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Top Champagne Drinks From A Philadelphia Mixologist

February 27, 2013 7:00 AM

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Newly weds have another reason to toast on New Year's Eve. (credit: Getty Images)

Newly weds have another reason to toast on New Year’s Eve. (credit: Getty Images)

Chances are you’ve popped a bottle of champagne at a celebratory dinner or after speeches at a wedding, but this bubbly wine isn’t just for toasting. In fact, champagne-based cocktails are some of the oldest known mixed drinks. Here, a few of Philadelphia’s top mixologists describe their favorites. Visit the mixologists at their area restaurants and bars, or follow the steps included to make these sparkling drinks on your own.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse
1426 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 246-0533
www.delfriscos.com

Henry Greenly currently serves as the wine and beverage director at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in Philadelphia and was recently named one of the top sommeliers by CBS Philly. Greenly created “The Devil Wears Prada” (cocktail, not the movie!) to give a sparkly twist to the restaurant’s popular VIP martini (pineapple-infused vodka, straight up). He shakes 2 oz. of pineapple-infused orange vodka over ice, and then strains it into a champagne flute. This is then topped with 2 oz. of champagne and garnished with a slice of pineapple.

Related: Top Sommeliers in Philadelphia

REX 1516
1516 S. St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(267) 319-1366
www.rex1516.com

Heather Rodkey graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and studied at The Wine School of Philadelphia as well as The French Alliance. Her studies, as well as her extensive bar and restaurant experience, have earned her the position of General Manager and Mixologist for REX 1516. Rodkey developed the Bellini 1516 as a spin on the traditional bellini. To avoid the unsavory film peach puree can leave on a glass and the artificial flavor of peach schnapps, she uses Pearl peach vodka instead. To mix the drink, .5 oz. of fresh orange juice, 1 oz. of Pearl peach vodka and two dashes of rhubarb bitters are combined and then topped with champagne. This is served in a coupe with a quartered orange slice.

Similarly, the Sparkle Spice uses fragrant bitters and allspice dram to create a savory rendition of a typically light cocktail, making it a perfect complement to brunch. Rodkey mixes .5 oz. of St. Elizabeth’s allspice dram with 2 dashes of Elemakule Tiki bitters. This is then finished with sparkling wine in a coupe and garnished with an orange twist.

Jet Wine Bar
1525 S. St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 735-1116
www.jetwinebar.com

Sarah Cassano, a 16-year industry veteran and freelance artist, currently tends bar at Jet, where she loves experimenting with their vast selection of sparkling wine and bitters. Cassano mixes the Texcoco as an alternative to the traditional champagne cocktail. She shakes three drops of Azetic chocolate bitters into a champagne flute and then fills it to the top with Six Hats Pinotage Sparkling Rose (although she says any sparkling rose will do). The wine has a buttery, rich, strawberry bouquet that is a wonderful complement to the unique chocolate bitters.

Xochitl
402 S. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 238-7280
www.xochitlphilly.com

As the general manager and mixologist at Xochitl, Adam Solomon has a passion for tequila — and pairing it with Mexican modern comfort food. Solomon mixes up the Frambuesa, a surprisingly elegant yet fun cocktail that’s a perfect match for the quality, gourmet Mexican food served at Xochitl. He muddles three fresh raspberries in a shaker and adds just under an ounce of fresh lemon juice, 1 oz. Patron Citronage and 2 oz. of Patron Silver Tequila. He shakes this vigorously, and then finely strains it into a champagne flute. Two oz. of champagne are floated on top, and a sugared rim and a whole raspberry finish the drink.

Jolly’s Dueling Piano Bar
3801 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 222-1232
www.jollyspianobar.com

With over 10 years of bartending experience, Bryan Mehl is the general manager of Jolly’s Dueling Piano Bar, where he oversees Jolly’s beverage department as well as the day to day operations. The Engagement Ring, a cocktail created by Mehl, is a modern update to the classic gin-based drink made popular at the very end of the 1800s. To make his drink, Mehl fills a highball glass with ice and adds 1-1/4 oz. gin (Bombay Sapphire is preferred). He then fills the glass the rest of the way with asti or sweet champagne, tumbles once and garnishes with a lime twist.

Related: Top Spots for Margaritas i=In Philadelphia

Michelle Hein is a copy editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer boyfriend would love to open. Examiner.com


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