which included a variation on the Gold Rush Cocktail called Elope containing Bushmills Irish Whiskey, cantaloupe, lemon and honey syrup. It is also served on the rocks. Find it and several other tasty sounding cocktails in the link provided. Another variation can be made with ginger liqueur served martini style found on the Two Tarts blog.

Champagne Delamotte Brut

Champagne Delamotte Brut 116

Champagne Delamotte Brut NV: 50% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier.

Champagne Delamotte Brut 118

“Champagne Delamotte expresses to perfection the characteristics of this noble variety. Light, gossamer-textured, impertinent, more complex with aging, discreet, yet present, heady but not heavy. Champagne at any time, for any occasion.” – Salon Delamotte

Domaine Carneros Taittinger

Domaine Carneros Taittinger Brut 2008 124

Can I just say I love champagne?! Bubbly in general. I think it’s just spectacular.

I sampled the Domaine Carneros Taittinger Brut 2008. It was quite busy in front of this particular sampling area, so I was fortunate just to get a taste and a photograph. Unfortunately I don’t have sampling notes. What I can say is that it was so delicious I really did want to go back for seconds or thirds even, but hardly thought that was the point in sampling a wide variety of spirits. I stuck to one sample only.

Brut-style champagnes are traditionally comprised of chardonnay and pinot noir. Brut refers to the level of sugar content in the wine. Domaine Carneros has received high acclaim through the years for its Brut Cuvée. It has been recognized for its consistent quality and affordable price. It has been described as having a mousse-like creamy texture, with hints of citrus, apple and pear with some sweet berry fruit.

In a word; luscious!

Caricature Wine

Caricature Red Blend Wine 130

To be perfectly honest the label is what caught my eye and I’m glad it did. Caricature wine is indeed easy to sip just as it is described. It is an 84% Cabernet and 16% Zinfandel blend, estate grown by the LangeTwins Family. Certified sustainable. The wine is currently sold in Texas and California. It can also be purchased online for $15. Extremely reasonable! Ideal for everyday sipping and a perfect bottle to give as a hostess gift.

“The wine is full of rich aromas and flavors of plums, blackberries and dark cherries. It’s jammy and indulgent with a stroke of oak bestowing a poised spice.” Caricature Wine

Nose to Tail Tamale

Nose to Tail Tamale 132

Nose to Tail Tamale by Chef Ray Garcia, Fig Restaurant, Santa Monica. Delicious! Spicy good! This scrumptious small bite could have easily become an entire meal with more bites of course. It was so good!

Hypothesis Cabernet Sauvignon

Hypothesis Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 137

Hypothesis Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Roots Run Deep Winery. It is considered the FIRST wine of its kind due to a winemaking technique called flash détente or “instant relaxation.” This technique was created in Europe in the 1990s and introduced to the United States in 2009. It involves quickly heating and cooling the skins of the fruit before the fermentation process. This results in vibrant color, flavor and positive tannin extraction. This is a natural, organic process.

In my opinion the taste results are incredible. According to the presenter, Hypothesis Cabernet Sauvignon received 92 points from Wine Enthusiasts, December 2012. It is priced in the $35 range.

Pork Terrine Glazed Eel & Pickled Mustard Seed

Pork Terrine Glazed Eel & Pickled Mustard Seed 146

The presentation was spectacular. Who can resist rows of small plates flawlessly presented with foods we don’t usually whip up in the kitchen every day? Glazed eel?! I was of course intrigued. It was beautiful and delicious. Chef Angie Berry created a lovely dish.

Pork Terrine Glazed Eel & Pickled Mustard Seed 144

I’ll admit one other thing here and now. I love food. I love savoring flavors. The best way I could describe this particular small dish is it tasted like an extremely extravagant tuna sandwich one would eat with a fork. Neither my tuna salad recipes or tuna sandwiches ever turn out so delectable, but the texture, pickling and tangy kick reminded me just a little of that familiar flavor. My apologies for a less than sophisticated description to this enchanting small dish.

Special thank you to Driscoll’s for inviting me along on this amazing journey. Follow Driscoll’s on Facebook and Twitter @driscollsberry.

Driscolls Sponsored Post

Cheri Loughlin Beverage Consultant & Photography Services

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2013 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved.

Campari & Cynar Potable Bitter Cocktails

Cynar Artichoke Liqueur 008 photo copyright Cheri Loughlin

Time to celebrate! March 16 is National Artichoke Heart Day!

Dashes, splashes and dabs of bitters have become quite the growing trend in cocktails. Bitters add the faintest hint of nuance to drinks beyond garnishing. Flavors meld together in balanced harmony. Reluctant flavors that might otherwise get lost in the shuffle are given a breath of life by a few robust drops of precise flavor essence. But the small batch specialty bottles of bitters wafting about on back bars and marinating in mason jars with secret recipes aren’t the only bitters mixing magical cocktails.

The flip side to the pungent world of bitters is the potable or drinkable one. Campari is a well-known potable bitter used often in the classic Negroni. Cynar is another. Cynar is a complex Italian digestif often associated with the artichokes it is made from. It contains great depth of flavor from the many botanicals included in the creation process, making it an incredibly complex spirit to work with in cocktails. It works exceedingly well with citrus such as orange juice, grapefruit juice and lemon flavors. The richness of flavor is versatile enough to balance well whether you’re a gin or bourbon fan. Don’t let the category of potable bitter fool you. This isn’t unpleasant bitterness. There’s sweetness, spice, depth and strength of character in the spirit.

Cynar Artichoke Liqueur 013 photo copyright Cheri Loughlin

The Picket Fence – Ba’sik, Brooklyn

1 ounce Flor de Cana 7 Year Rum

3/4 ounce Cynar

1/2 ounce Lime Juice

1/2 ounce Simple Syrup

Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend and chill. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Campari and Cocktail 020 photo copyright Cheri Loughlin

Amer Mousseux – Bouchon, Yountville, CA

1 ounce Cynar

1/2 ounce Campari

1/2 ounce Fresh Orange Juice

3 ounces Brut Champagne

Orange Twist

Combine Cynar, Campari and juice in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend and chill. Strain into chilled champagne flute. Top with champagne. Garnish with orange twist.

Cocktail recipes sponsored by representatives of Campari America. @CampariAmerica on Twitter – Campari America on Facebook

Cheri Loughlin Photography - Cocktail Development & Photography Services

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2012 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved. All opinions, reviews and spirits’ coverage are the personal opinion and decision of Cheri Loughlin.