Today I would like to present a cocktail and a matching champagne here. In the past, I have already blogged about a few champagne cocktails and in that course, I have also always written about the problem of using champagne as a cocktail ingredient at home. And of course, as a home bartender you are always faced with the question of whether it really has to be a champagne and whether you will really use up the bottle in the short time that is available. (provided test product)*
Those who work in a bar, on the other hand, don’t have to confront themselves with these questions that much, but today I would also like to stand up for champagne as a cocktail ingredient – but of course also as a drink in itself – at home. But first things first.
The Old Cuban is a cocktail which – when having a look on its overall composition, its name and its considerable reputation – suggests that it belongs to the established classics of the 20th or even 19th century. In fact, however, it wasn’t until 2002 that Audrey Saunders, a quite influential barmaid to whom we owe for example the restage of the Pegu Club Cocktail or the Gin Gin Mule, invented the drink and made it popular. The Old Cuban is a kind of noble mojito that combines mature Cuban rum, lime, mint, bitters and champagne. Mostly a blanc champagne is used when preparing the drink, but today I opted for a rosé champagne, a very beautiful rosé, whose fruit, berry and vanilla tones harmonize wonderfully with the mint and the Cuban rum. I’m talking about the Perrier Jouët Blason Rosé.
The Perrier Jouët Blason Rosé was made from wines from the Aÿ and Vincelles regions. It is a cuvée (made only from the first pressing) of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes, of which Pinot Noir build up 50% (with 25% of the other two varieties). It was allowed to mature for at least 3 years, before finally the typical dosage was applied (10g of sugar per litre). It has an ABV of 12,5% vol.
Aroma: The Perrier Jouët Blason Rosé shows very nice berry and fruit tones of raspberry, strawberry and cherry, in addition a fine vanilla, honey notes and cane sugar caramelized in butter. It leaves a floral and rather vinous overall impression.
Taste: Fruits also play a prominent role here: apricot, vineyard peach, again vanilla but also raspberry and strawberry. Associations of older balsamic vinegar and mineral grape must lead to a stable acidity, which underlines the vinous charactger. A beautiful and fine carbonization and a delicate melting make this champagne very pleasing – I have already tasted much less appealing representatives.
Finish: dry with vinous fruit
It is precisely this specific character that has the potential to transform a regular Old Cuban into a truly unique one. The fruity and winy element of the Perrier Jouët Blason Rosé really works well here in a perhaps unexpected way, which I really can only recommend for imitation. Of course, a cheaper Crémant may also work here, but it is precisely this particular elegance of flavours that makes good champagne so difficult to replace. Not to mention its noble and sophisticated nimbus. If you have guests and the occasion is festive, you probably should go for a nice champagne also at home. Moreover, the Perrier Jouët Blason Rosé is such a nice one, no question – and it bestows a certain specialness upon any Old Cuban you’ll make with it.
Recipe “Old Cuban”:
4.5 cl matured Cuban rum (I used the Havana Club 7 YO)
2 cl lime juice
3 cl sugar syrup
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
6-8 leaves of mint (a small handful)
approx. 6 cl Perrier Jouët Blason Rosé Champagne
Preparation: Add the mint, lime juice and sugar syrup to the shaker and press lightly with the muddler without shredding the mint leaves. Then add rum, bitters and ice and shake vigorously. Finally, double-strain into the pre-chilled glass and float with champagne.
Garnish: mint tip and a vanilla pod in sugar (as they are left over in the production of vanilla sugar)
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online
*The fact that this product has been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.