Category Archives: Champagne Wednesday


Plum Cocktail

This Week’s Cocktail: Plum Delicious

I know who did it.  I know who did it.  It was Professor Plum, with the dagger, in the kitchen.


Fresh PlumsI always did love Clue.  Also, cheesy food puns (ha! “cheesy!”).  And this cocktail gave opportunities for both of those.  Also, for a delicious libation using some of summer’s most beautiful fruits.  I’ll let you decide which plums you want to use—red, black, yellow, whatever.  Combine them here with sugar, limes, gin and we’re going to replace the sparkling water in this recipe with your favorite sparkling wine.

Now, the original recipe from the amazing Miss Martha herself makes 10 drinks.  Now, maybe you’re having a lot of company.  That’s great.  But if it’s just you, 10 servings might be a tad overdoing it.  So feel free to cut it down a bit.  Essentially, you’re going to use the sugar plus 1.5 cups of water to make a simple syrup, adding in the plums near the end for flavor.  You can stick with that part.  Then just follow step 2 in the instructions for each individual cocktail you want to make.

Update: I have to say, I actually really enjoyed this cocktail.  It was very sweet, so if sweet’s not your thing, you may want to skip it.  But it was delicious and lovely to look at in the giant round globe glasses I used.  Also…super boozy!


Martha’s Plum Cocktail Recipe

 Plum Cocktail

Feel Like Holiday Cocktail

Feel Like Holiday

Summer is almost over.  Seriously.  August is half gone.  School starts in two weeks.  Labor Day is right around the corner.  It’s madness, I tell you!  I haven’t been to a single beach, taken a single trip for fun, or wasted $500,000 on movie tickets on terrible action films…yet.  This is a dark time, indeed.

So in honor of the last days of my favorite season, and the fact that I totally could use a vacay, this week’s Champagne Wednesday cocktail will be the Feel Like Holiday.

Does it bug anyone else that the name isn’t grammatically correct?  Cause it bugs me.  But it does sound delicious.

Feel Like Holiday Cocktail

Feel Like Holiday

1/3oz  vodka
1/3 oz grenadine syrup
3 1/3 oz Champagne

Cool the vodka and grenadine over ice.  Strain it into a champagne flut and fill with champagne.

Makes 1 cocktail.

Semifreddo Bellini

Semifreddo Bellini

I didn’t post a recipe for last week’s Champagne Wednesday because I was in Boston for a conference at the time.  I did get to celebrate Champagne Wednesday at L’Espalier, an awesome modernist restaurant in the Back Bay area, where we were staying.  They had a French Kiss cocktail on the menu and it just happened to be Wednesday, so I assumed it was fate.  Delicious, delicious fate.

Semifreddo Bellini

I almost decided on a green tea champagne cocktail for this week but that meant buying and preparing matcha tea in advance and…well, I got lazy.  So we’ll save that one for next week.  This week, we’re going to hold on to summer as much as we can (omg it’s August already) and celebrate with a popsicle in a glass: a semifreddo bellini.

Semifreddo means “half cold” in Italian.  It’s also the name given to a delicious, easy dessert and thanks to Martha Stewart, a sweet slushy version of the traditional bellini cocktail.  Her recipe blends frozen peaches, peach schnapps, champagne, superfine sugar and ice together, making a total of two cocktails.  Or one big cocktail if you’ve had that kind of day.  Hey, there’s no judgment here.  You do what you got to.

Semifreddo Bellini

Anyway, I can tell you the changes I’m probably going to make for this recipe myself: I think I’ll swap out the schnapps for cointreau, because I don’t have schnapps and I don’t want to buy schnapps but I do have cointreau and I think the orange-peach combination will be nice.  I’m also probably going to add in the leaves from a sprig or two of thyme, because my herbs are going insane.  Most likely I’ll muddle the time in with the sugar first before adding it all to the blender.  Hey, Champagne Wednesday is all about making a cocktail your own.  And then drinking it.  Because the best way to claim something is to eat it.

Get Martha Stewart’s Semifreddo Bellini recipe.

