We went to a lovely Italian picnic on Thursday night. The food was great, the cocktail being served was truly delicious, the company was great, and the backyard was stellar. I went home inspired.
I love a good cocktail. And at this Italian picnic on Thursday I fell in love with a new one. Meet Limoncello Champagne Cocktails with Mint.
Think mint-infused limoncello over a good pile of ice, doused with a perfect amount of fresh lemon juice, and then topped with champagne. I mean, really, could it get any better? I don’t think so.
So, I thought about this cocktail all day on Friday as I plugged away at work. I decided I must have it again. Last night.
And with a fabulous cocktail, you need fabulous food. And that’s where Surdyk’s came into the picture. My fellow foodie friends W & B gave me a Surdyk’s gift card for my birthday that has been burning a hole in my pocket. This cocktail felt like the perfect opportunity to use it.
You all know how much I love Surdyk’s Flights at MSP. Well, I love Surdyk’s Cheese Shop even more. There is something about all sorts of amazing cheeses wrapped in perfect white paper that speaks to me in a big way. And if that isn’t perfect enough on its own, there are so many other tasty vittles in that little shop. I can barely stand it.
I walked in there so excited last night. I had a generous gift card to blow. I could be completely over the top and not feel one tiny bit of guilt.
I immediately grabbed a Rustica baguette and then made my way to the cheese counter. My rule at Surdyk’s is to let them pick the cheese. I always do this and have never been disappointed. After leaving with my 3 fabulous cheeses all wrapped up, I snagged a salami that they had been sampling, some Nicoise olives, some quince paste, and a bag of my favorite cookies in town: the chocolate cookies from Rustica. That they sell in bags of 6 at Surdyk’s. Oh, lord.
I came home and started pulling out my marble cheese board, bowls, and plates for all these tasty treats. I pulled out the rainbow carrot pickles I had made earlier in the week as an accompaniment.
And then got to work on my cocktail. I got out our favorite glasses. Squeezed the lemon juice. Blended the mint in with the limoncello and lemon rind. Popped the bottle of champagne (and watched it explode all over the counter). And somehow didn't care about the mess I had just made.
I had my minty lemon-y bubbly cocoction, and I was happy. It was the perfect way to end start off the weekend.
Limoncello Champagne Cocktails with Mint, adapted very slightly from Epicurious.com
1/4 c mint leaves
1/4 c limoncello
2 tbsp sugar
Lemon peel from 1 lemon
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
Place limoncello, mint, sugar, and lemon peel in blender. Blend until mint leaves are very finely chopped. Strain through fine mesh sieve. Divide mixture into 2 glasses filled with ice. Add 2 tsp fresh lemon juice to each glass. Top each glass with champagne, and serve.