Few things say “special” just by their very nature than champagne. Just the very mention of it makes even an ordinary day feel like a special occasion.
So much of what I do at home is inspired by what we do at Kahn’s Catering. So much of what we do at Kahn’s Catering is inspired by what I personally enjoy when I’m dining out, or by the broad and unique experiences our team brings.
One of our menu offerings is a champagne bar. It’s one of our special bars that often serves as the ideal start or finish to a garden wedding ceremony for our wedding clients. Our champagne bar has chef-made fruit purees such as tropical (a blend of mango, papaya and pineapple), peach and berry (fresh blackberries, raspberries and strawberries) that serve as the perfect mix-in. We also serve champagne with such delights as St. Germain liqueur, candied hibiscus flowers, fresh raspberries, halved strawberries (rinse, and leave the tops on, slicing through the leaves, the green top still-on helps the berry to look fresher and more appealing floating in the flute).
I like to do the same thing at home. Guests can make their own, and since they are cocktails there is no need to splurge on the champagne. The fun is in the making and the combining. For winter, consider a pear, pomegranate or ginger syrup. Shave and candy some fresh ginger by boiling it in a simple syrup, or even simply slice some granny smith apples. What you put on your champagne bar is pretty much anything you desire. You can find great little carafes or pitchers at a retailer such as Crate and Barrel, as well as a selection of small dishes for the garnishes.
What you will need:
– Flutes, little carafes or pitchers, little dishes for your garnishes
– Something sparking such as Maschio Prosecco or other sparkling wine.
– Syrups. You can make your own syrups, or purchase some from your favorite beverage store. In addition to the great selection at Vine & Table I also like Wilks and Wilkerson-I love their ginger syrup! Depending on what fruit you are using and how much sweetness you like, start by making a simple syrup by warming 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water until dissolved. Let cool. Mash up 1 cup of fruit of your choice and puree in blender, food processor or with immersion blender and mix with your cooled simple syrup. Run through a fine-mesh strainer, then pour into your carafe and refrigerate until ready to use. If a little thick, add water or a little apple or orange juice to thin.
-Garnishes – be creative! Candied hibiscus flowers are gorgeous and you can find them at Vine & Table. Fresh berries are always perfect, choose pomegranate, shaved fig, sliced pear, apple or candied ginger.
Let your imagination guide you as you incorporate the flavors of the season into your very own Champagne Bar.