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My "Christmas Ornament" Cocktail

Joe Riley

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Five years ago, while traveling in Tonnere, France I discovered a wonderful cocktail de maison at the Abbey de St. Michelle.

Take one milliliter of Crème de Cerise (Cherry liqueur) and pour it into the bottom of a Champagne flute.

Add 4 oz. of Crèmant de Bourgogne (sparkling white Burgundy wine)

Add the slightest dash of Marc de Bourgogne (grape pommace brandy) on top. Note: if you are familiar with the way that Angostura bitters dispenses, then THAT is the aproximate measure of the Marc to add. It is very pungent, and too much would be an olefactory assault. It acts as a catalyst to bring out the cherry in the Crème de Cerise.

The effect in the flute is like that of a shin, red Christmas ornament, like translucent red mylar. It is very pretty, and quite tasty.

Since Crème de Cerise is virtually impossible to find in the United States (I understand that it doesn't ship well) I use Massenez Crème de Griotte (Sour Cherry) which to my palate tastes exactly the same.

It's important to use Crèmant de Bourgogne for authenticity, but also for texture and flavor. I think Brut Champagne would be far too austere for this concoction. I suppose you could also substitute Crèmant d'Alsace or Crèmant de Jura (I haven't tried).

If anyone would like to try it, please let me know, I'd be happy to hook you up.

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