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All right, we admit it. This year we're actually starting to enjoy the holiday season. We did the bulk of our shopping early, found a swell Christmas tree, bought a case of decent champagne and we have a good supply of bulky sweaters. We have high hopes for the season.

This does not mean we can relax. Insipid music must be challenged, heavy, bland, starchy food is in need of salsa fresca, and eggnog should be replaced with a champagne cocktail. Actually, we like eggnog, but once or twice during the season is fine. A champagne cocktail cuts through all the heaviness of the season. It inspires, relaxes and refreshes all at the same time.

Champagne Cocktail Champagne Cocktail

For each drink, take a sugar cube and saturate it with Angostura bitters. Place it in the bottom of a glass and then fill with champagne or your choice of sparkling wine. Add a lemon twist.

We know that it is now considered correct to serve champagne in a flute. The design is "elegant" and helps to keep the bubbly from going flat. Brothers and sisters, if the champagne is going flat, you're drinking too slowly. We find these flutes kind of piss-elegant and very 1980s. The old-fashioned (and out of fashion) champagne saucers of yesteryear are much more attractive, and knowing that they supposedly were molded in the shape of Marie Antoinette's breasts makes them all the more fun. Do as you like but dare to saucer if you can!

One variation that we like is to saturate the sugar with Campari, Punt e Mes or Dubonnet instead of Angostura. It's worth a try!



And don't forget these other fine drinks and cocktails...

Remember- where there's a swill there's a sway!

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