On Saturday we had a photo shoot at the house, while a storm of apocalyptic proportions quite literally whipped the Northeast. We spent the day with one eye on the food, and the other looking warily out the window. Tree limbs littered the street, and we figured it was a matter of time before one hit the power lines. Finally it happened. Just as we were about to wrap up, a towering pine in the front yard fell. The transformer exploded. Done for the day. What could we do? Well, once the lights went out, the party hats went on.
Everyone enjoyed Mom’s ultimate gin and tonic, except Dan Macey, our gin-adverse food stylist. Dan pulled out a beautiful bottle of St. Germain he had tucked into his bag. I had seen the bottle before, but had never tried this artisanal French liqueur made from elderflowers with “hints of citrus and tropical fruit.” It tasted as delicious as all that, but who wants to drink nectar all night? What, we wondered, could we make with this stuff?
We happened to have a relatively inexpensive bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge. We poured a shot of St. Germain into a champagne flute and topped up the glass with sparkling wine. It was delicious, but we all agreed it was missing something. Perhaps a fruit. We dropped in a blackberry and pronounced it perfect. Since we were present at the creation of a new cocktail we dubbed it “Blackout.”
I thought we were pretty clever and all, coming up with this champagne cocktail until I went to the St. Germain website and found that they have done essentially the same thing with a strawberry and called it “La Rosette.”
Despite the creative disappointment, this is still a great drink (with a great name, no?). I love drinking bubbly because when the cork pops, a simple get-together becomes a real celebration. But I can’t always afford to buy the good stuff. And when I can’t, this is a great way to jazz up a $10 bottle of sparkling wine. Because at least where I live, you never know when a Nor’easter might whip up a Blackout.