Three Champagne cocktails

Celebrate Valentine's Day with bubbly. These three Champagne cocktail recipes are part of this year’s celebrations at The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto.

PHOTO: Laura Brehaut/Postmedia News; Clockwise from left: The Final Chapter, The Kir Royale York and The Love Story cocktails.
 
Laura Brehaut/Postmedia News
Originally published on February 6, 2014; canada.com
Celebrate Valentine's Day with bubbly
 
Champagne says celebration – both symbolically and visually. Pop the cork with abandon but try not to waste too much of the good stuff with the overflow. With Champagne cocktails, the idea is to keep things simple; not to interfere too much with the natural aromatic compounds present in each Champagne bubble.
 
These three Valentine’s Day-inspired cocktail recipes are part of this year’s celebrations at The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. George Karahalios, Manager of Epic Restaurant & Lounge, explains the story behind the Champagne chosen for all three cocktails, Piper-Heidsieck.
 
“Florens-Louis Heidsieck fell in love with a girl from Champagne and also fell in love with the wine. [In 1785] he starting making wine and Champagne, and he vowed that the queen would one day drink his cuvée. He got his wish and Marie Antoinette actually drank his Champagne,” Karahalios says. “It’s very elegant and it has a great story to it; it’s one of our favourites in terms of flavour. It’s light and mellow, more balanced – it’s not as acidic as Moët or Veuve Clicquot – very smooth Champagne.”
 
THE LOVE STORY
The Love Story is a twist on the classic Champagne cocktail – it starts with a sugar cube but the bitters and brandy are swapped out in favour of Cointreau and yuzu (a type of Japanese citrus fruit) marmalade.  It’s Karahalios’ favourite of the three cocktails and he notes that it’s a great way to start your evening or meal because it’s “fresh, refreshing and light.”
 
1 white sugar cube
¼ oz Cointreau
Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, to top
¼ tsp. yuzu marmalade
½ fresh strawberry, for garnish
1 fresh raspberry, for garnish
1 fresh blueberry, for garnish
 
1. Place the sugar cube in the bottom of a Champagne flute. Pour in Cointreau and allow the sugar to dissolve slightly; top with Champagne. Using a spoon, drop the marmalade into the flute, allowing it to settle in the bottom of the glass. 
2. Garnish with half of a fresh strawberry, a raspberry and a blueberry on a garnish pick.
serves one
 
Note: Yuzu marmalade is available at specialty or gourmet food shops, and from online retailers such as Amazon.com.
 
THE KIR ROYALE YORK
The Kir Impérial is a black raspberry variation on the crème de cassis-based Kir Royale, and calls for just two ingredients – Champagne and raspberry liqueur. The Kir Royale York is a take on the popular drink, with the black raspberry flavour of Chambord enhanced through the addition of raspberry pearls/caviar. The pearls sink to the bottom of the flute and explode with fruit when you bite into them.
 
¼ oz Chambord
Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, to top
¼ tsp. raspberry pearls/caviar
3 fresh raspberries, for garnish
 
1. Pour Chambord into a Champagne flute and top with Champagne. Using a spoon, drop the raspberry pearls/caviar into the flute, allowing the pearls to settle in the bottom of the glass. 
2. Garnish with three raspberries on a garnish pick.
serves one
 
Note: Raspberry pearls/caviar is available at specialty or gourmet food shops, and from online retailers such as Qualifirst Foods.
 
THE FINAL CHAPTER
Lemon pearls add a touch of acidity to this Cognac-Champagne cocktail. Karahalios recommends enjoying The Final Chapter at the end of a meal, saying with a laugh, “This one has a little more of a kick to it.”
 
5 or 6 lemon pearls
A few drops of cherry bitters
¼ oz Rémy Martin VSOP
Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, to top
2 Amarena cherries (small, dark, slightly sour Italian cherries), for garnish
orange peel, for garnish
 
1. Place the lemon pearls in the bottom of a Champagne flute. Add the cherry bitters and Rémy Martin VSOP; top with Champagne. 
2. Put the cherries on a garnish pick and wrap the strip of orange peel around them.
serves one
 
Note: Lemon pearls are available at specialty or gourmet food shops, and from online retailers such as Qualifirst Foods.
Back to Top