Semifreddo Bellini

Lauren's Semifreddo Bellini


  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sparkling wine


  1. Put the peaches, thyme, sugar, ice cubes, cointreau and the two tablespoons of sparkling wine into a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Divide into two glasses and top each with half of the remaining champagne. Enjoy!

Watermelon Champagne Cocktail

Watermelon Champagne Cocktail

You remember how Champagne Wednesday works: each week, we try a different champagne cocktail to liven up the most boring day of the week.  I post the recipe we’re going to try at the beginning of the week, you make it (or your version of it) Wednesday (or as soon as you’re able) and then we all live happily ever after.  Oh, and I’ll update the version I use by Thursday afternoon.

This week, we’re going to take one of my favorite things and pair it with another of my favorite things: watermelon and booze.  We’ll use this recipe from Fabulous Fête, which includes some gorgeous pictures, if I do say so myself.  All you need are : fresh watermelon, fresh mint, lemonade and your favorite champagne or sparkling wine.

Watermelon Champagne Cocktail recipe from Fabulous Fête

I made this tonight and it was pretty fabulous, although I did my own twist on the recipe.  It’d be a great brunch drink too, I think, if you start to tire of mimosas.

Watermelon Champagne Cocktail

Yield: 2 cocktails


  • 2 cups fresh, chopped watermelon
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2-4 large mint leaves
  • 1 187-ml bottle of sparkling wine
  • ice
  • sugar for the rim


  1. Put the watermelon, lime juice and mint in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Put a few tablespoons of sugar on a plate. Wet the rim of two wine glasses with water and then press the rims down into the sugar until it sticks. Carefully add a few cubes of ice to the glass.
  3. Fill each glass halfway with the watermelon puree. Then fill the rest with sparkling wine.
  4. Enjoy!

Blackberry Basil Crush

This week’s cocktail: Blackberry Basil Crush

Vodka, blackberries, basil, syrup…what’s not to love?  I love the blog Santa Barbara Chic for three main reasons: colorful photography, delicious recipes, and because Santa Barbara makes me think of one of my favorite shows of all time: Psych.  You know that’s right.

Anyway, because I am a fan of delicious flavor, I’ve settled on this Blackberry Basil Crush for this week’s cocktail, replacing the “splash” of club soda with a “splash…or four” of your favorite sparkling wine.  Further, feel free to mix up and make your own version of the recipe, too; experimentation is always encouraged here, so long as it doesn’t incur any terrible catastrophic results, like massive plagues, weapons of mass destruction or casu marzu (which is a real thing).

Speaking of experimentation, I’m still thinking about the idea of olive oil in cocktails.  Does it work?

I dunno.  I’ll ponder it over a nice cocktail….

Get the Blackberry Basil Crush Recipe from Santa Barbara Chic

Black Velvet Cocktail

This Week’s Cocktail: Black Velvet

Imagine: Mississippi.  In the middle of a dry spell.  Maybe….Jimmy Rogers on the vitrola up high.  Perhaps Mama’s dancing with a baby on her shoulder.  The sun setting like molasses in the sky.

This drink can sing, knows how to move,everything.  Always wanting more, it’ll leave you longing for….

…wait for it…

….black velvet!

(Those of you that don’t get this reference make me a little sad.)

Last week’s Champagne Wednesday, the French Kisses, went over splendidly.  It was like a flavor explosion in every glass.  This week, we’re trying something a little daring.  No idea if it’ll be good or not.  But that’s why we experiment.  To separate the drinks from the DRINKS.  This week’s cocktail comes via The Cocktail Guide and it’s very simple, just two ingredients: stout and champagne.

I don’t know whose idea it was to combine beer and champagne but I imagine they are interesting people.

Black Velvet Cocktail

Update: my estimation of the cocktail was that it was a beautiful cocktail but mostly just tastes like sweet, extra bubbly stout.  Your thoughts?


Black Velvet


  • Champagne : 3 oz
  • Stout : 3 oz


  1. Fill a champagne flute half full with a high quality, cold stout. Fill the rest of the glass with champagne. Enjoy!

Find more tips on this cocktail at The Cocktail Guide.

