Bernard Barbuk

Cheering for Cups

By Bernard Barbuk / 26th July 2018

Cups are bubbling Summer drinks from long ago: mixed, iced, sweetened, always with fresh fruits, always made in quantity, always presented in ceramic or glass jugs or bowls decorated with garlands of herbs.  Never with bitters or Vermouth.  And though spirits and liqueurs are often part of the recipe, Cups are wine-based, cider-based, beer-based.  Never,…

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Sparkling Cocktails with Passion

By Bernard Barbuk / 29th January 2018

Anyone interested in the history of cocktails should give some thought to the cautionary tale of the passiflora edulis, whose fruit we Anglo Saxons call ‘passion fruit’ because the historically correct Portuguese name frightens us:  ‘maracuja’. As borrowed from the locals in Brazil, circa 1600, when the Ports were the first Europeans to come across…

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Red ‘n’ Bubbly

By Bernard Barbuk / 22nd November 2017

You might think that red would be a natural colour for a sparkling cocktail. After all, even if red bubbly per se generally falls into the category Germans call dreimenchenwein – the drinker having to be held down by two other men – with pink Champagne surely one is halfway there? And anyway, what about…

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Classic Champagne Cocktails with a Modern Twist

By Bernard Barbuk / 28th September 2017

Creating original sparkling cocktails, especially with Champagne, is notoriously difficult. That’s why there are so few of them, with the Classics a tiny group of museum-pieces: the Champagne Cocktail itself, mid 19th century; Buck’s Fizz, 1919; Alfonso, 1922; Bellini – arguably a rehash of the Buck’s anyway – 1945. There are two good reasons why…

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Sparkling Cocktails with Caviar

By Bernard Barbuk / 4th July 2017

Fact: dry or sweet, still or sparkling, classic cocktails work with just about every kind of food, because the spirit base cleans the palate. But it is also a fact that the number of classic cocktails that sparkle is small and the number that are slate or gunmetal coloured miniscule. Which discouraging thoughts occurred to…

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A Snowball’s Chance

By Bernard Barbuk / 12th May 2017

Putting eggs in any shape or form into sparkling cocktails isn’t the most obvious thing to do. The bubbles turn to froth. The result is opaque. The bubbly’s acidity is muted. Additional coloured ingredients tend to produce something resembling ditch water. All the same, eggs-and-bubbly mixes, though always rarities, do have a history. They are…

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Bubbles of Colour

By Bernard Barbuk / 4th April 2017

Time to open up the bubbly and let the spectrum in. There are old stories of Champagne in rainbow colours. Not that any was ever so bottled, just served that way. How did they manage it? By putting a bit of coloured stuff in the glass of course. The tales date from the Naughties of…

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Frozen Angel

By Bernard Barbuk / 22nd March 2017

Champagne…Brandy… Curacao…Maraschino…and – ice cream! Where on the cocktailing earth can we be? Deep within Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book of 1930, that’s where! The recipe in question is the oddly named Soyer-au-Champagne. No ice used at all. A sort of cross between a Champagne cup and an ice cream soda. Well, yum yum! Obviously…

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Bubble Reputations

By Bernard Barbuk / 17th March 2017

Sparkling cocktails are Fun. But that doesn’t mean they’re trivial. The difference between a sparkling cocktail and a Champagne Cocktail is that in sparklers the bubbly is an addition to the drink not its base. It doesn’t have to taste of it. If you think that means the bubbly is there just to turn a…

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