header home Backbar Bar Station Recipe Database Month's Feature "Drink-o-pedia" Mixology Contact


This Month’s Cocktail Party

Cocktail Party History, Notes and Interesting Facts Glassware Best Practices Products Recipe





The Lemonade Royale


The Lemonade Royale Recipe

The Lemonade Royale





Champagne flute, chilled

Add to an empty mixing glass

2–3 lime wedges

3–4 sliced strawberries, stems removed

1/2 oz. simple syrup

3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice

Muddle contents and add ice

1 3/4 oz. Absolut Citron

Shake and double strain

Near fill with chilled Champagne

Float 1/2 oz. Chambord

Lemon twist garnish













Champagne Flute




Champagne flute

Champagne saucer










Lemon twist



Lemon twist

Orange twist

Strawberry slice





Best Practices

How to Open a Bottle of Champagne

Avoiding the Big Bang — Care needs to be taken when uncorking a bottle of Champagne. The wine inside is under extreme pressure (90 pounds per square inch) and it can turn a cork into a dangerous projectile in an instant.

The following are some pointers on opening a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine:

  1. Before opening a bottle of Champagne make sure that it is directed safely away from guests and yourself. Place a cloth napkin or towel over the bottle while loosening the wire enclosure on the cork. It is not necessary to completely remove the wire cage prior to opening the bottle.
  2. Keep a firm grip on the cork throughout the procedure. Wrap your thumb and index finger tightly around the cork, digging the wire muzzle into the cork. To loosen, hold the cork tightly and turn the bottle. Do not let the cork cause a popping sound. This is considered bad form and may precipitate Champagne to gush out of the bottle.
  3. Champagne and sparkling wines are meant to be served chilled, about 44°F. Serve Champagne after it has been thoroughly chilled in a bucket of icy water or immediately after it has been taken out of the refrigerator. Opening a warm or slightly chilled bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine is a messy proposition.
  4. Champagne should be served in chilled glassware. Chilling Champagne glasses can easily be accomplished by storing them in a cooler, placing in crushed ice for five to ten minutes, or filling each glass with ice water for a minute or two.




History, Notes and Interesting Facts

Champagne has a nearly universal appeal. Perhaps no other product enjoys such a sterling reputation for outstanding quality. It is also the one wine that may be appropriately served any time of day, with any meal and with just about any type of food.

It's unlikely that when Dom Pierre Pérignon discovered the process of making champagne he had any idea his sparkling wine would spawn a fabulous array of sensational cocktails. Champagne-based drinks are synonymous with celebrations and special occasions. So exceptional are these cocktails that they have the capacity of turning any night into something genuinely memorable.

The new breed of champagne libations is among the latest trends sweeping the country. These cocktails are light, effervescent and exceptionally delicious. With the advent of the reusable bottle-stopper that keeps champagne carbonated overnight, you can pour champagne by the glass without being concerned that the unused portion will go flat and be wasted.

Champagne is deserving of its fame. The wine is skillfully produced, has impeccable quality and is able to wow the senses and satisfy the soul. Why has it attained such celebrity status? A number of singular and most significant factors are at the heart of the explanation and none of them involve luck.

The wine is made northeast of Paris in the region of France within the Department of Marne. Champagne is made from various grape varietals, including Chardonnay and two black grapes — Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The region's climate and chalky soil are ideal for cultivating grapes. They are harvested by hand, pressed carefully so as not to crush the delicate skins and allowed to ferment naturally. Afterwards the vintner marries the wines together to create its individual blend, called a cuvée.

Champagne attains its famous spritz through a process called méthode champenoise. Before bottling, sugar and yeast are added, which initiates a secondary fermentation in the bottle. The process raises the wine’s alcohol content and imbues the champagne with effervescence. Secondary fermentation takes about a month, after which the champagne is matured in cellars up to three years. The final stage involves the removal of sediment and the bottle being recorked.

Champagnes are principally produced in three versions. Blanc de Blanc Champagnes are made entirely from Chardonnay grapes. A Blanc de Noir Champagne is made from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, and a Rosé Champagne is produced from any of these varietals with its alluring tint obtained from the juice being in contact with the grape skins.

Like all wines, the qualities, characteristics and personalities of Champagnes and sparkling wines differ greatly. It only stands to reason that choosing the most appropriate Champagne or sparkling wine for use in a particular cocktail is a significant success factor. The better the sparkler, the better the cocktail.