A version of Jim's version of the French Kiss

Champagne Wednesday: Six French Kisses

The esteemed gentleman, Jim No Last Name Needed, who often inspires many of the choices for this illustrious weekly event–event? nay, affair–suggested yet another fantastic combination of life-giving liquors, dream-inducing syrups and tantalizing bubbles for this week’s cocktail when he forwarded the following image:

French kiss

Of course what this otherwise seemingly perfect photo lacked was ratios.  How much gin?  How much juice?  I bet Snoop Lion knows but I didn’t.  So I took to the final arbiter of all things: the Internet.  A quick Google search, though, revealed a number of French Kiss recipes.  Apparently the French do a lot of kissing.

So I decided right then and there that we needed to

Make all the cocktails

So for this week’s Champagne Cocktail, feel free to make one (if you’re a lightweight), two (if you’re average) or all six (if you’re fun-loving but a bit of a lush) cocktails and pick your favorite.

The Line Up:

1. Jim’s version of the French Kiss from whatever restaurant he was sending me pics from.  Pick your own ratios: gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, raspberries, sparkling wine.
2. Pegu Club’s French Kiss: gin, simple syrup, pernod, lime juice and mint (add sparkling wine!)
3. Drink Mixer’s French Kiss: vodka, raspberry liqueur, Grand Marnier, whipping cream (add some sparkling wine!)
4. Serious Eat’s French Kiss: vermouth, vermouth and lemon peel.  No, seriously. (add sparkling wine?)
5. Chris Kelly’s French Kiss: cointreau, raspberry Absolut, lime juice, pineapple juice, cranberry juice, sparkling wine
6. Greg Guzelian’s French Kiss: vodka, peach schnapps, chambord, pineapple juice, cranberry juice, (add sparkling wine!)

There you go….happy cocktails!


Photo Jun 27, 5 57 59 PM

This Week’s Cocktail: Red Grape & Coconut

This cocktail sounded like something new and interesting.  I mean, most champagne cocktails have flavors like ginger, mint, lime, berries or citrus.  This one had coconut!  And grapes!  And vodka.  Vodka’s not a flavor, really, but it is vodka.

However, I have to say, I wasn’t a huge fan.  It just tasted like champagne with more champagne.  I was a little disappointed.  If someone has ideas for improving the flavor of the basic cocktail, suggest it.  I will try it and if it is indeed amazing, or at least improved, I will name a marshmallow after you.  Seriously.

But if you’re interested in trying something out, the recipe is below.

grape-coconut cocktail

Get the recipe for the Red Grape & Coconut Refersher at Food & Wine magazine.



Champagne Wednesday: Ginger Sparkler

I didn’t use to like ginger much, but then I started making cocktails and now it’s one of my favorite ingredients ever.  I blame my friend Jim, who I shall refer to henceforth as The Ginger Champion.  The Ginger Champion loves ginger.  Ginger in food.  Ginger syrup.  Ginger beer.  Ginger cocktails.  Ginger on Gilligan’s Island.  I mean, she was way more interesting than Mary Ann.  The Ginger Champion is correct in all these things.

Ginger and Brown Sugar

Ginger root is the epitome of simplicity.  It’s just a rhizome, or a plant stem essentially, and it’s not very pretty but that’s because it has discovered it doesn’t need to tart itself up and be all flashy like that attention-whoring pomegranate.  It may not look like much but it has substance, it has flavor and a little bit goes a long way.

I really wanted three things this week: some ginger, a cocktail, and a cocktail with ginger that wasn’t complicated.  This Ginger Sparkler from Martha Stewart fit the bill.  Yesterday in particular was one of those days where it seemed like everybody needed something at all times.  So cocktail time was much needed.

It might be needed again tonight.  It looks like there might be a raccoon living in one of our attics.  Or maybe he just came for the cocktail too?


One for me, one for the raccoon…

And while the Ginger Sparkler was the official recipe for this week’s Champagne Wednesday, I didn’t follow it truly myself.  It was late before I got to it and I was tired, so I improvised and created a hybrid, sort of, between this cocktail and a classic champagne cocktail.  Both recipes are below.  Hope you get to enjoy this week!


