Rosy and delicious: the Secret Crush
Here’s a Valentine’s Day version of a Champagne Cocktail.
Called a Secret Crush, it’s a rosy color from the addition of grenadine—a red syrup originally made from pomegranate juice or cherry juice, and sugar. (Grenade is the French word for pomegranate as well as grenade.)
Today, supermarket brands are made of artificial ingredients; but you can find authentic artisan brands:
Stirrings Authentic Grenadine, made with pomegranate juice, is all-natural as well as far more flavorful than the red-colored corn syrup. Monin also makes an all-natural grenadine. Natural brands also include spices, such as cardamom and clove.
Or, make homemade grenadine.
You can make this cocktail with Champagne or Prosecco, a sparking wine from Italy that’s lighter and more affordable.
Thanks to New York City’s restaurant hot spot Macao Trading Co. for the recipe.
Ingredients Per Cocktail
1. Pour half of the amount of the sparkling wine into the Champagne flute.
2. Place the sugar cube on a bar spoon and saturate it with Angostura bitters.
3. Carefully place the bitters-saturated sugar cube into the flute. Let rest for a moment.
4. Add grenadine. Top off with the rest of the sparkling wine.
5. Twist the lemon twist over the drink and discard.
Bitters, by the way, are a strongly-flavored distillation or infusion of aromatic herbs, bark, fruit and/or roots. The term derives from the fact that the recipe contains no sweetener. While artisan brands contain a blend of flavors—angostura bark, cascarilla, cassia, gentian, orange peel and quinine, for example—the best-known commercial brand, Angostura, is made primarily from the roof of gentian, a flower. If you have artisan bitters, substitute them for the Angostura brand specified in the recipe.