Champagne may be the New Year’s drink of choice, but what if you could recreate it and turn it into something even more festive? The Walker Inn team in Los Angeles took on the challenge of crafting a signature cocktail that mimics champagne to ring in 2016.
Currently one of the hottest new spots in LA, The Walker Inn is an intimate, reservations-only bar hidden away behind a secret door in The Normandie Club that boasts a seasonal tasting menu and an omakase menu. With research and experimentation at the core of what drives the team, their process often entails working backwards and collectively expanding their concepts into something much more special than what they start out with.
Lead bartender Katie Emmerson, explains that fortified wines and blanche armagnac are combined to recall the flavor of champagne grapes, followed by sugar cane syrup and verjus to round out the flavors and textures. To finish, she then adds notes of squash blossoms and a limestone mist, which impart the aromas and extra dimension found in the team’s favorite champagne.
The Walker Inn will serve their special New Year’s Eve “Champagne” throughout the evening, but home bartenders can also try this recipe at home and see what you think!
The Walker Inn’s New Year’s “Champagne”
Yield: 1 serving
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1 oz La Gitana Manzanilla Sherry
½ oz Toasted Squash Blossom Blanche Armagnac
1 tsp Medlock Ames Verjus Blanc
1 tsp cane sugar
2 oz filtered water
Prepare ahead: Toast the squash blossoms in an oven at 350ºF for 10 minutes, or until they become slightly aromatic. Remove and blend with Blanche Armagnac. Spin the squash blossoms in a centrifuge at 4500rpm for 10 minutes.
Grind the limestone into a powder and combine with water. Transfer tincture to a Rotovap and distill.
Method: Combine all ingredients in an iSi canister (or using your preferred carbonating method) and allow to chill overnight in the refrigerator.
Serve in a champagne flute and garnish top of glass with mist of limestone tincture.