Martha Stewart

Yield: 8 glasses


  • 2 tsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) dry sparkling wine


  1. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a small bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan, boil ginger, sugar, and 1/4 cup water until syrupy, about 2 minutes. Pour through sieve into bowl, discarding solids. (
  2. To store syrup, refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)
  3. Pour 1 tablespoon syrup into each of 8 tall glasses. Top with sparkling wine, and gently stir.


Lauren's Ginger Sparkler

Yield: 2 cocktails. Or 1 big cocktail and we don\'t have to tell anybody.


  • 2 tsps of peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsps of brown sugar
  • 1 187-ml bottle of dry sparkling wine or champagne
  • 2 glasses. Or just one glass, depending on how your day went.


  1. Put one teaspoon of the fresh ginger and one teaspoon of the brown sugar in each glass. Top with champagne. Give a slight stir before drinking.
  2. Enjoy, relax.

Grand Marnier, bitters, grenadine, champagne

Champagne Wednesday: Horn of Plenty

Grand Marnier, bitters, grenadine, champagneThis week I bought my first bottle of grenadine.  Do you remember where you were when you bought your first bottle of grenadine?  Probably not.  It’s a weird thing to remember.  However, I remember it quite clearly because it was less than a week ago.  I was in Hiller’s market, I stopped to get a little four pack of tiny champagne bottles, as is my usual to-do before a Champagne Wednesday, and the grenadine was right where I thought it would be, near the bitters and other cocktail accoutrements, in a tall dark bottle.

‘Now that is a bottle of tasty looking syrup,’ I said to myself.  I may or may not have made a mental note to try it on pancakes sometime.  It’s not important.

What is important is this: this week’s Champagne Wednesday cocktail is delicious.  Tart, beautiful, tasty and you can get 3 servings out of a 187ml bottle of sparkling wine.  I know this because I did.  Aaaaand I drank all three.  I was on my own!  Josh was away at a gaming convention this week.  And besides, they were only champagne flutes.  And I drank them while making dinner, so it hardly even counts at all.

Horn of Plenty

Yield: 1 cocktail


  • 1/3 oz Grand Marnier
  • 1/3 oz Campari bitters
  • 1/4 oz Grenadine syrup
  • 3 oz sparkling wine
  • Ice cubes and cherries for garnish, if desired


  1. In a champagne glass, place a few fresh cherries and a couple small ice cubes. Pour in the Grand Marnier, bitters and Grenadine. Top it off with the sparkling wine and enjoy.

Frizzante Cucumber Caipirinha

Champagne Wednesday: Cucumber Caipirinha

Caipirinha is the national cocktail of Brazil, and I can see why.  It’s freaking delicious and refreshing.  Traditionally it’s made with cachaça (a sugar cane-derived liquor), sugar and lime.  For this week’s Champagne Wednesday, we used a derivative recipe from Cookie and Kate that uses white rum and adds slices of cucumber, as well as club soda.  Being that this is Champagne Wednesday, we further substituted sparkling wine for the club soda.  So what we really have here is a derivative of a derivative.  Which equals…I’m not really sure.  I was told there would be no math.

[fancy_link color=”black” link=””]Cucumber Caipirinha from Cookie and Kate[/fancy_link]

Frizzante Cucumber Caipirinha

Sex in a Hot Tub

Champagne Wednesday: Sex in a Hot Tub

Sex in a Hot Tub

There are two words to describe this cocktail: freaking. delicious.

Not only is today Champagne Wednesday, but it’s also Paul’s birthday (happy birthday Paul!) so we got to include today’s cocktail in our celebrations.  I’m glad because it was really good.

It’s got everything you could possibly want in a glass: chambord, cointreau, vodka, champagne and a splash of juice for um…well, garnish, really.  :) Continue reading

mojito frizzante

Champagne Wednesday: Frizzante Mojito

mojito frizzante

This week’s cocktail is definitely my favorite thus far, and not just because I’m a huge fan of mojitos.  It was also one of those Wednesdays that really, really called for a drink.  I can’t wait til summer because this is going to be a perfect “sit outside on a sunny patio” kind of drink.

