I do have a weakness for a bottle of good bubbly – I am not interested in imitation bubbly (I’m looking at you Cava) or sparkling wine – and what time of year calls for a glass of champagne (or two) more than the festive season. Most of you may save it for New Year’s Eve, but given that 31st January is when my inner Scrooge comes out, and all I want to do is be in my PJs (to be honest, when don’t I want to be in my PJs) by 10pm and I grumble and whinge my way begrudgingly to midnight (I’m the real life and soul of the party), Christmas Eve / Day is a much better time for me to indulge and appreciate a glass of sparkling bubbles.
If you are not that keen on champagne on its own (really? I don’t understand you) then there are champagne cocktails. My favourite to this day is a Kir Royal, remembered with fondness after some particularly lethal ones I had in Hong Kong. It was all very decadent and refined, sipping Kir Royals in the opulent surroundings of a five-star hotel bar. Until it was time for dinner and I tried to walk to the restaurant. Things were not so decadent and refined then. There was a lot of giggling and remarks that I was wearing completely inappropriate shoes for this kind of behaviour. I even had to refuse alcohol at dinner in fear of tipping myself completely over the edge (it doesn’t take much) and a walk along the waterfront was needed afterwards.
A Midnight Champagne Cocktail makes a delicious change to a Kir Royal, using blackberries and thyme. Just make the thyme syrup before you open the bottle . . .