Last week, after opening a bottle of bubbly to top off our blackberry-thyme margaritas, we found ourselves with lots of leftover champagne.* Leftover champagne, you say? Not a problem!
* To be totally clear here, I am not referring to “champagne” in the French regional, appellation d’origine contrôlée sense, but in the generic-term-for-sparkling-wine sense. Call me a rebel. I think this particular bottle was Italian.
The hubby flipped through the bar book and suggested we try a champagne julep. This drink is a riff on the classic mint julep, featuring lemon juice and mint. Rather than add a dash of cognac, as the original recipe specified, we decided to just go for a dash of bourbon. My love of bourbon is well documented, and this is no exception. The drink was great.
That still didn’t take care of the entire bottle, though, and, wine lover though I may be, several-days-old champagne is not my idea of a treat… so it ended up feeding the compost pile instead. It’s the circle of life.
Speaking of bourbon, the hubby is headed to Kentucky this weekend for a wedding, and I’ll be stuck here, drowning my sorrows while he tours bourbon distilleries in his free time. He’d better take pictures and bring back merchandise!
But I digress… on to the recipe!
Adapted from The Ultimate Bar Book
6 to 8 small fresh mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
2 tsp mint simple syrup*
1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
dash of bourbon
3 to 5 oz chilled sparkling wine
Muddle the mint leaves, simple syrup, lemon juice, and bourbon together in the bottom of a glass. Add a few ice cubes, and slowly top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a mint sprig.
* You can easily substitute superfine sugar. I had mint simple syrup left over from another cocktail experiment, so this seemed the perfect opportunity to use it.