This fizzy mojito is a combination of the usual ingredients (lime juice, simple syrup, mint, rum), it also includes a dash of bitters and some sparkling wine.  Because I was lazy and/or out of some ingredients, I subbed just a sprinkling of sugar for the syrup, which worked, and did a mixture of dark and coconut rum, which really worked.

You can find the original recipe here on Martha

Remember, life is better bubbly.  And happy new year!

Champagne Wednesday: Hibiscus Punch

hibiscus cocktail

Photo by Isha Dusseau

This week’s bubbly celebration of life comes to you from my friend Isha.  “Isha” is ancient Egyptian for “amazing, awesome and ridiculously beautiful.”  That might not be technically true.  But it’s a general translation.

Anyway, Isha made a fun, beautiful cocktail that she describes as being, and I quote, “holy sh– delicious.”  Apparently the flower tastes like rhubarb berry pie.  That alone is worth a trip to your local S-Mart to pick one up (remember, shop smart.  Shop S-Mart).  I think this is definitely something you want to make to impress your friends on New Year’s Eve. Continue reading

Champagne Wednesday: Berry Punch with Clementine Simple Syrup and a Satsuma Cheese Plate

fresh satsumas and thyme in a wooden bowlWhat I love about winter is that it’s when some of the brightest, cheeriest fruits are available: oranges of all kinds.  And beyond the basic navel, there are other delicious citrusy goodies to be had, like clementines and satsumas.  To be honest, I’ve never really worked with either of them.  Sure, I’ve had the odd clementine now and again, but I was mostly a navel girl.  And satsumas, a variation of mandarin oranges that originated in Japan, were never really on my radar until recently. Continue reading

Champagne Wednesday: The D’Artagnan

Champagne Wednesday is, as you probably remember, our quick, easy to way to liven up the boring midweek with a bit of bubbly.  We do this by buying the tiny, 187-ml bottles of sparkling wines that you can get at grocery stores and Whole Foods and making two little cocktails out of them.

This week’s cocktail was the D’Artagnan, a nice little mix of orange, Grand Marnier and sparkling wine.  I’ve noticed that most champagne recipes have a citrus flair to them.  I think next week we’ll try something entirely different, but this one was pretty good. Continue reading

French 75

Champagne Wednesday: French 75

I’ve decided on the perfect description for this #champagnewednesday thing: “It’s like a tiny Christmas, covered in bubbles.”  I think that pretty adequately sums things up.

This week’s cocktail is called the “French 75″–a pretty potent blend of gin, lemon and sparkling wine.  We used Meyer lemon and cava in ours.  It was good, seriously potent, but I think I’d make a few swaps next time, namely that instead of lemon juice and powdered sugar, I’d make a lemon simple syrup.  Also, a bit of ginger.  I feel kind of ginger-y these days.

Continue reading

Champagne Wednesday: A Mango-Ginger Beer Cocktail

mango-ginger cocktailChampagne Wednesday may just be the best idea I’ve ever had that involved champagne.  It’s really a nice little pick-me-up on what is maybe the most “meh” day of the week.  This time, I got inspired by the blood orange sparklers from the lovely gals at We Ae Not Martha.  I didn’t have any blood orange juice available though, so I took a different route with mango juice and orange biggers.  I still ended up at the desired location, though: the corner of Delicious St and Bubbly Avenue. Continue reading

strawberry delightI have recently decided that certain things need to start being a way of life.  One of these things is Champagne Wednesday.  What, you may ask, is Champagne Wednesday?  Well, my good man/woman/non-gendered person/furry, Champagne Wednesday is a celebration of the everyday.  You combine the normal humdrum that is Wednesday with the sparkle and verve of unexpected champagne.  Well, I guess it’s not really unexpected now that I’ve told you we’re going to do it every week.  But it’s delightful nonetheless! Continue reading