Champagne Punch

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.”  ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

Cocktail banter: Here are some bubbly facts and rumors for your next Champagne cocktail party.

The facts: True Champagne can only come from Champagne, France; this is a comment one often hears, but did you know that the rule is actually codified by international treaty?  In 1891, the Treaty of Madrid decreed that only the Champagne region was allowed to use the name Champagne; this was reaffirmed in the Treaty of Versailles, 1919. The US never ratified the Treaty of Versailles, instead they signed a separate peace agreement with Germany, which did not include the alcohol stipulations as the US was in the midst of Prohibition at the time. When Prohibition was lifted, American wine-merchants took advantage of this loophole, freely selling their own ‘Champagne’, much to the dismay of the French industry. 

A rumor: Cocktail dialog has often declared that the wide-mouthed, shallow-bowled champagne coupe takes its inspiration from the breast of Marie Antoinette. However, the champagne coupe was created in later 1600’s, long before Antoinette’s reign. 

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Champagne Punch 

Juice of 6 lemons
Add enough powdered sugar to sweeten
8 oz Maraschino
8 oz Curacao
16 oz Brandy
2.5 bottle’s of Champagne
Seasonal fruit

Combine lemon juice, powdered sugar, maraschino, curaçao, brandy, and seasonal fruit. Let sit in fridge for 2-5 hours, occasionally stirring. Before guests arrive, add champagne.

We cut this recipe in half for our Christmas party; the punch made 12 servings in 4 oz glasses.

*The original recipe from Old Mr. Boston’s Bartender Guide (1941) calls for 12 lemons. It is important to taste as you create, you can always add more but you can’t take lemon juice out of a cocktail. The original recipe also calls for 32 oz of carbonated water. We felt the cocktail was perfect without carbonated water, but as tastes differ, feel free to include carbonated water.

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