Thanks, Snowbama: Snowzilla Champagne and Bourbon Weekend 

When the weather forecast called for a blizzard warning, Washingtonians freaked out. Everyone ran out and bought lots of wine. If you are a wine geek like me, you already have about 200 bottles at home. But to survive Snowzilla, you need to be extra prepared. I carefully curated my Snowzilla Champagne and bourbon weekend, highlighting my two favorites.

To kick off the glory that is OPM’s “federal government is closed” operating status, you must celebrate with Champagne.  My choice is a two string wine leftover from New Year’s Eve, José Michel et Fils 2008 Super Club. The Michel family has been producing crisp yet rich Champagne for four generations in the Moussy Village outside of Epernay. The Super Club refers to a select group of 25 premier Champagne wine growers in the “Club Trésor de Champagne.”  Super Club sounds super fancy. And super delicious. I am a sucker for beauty —I was drawn in by the bottle as well. Gorgeous green glass with a wide bell bottom, embossed on the neck with the Super Club emblem. Pale yellow color, a slight floral aroma, and tasting notes of toasted brioche and lemon chiffon pie. Best enjoyed well-chilled with some buttered popcorn. pricey at $75.


After frolicking in the snow (Washingtonians revert to child-like behavior every now and then to survive. Why do you think Halloween is such a big deal here?) you’ll need to warm your toes and nose with something stronger than wine. I immediately turned to Hubby for help. Thanks to his bartending skills, I haven’t made my own cocktail since 1997, which consisted of peach schnapps and orange juice—eww. He put together a delicious Sour Cherry Chocolate Manhattan. You can use any bourbon or rye that you like for this, obviously. We visited Kings County Distillery  in Brooklyn a few years ago and loved their simple, artisan (read = hipster) set up. A great stop along our bike ride. Tasting notes of fresh corn, light caramel, oak.  Aged 12 months in new charred American oak barrels. Here’s the recipe:

Sour Cherry Chocolate Manhattan 

  • Kings County Distillery Bourbon Whiskey
  • Dolin Sweet Vermouth
  • Fee Brothers Chocolate Bitters
  • Adro Sour Cherries
  • Frozen Scharffen Berger Dark Chocolate Bar

In a shaker filled halfway with ice, add about 2.5 ounces bourbon to cover the ice, a touch (about 3/4 ounce) of sweet vermouth, 8 splashes of bitters, and 6 teaspoons of sour cherry syrup. Prep a martini glass with two sour cherries and a teaspoon of syrup. Shake vigorously, with ice hitting both ends of the shaker. Hubby is pretty adamant on this point; I continue my push-up routine for the sole purpose of making great cocktails. Plus, you look really cool shaking it over your head. Strain into prepared martini glass. Grate frozen chocolate on top. Viola!

bourbon composition

Not to make this post any longer, but if you really, really, like Champagne and bourbon, you can combine them into one super duper cocktail, courtesy of Hubby as well:

Bourbon Champagne Cocktail

  • Kings County Distillery Bourbon Whiskey
  • Sparkling Wine (I prefer Gruet or Schramsberg Mirabelle)
  • Liquor 43
  • Naval Orange
  • Fee Brothers Orange Bitters

In a champagne glass, put 1/5 ounce of Liquor 43 (also delicious in white sangria), one ounce of bourbon, three healthy dashes of bitters,  and fill glass with sparkling. Rub the rim of the glass with the orange twist and drop in the glass. Enjoy!


Ontario Place, Washington, DC, snowzilla 2016


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