Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Cul-de-Sac - New Champagne Cocktail

I grew up on a dead-end street. Also known as a cul-de-sac. The neighborhood had been developed during the 1920's or 1930's, so there was no cutesy grid pattern as became common during the 1950's and 1960's. The street simply abutted an empty field, which had been at some point--probably as late as the decade before WWI--agricultural land. There was an old chicken shed at one end of the field, and there was a real barn at the back of the property where we lived, though a cement floor had been poured, and the stalls covered over. Eventually, the county declared it open space, and made a park out of it, but that was decades after I left home. As kids, we played sandlot baseball there, or (earlier) games of cowboys and indians, or, inspired by the WWII movies we'd seen, lobbed dirt-clods (tufts of turf grass) at each other like mortar shells. More than once, arriving home late in the evening after a dirt-clod fight, I was made to take all my clothes off and head straight for the shower, by-passing the kitchen and dining-room, until I had become "civilized" once more. I doubt anyone plays much in this "park" now--maybe someone stretches for a morning run, if that.

Dead-end streets are recognized as being less well-traveled, and consequently more peaceful, and safe. Hence their popularity in planned development street designs. In memory of the "dead-end" street where I grew up, here's a new champagne cocktail to whet your palate. Champagne cocktails tend not to be too popular, largely because they require the opening of a bottle of champagne. Once a bottle of bubbly is opened, it quickly becomes flat, so ordering a champagne cocktail in an establishment that doesn't routinely serve it usually doesn't work.

Nevertheless, if you happen to have enough glasses to fill, or are attending a dinner at a restaurant where the fare is high-class, give this one a try.

The proportions (as usual):

2 parts prosecco, or cava, or French dry
1 part neutral vodka
1 tea-spoon orange spirits (triple sec or equivalent)
lemon twist (with zest, if desired)

Swirled gently in an ice-filled shaker and poured into a chilled cocktail glass. You could use a champagne glass, but it's really unnecessary.

This one has a very "clarified" quality that you don't get in ordinary citrus mixes with vodka, gin or tequila. They go down very easily, and two are better than one.

1 comment:

ACravan said...

Thanks very much for posting this. It provides a wonderful lift after a difficult week of days. Curtis Roberts