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Each month, Delaware Today tastes local libations. Our favorites make a splash here.
Libation of the month: Brut Champagne
Where to find it: Your nearest wine and spirit shoppe
Toasting the new year with Champagne (or something like it) is said to have originated with the royal courts during the reign of Julius Caesar, though the tradition in America is credited to two French brothers, both Champagne connoisseurs, who in the early 1900s offered nearly 70 varieties of bubbly at their Café Martin in New York City. No longer a status symbol reserved for the elite—only champagne coming from the eponymous region in northern France can be called Champagne, with a capital “C”—the sparkling wine has become the world’s ubiquitous celebratory drink. For robust flavor, enjoy it in a traditional coupe as opposed to the more common flute or tulip glass, which actually restricts aroma and taste. To keep each sip perfectly chilled, fill it only about halfway. Not much of a traditionalist? Or perhaps these times call for something a bit sweeter? Enter a Champagne cocktail, like the French 75—5 ounces of brut shaken on ice with dry gin, simple syrup and lemon juice. Or try a jazzed-up mimosa mixed one of three ways—orange juice, pineapple juice and grenadine; apple cider and whiskey; or pomegranate juice, seeds and a sprig of rosemary. For something completely different, there’s the Black Velvet—equal parts brut and Guinness Stout—best served in a Collins glass. Whatever your poison, may it go down smoother than the year 2020. Bonne année!