A Champagne Finale to 2012


December 31, 2012 by caitlinvaclark

These last few days of 2012 have had a very central theme- champagne. Pretty much at every turn. For Chris’ family’s visit, we decided arrange a private capsule in the London Eye.


With champagne and hors d’oeuvres, we had an hour of sweeping (rainy) views of London. We started at 3:30 and were able to see a glimpse of the sunset on our first rotation, followed by the city lighting up: the beautiful glow of Big Ben and Parliament, the misty lights of Buckingham Palace, and the Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square.


After our London Eye Champagne Experience, where does one go? Clearly out for more of the bubbly stuff. Upon arrival at Skylon, a gorgeous bar in the Royal Festival Hall with riverfront views, we were treated to an extremely large bottle of champagne, by Chris’ oldest sister’s boyfriend. It was his first time meeting dad, and being the dapper gentleman that he is, he impressed.


Sunday morning, the champagne continued. Chris and I went to Harvey Nichols to take “The Perfect Cocktail” Master Class. And yes, I did say morning- it started at 9:30am… But actually it was a beautifully orchestrated day of making cocktails and dining in the famed Fifth Floor Restaurant. You are greeted with coffee, freshly baked croissants, and a very eccentric Italian teacher. He opens with a quick rundown of the days events and summarizes that “the atmosphere is going to be crazy.” Later when telling us that some of the cocktails in the Harvey Nichols bar go for £20, he acknowledges that their drinks better be wow because there’s a lot you can get for £20. “You can get nice Chinese for £20. A meal, not a person.” Laughter ensues. And the drinking begins.


We learn how to make a few classics, with innovative twists, including these GORGEOUS mojitos. The passionfruit was my favorite!


Then we were tasked with picking any cocktail of our choosing to make. Chris and I decided to perfect a few classics. He made a Manhattan, one of our house specialties, and in keeping this champagne dream alive, I went with the French 75.


Yup, that’s right, we are now Cocktail Masters!

To make this at home, you need to start with simple syrup which is super easy and anyone who enjoys mixology should have on hand. Mix equal parts sugar and water over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. It takes about 3 minutes. Then let it cool and it will keep for a few weeks. Done!


Now for your cocktail, add gin and the simple syrup to a champagne glass. Then strain lemon juice into the glass.


Fill the glass with champagne, and add a twist. Oh and since it’s New Years Eve, why not add some edible glitter!?!



French 75

Serves 1

3/4 oz. gin

1 tsp simple syrup*

2 tsp fresh lemon juice


Pour the gin and simple syrup into the base of a champagne glass. Strain the lemon juice into the glass. Fill the glass with champagne. Stir gently and serve with a twist.


*To make simple syrup, use equal parts sugar in water, heating over medium heat in a small sauce pan for about 3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Then let cool before use. I usually make 1 cup at a time (1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water).


One thought on “A Champagne Finale to 2012

  1. kalliopsi says:

    yes edible glitter!! i have to take this class, but 9:30am!

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