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7 alternative ways to enjoy champagne
Create your own cuvée with Duval-Leroy
The thrill of popping the cork, the satisfying clink as you fill a crystal flute – there is perhaps no other drink that promises fun, celebration and happy memories quite like Champagne. From breakfast bellinis to a high class nightcap, there is never a bad time to sip a glass of bubbles but there are also some great alternative ways to enjoy Champagne. Here are our favourites:
Create your own cuvée with Duval-Leroy
If the best limited edition Champagne collaborations just don't feel quite special enough then how about creating your very own unique cuvée? Cuvée Sur-Mesure, a new initiative from Duval-Leroy, allows wine lovers to visit its vineyard and cellars in Vertus, France and create their own personal blend across a two-day hands-on programme including lunch or dinner at Duval-Leroy HQ. The visit begins with a lesson in Champagne terroirs and cultivation methods from vineyard director Michel Oliveira before a tasting and blending masterclass with head of cellars Sandrine Logette-Jardin. Guests will then get down to the task of creating their own Champagne, deciding which grape varieties to add according to their preference for toasted or floral aromas, flavour intensity and a creamy or spicy palette. The cuvée will then take three months to deliver and will be presented in engraved bottles with a minimum order of 1,000 at a cost of £40,000.
Champagne at the cinema
Of course, one way to get your hands on the good stuff is to buy a bottle of vintage Champagne that has already been produced and, while you may be more accustomed to sipping soda and eating popcorn while viewing the latest blockbuster, thanks to the latest James Bond film Spectre that may all be about to change. To celebrate its fame as the spy's favourite Champagne, Bollinger released a limited edition version of its 2009 vintage in standard, magnum and jeroboam sizes. What could be more ideal for settling down in one of the best superyacht outdoor cinemas? Visit thewhiskyexchange.com.
Everyone knows Champagne should be served ice cold and the brilliant people behind Pops have cut out the middleman by offering Champagne ice pops. With a slew of celebrity fans, including Kate Moss and Jamie Campbell-Bower, these Calipo-style lollies are made from 37% champagne (making each 110ml ice pop 5% ABV) and have become a favourite drink alternative at A-list parties. We can’t think of anything better for hot afternoons sunbathing on the beach club. Visit wearepops.com.
Yes, it’s fabulous on its own, but Champagne also makes a great ingredient for so many summery cocktails and this can help that bottle go a lot further. You could opt for a classic bellini or Buck’s Fizz but we’re rather fond of mixing ours with that other summer staple: gin. The brilliant mixologists from No. 3, the fine London dry gin from Berry Bros. & Rudd, have shared their recipe for the delicious French 75 – why not ask the bartender to give it a try at your next superyacht soiree?
25ml No. 3 gin
25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
10ml Manin Gomme syrup
1 cherry or lemon peel
Mix the gin, lemon juice and syrup in a cocktail shaker.
Pour the contents into a Champagne flute and top up with Champagne.
Add a grignotine cherry or a peel of lemon.
Cooking with Champagne
For many the thought of ‘leftover’ Champagne may be inconceivable but, should you find yourself with half a bottle left the morning after why not hand it over to the chef? There are hundreds of great recipes which include Champagne as a key ingredient: those with a sweet tooth should add it to cupcakes or jelly, while it also adds a decadent touch to fish sauces and risottos. Our absolute favourite, however, has to be Champagne cream puffs – balls of puff pastry filled with Champagne cream and topped with melted dark chocolate. Bliss.
Thanks to its subtle, sparkling scent and the natural antioxidant properties of the grape seed extract it contains, Champagne is actually a common ingredient in luxury beauty products giving teetotallers everywhere a reason to celebrate. Found in toners, perfumes, shower gels, soaps and moisturisers, it also contains tartaric acid which will brighten skin and treat minor blemishes. Our pick of the products? The inviting fragrance and gorgeous chrome pot of Jonathan Adler’s Champagne Pop candle never fails to get us in the party mood. Visit jonathanadler.com.
What’s not to like about the mixture of fine chocolate and Champagne? A truly classic combination, serve these as petit fours after dinner and they’re guaranteed to go down a storm – especially if there are little people at the table who can’t partake in the real thing. Our favourites are Prestat’s pink Marc de Champagne truffles, Charbonnel et Walker’s Raspberry Champagne truffles and Le Maison du Chocolat’s fine Champagne Cognac truffles.