Monday, May 11, 2015

Elderflower Champagne Cocktail (French 77)

Getting out of town has turned into such a rare pleasure these days. Gone are the seat-of-the-pants trips 'up North', or the chance to throw a change of clothes into an overnight bag and take the road less traveled. Now, everything takes planning, synchronizing of calendars, and (in our case), finding babysitters.

But it can be done...and we finally did get around to it. My husband is terrible at keeping secrets, so I knew where we were going (New York City), but not where we were staying, nor what we would be doing. So, bags packed, and a quick dash-out-the-door style wave good-bye to the kids, and we were off! Just us and the open road...and the terrible traffic passing through southern Connecticut.

As we pulled into the city, I was astonished to learn that we were staying at the beautiful art-deco gem, the Waldorf-Astoria. My husband knows me well. Marble, crystal, and an air of the exotic gin-fueled dreams of the 1930s permeated the rooms. I was in love.

We had a wonderful 24 hours eating, drinking, and catching up with a dear friend. Drinks and appetizers in the room started the night (as well as ended it. Decadent chocolate cake & champagne at midnight.), as well as a show, and a lovely dinner at the Lambs Club. Swanky is putting it mildly! We enjoyed ourselves immensely, and amongst the highlights was a lovely take on a champagne cocktail, served with a twist of lemon.

Effervescent, slightly sweet, and very fragrant, the combination of elderflower liquor and champagne with a bit of lemon was simple, but delicious. With only three ingredients and a choice of optional garnish, this is an homage to the restaurant's version of a French 77.

Elderflower Champagne Cocktail (French 77)
makes 1 cocktail

4 ounces semi-sweet champagne (don't break the bank on a bottle - we are using it as a mixer)
1 ounce St. Germain (elderflower liqueur)
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
fresh lemon peel (without pith)
fresh sweet basil (optional)
edible flowers (optional)

Quickly chill a champagne flute or wine glass in the freezer.

Juice a quarter of the lemon and cut several thin slivers of peel. Reserve.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in the St. Germain and lemon juice. Give a quick shake to chill.

Retrieve your chilled glass and pour in the contents of the shaker.

Top the St. Germain & lemon juice mix with 4 ounces of champagne.

Garnish with the lemon peel, edible flowers, or slightly bruised basil leaf for a fantastic herbaceous variation.

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