La dolce Apertif

This is part 1 of a 2-part adventure with champagne (cheap Korbel from Sam's, but that counts).

The recipes I'm mixing up today are a couple weeks old. I put them off for a weekend when I felt like a double decker of champagne. Today was warmer (40s), so I figured it was a good Sunday to dabble in champagne and fruit juice.

This first one is called the Fellini, in honor of the film director. Frankly his films usually give me a headache. Literally. I think it's something about the camera movement or the editing. I like 8 1/2, espeically the whip sequence. All men secretly admire that scene. I also like the Broadway musical 9 based on the movie. It's got a couple really beautiful songs. Maybe the film version that Rob Marshall is making of the musical will be called 10. But will there be an uncut version?

Anyway, the drink the Fellini calls for Mandarin Napoleon liqueur, which was over my budget, so I substituted triple sec; limoncello--that bottle's going fast; mandarin juice; and champagne. I suppose if I ventured 60 miles to a Whole Paycheck that I could find mandarins this time of year. I bought a nice box of clementines at Sam's a month ago and actually ate almost all of them, unusual for me, who usually throws out most of the produce he buys because it goes bad, and then I feel guilty and write a check to the starving children in China fund. I'm working through a bag of tangerines now, also from Sam's.

But the recipe called for mandarins, so I dug out the juicer that I told you about a few posts ago, cleaned it up (since I haven't used it in at least 3-4 years; I won't tell you about the suspicious brown stuff I found when I was reminding myself how it works), and shoved some mandarin segments through the feeding tube. The juice was thick and foamy; I suspect more than a few solids snuck through and I should have filtered it, but I was being anal enough as it was.

So, you shake the 3 ingredients, pour into a flute, top with champagne. It tastes a lot like a mimosa (I'm assuming, it's been so long since I've had a mimosa; I have a vague orange juice-champagne memory). The mandarin orange was a good change, an intense sweet taste, though I suspect if I'd used one of my tangerines it would have been equally good.

Summary of the Fellini: good breakfast/brunch drink. I bet the director himself would have reached for something stronger though. Or for a whip.