Sekt or Sex

What better day for champagne than Valentine's Day? Even if it is Korbel from Kroger? I was at a Kroger subsidiary this noon, and it's amazing how many guys were buying flowers. One 20-something was handing a single rose to the cashier. Better than nuttin', I guess.

The recipe for yesterday is called "American Flyer," in honor of Right Stuff guy Chuck Yeager's birthday. Light rum, lime juice, a little sugar, topped with champagne. Verdict: I bet Yeager didn't drink this dreck. Yuck. It's about the worst-tasting brew thus far this year, though I've skipped the ones that call for anisette or Pernod.

I went looking for champagne cocktails, since I still had most of a full bottle of the Right Stuff on hand. I found a recipe for French 75, which I had a recipe for last month, that called for gin, lemon juice, and a little sugar, topped with champagne. I liked that a lot better. The junipery gin goes well with even cheap champagne.

The wikipedia entry reports that the French 75 was dreamt up by one Raoul Lufbery, a WW1 flying ace, who got no kick from champagne, so he mixed it with some cognac. Count on the French. The combination felt like the kickback from the French 75 mm Howitzer piece. Thus the name.

(An aside: got a champagne buzz? Eat/slurp/absorb a little Readi-Whip. The sugar, or maybe the fat, takes the buzz off a bit. Either from your hand, since the dogs refused to let me use their paws, or a direct delivery method right into your mouth.)

Anyway, I wondered what champagne and cognac tastes like, and if the kick is really like shooting off a, uh, big gun. I've mixed enough cocktails the last month and a half that I felt confident winging it: an ounce of Courvoisier, squeeze a lemon wedge into it, about a half tablespoon of sugar, top with champagne.

Verdict: I like it. More than the gin version. Of course, this is also champagne cocktail #3 for the day, so my taste buds are liking everything. The dogs are giving me a wary look. The cognac gives a nice depth of flavor to the champagne. (I've noticed in the last 2 drinks that the sugar doesn't dissolve, it sinks to the bottom of the flute; so use sugar syrup if you like it sweeter.)

I have 2 more champagne-based drinks to try tonight. I don't feel the Howitzer kick, so my liver should be up to it.