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Champagne Chic

entertainment Updated: Mar 06, 2010 01:13 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Every drink has its heyday, and so it was with the Cosmopolitan. But after spending almost a decade as the numero uno cocktail at bars across the world, it's time for it to take a backseat and let another enjoy the limelight. The mojito, caipirinha and caprioshka are possible candidates for Indian bars, but the strongest contender on the block has to be champagne cocktails.



What's so great about them, you ask? For one, a well-made champagne cocktail is delightfully delicious and refreshing . Secondly, something like Kir Royale (Champagne, crème de cassis) or Mimosa (Champagne, fresh orange juice) makes for a beautiful drink at any time of the day, be it a leisurely alfresco brunch or a late evening get together with friends.



Where snob value is concerned, these cocktails steal the show where elegance and chic-ness are concerned. They appease snooty upper crust vanity as much as the 'cool' cravings of 20-something professionals.



Like many cocktails that've waxed and waned in popularity over the years, there's nothing new about these, either. As far back as the mid 1800s, champagne cocktails were a rage in high-flying social circles. The New York Cocktail competition of 1899 produced what is now known as the classic champagne cocktail - a sugar cube splashed with four dashes of bitters placed on the bottom of a flute, topped with cognac, and covered with champagne.



I first tasted a champagne cocktail on an extremely hot afternoon last summer at Baci. I believe I had the Julep (sparkling wine, mint leaves, splash of bourbon) and the swoon-worthy Champagne Cooler (cherry brandy, grand marnier, sparkling wine). Rick's does some great Dom Perignon cocktails, too. And Park Plaza Gurgaon dedicated a month-long festival to the drink last month.



Some pooh-pooh the concept, seeing it as a waste of perfectly good champagne, or good money, or both. After all, if you're ordering an expensive glass of Dom or Veuve Clicquot, why would you turn it into a cocktail? Now that's a tricky one, but the answer would be a simple - to try something new and equally scintillating.



If you do order one, you should double check with the serving staff what brand they are using - you don't want to end up being cheated with relatively cheaper sparkling wine instead of champagne.



Coming back to where this column began - on Cosmo's fading glory and the search for a new hip drink. I'll miss the pretty pink drink, but I'm going to unabashedly, and confidently, place my bet on chic champagne cocktails being the toast of town this summer.