Guest article by Amanda Tatom
The pop of the cork is music to my ears. The effervescent sparkle and dancing of those tiny bubbles in my flute is like holding a handful of magic.
I believe Champagne is appropriate for any occasion, not just the big celebrations in life. Though I love it on its own, it is also absolutely delightful when invited to perform in a cocktail. As you can imagine, the research for this article was really tough on me (wink, wink). But for The Austinot, Studio 512 and all of you, I powered through.
Let’s pop the cork on five of my favorite Champagne cocktails in Austin. Hopefully after you follow in my footsteps, you’ll have a better understanding of why I’m bonkers for bubbles. Cheers!
#1 The Manmosa at Banger’s Sausage and Beer House
What’s a Champagne drink doing at a place with sausage and beer in its name? Being the biggest, baddest batch of bubbles the world has ever seen on a Sunday morning, that’s what! The Manmosa is a huge and heavy mug (I had to use two hands), filled with a liter of Champagne and a little bit of orange juice. Excellent ratios. It’s funny and awesome, and I think I want it to be my date every Sunday morning.
The giddiness I feel when drinking it is only enhanced when The Urban Achievements Brass Band cranks up Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle.” Here’s my experience in a nutshell: people of all kinds sitting at picnic tables; dogs of all kinds scampering about; humongous beer mugs filled with Champagne and orange juice and horns playing a song about a big fat butt. Best Sunday morning ever.
79 Rainey St. – Website
#2 The Chloe at Proof and Cooper
The rugged and cool vibe at this establishment might not seem like the place for a delicate little drink, but it fits. Think of Proof and Cooper as the solid, but friendly, bulldog and The Chloe as his poodle girlfriend.
This cocktail is absolutely charming–the darling of the drink menu. Light and refreshing and served in a classic coupe, the fluffy foam on top is the perfect prelude to every lemony, delicious drop. If I could drink a cloud on a sunny Hill Country day, I’m pretty sure it would taste like this.
18710 Hamilton Pool Road, Dripping Springs, TX – Website
#3 Frozen Peach Bellini at South Congress Cafe
This is what happens to a Slurpee when she gets her roots done, has a facial and makes an appointment with the glam squad (and to be clear, I love me some cherry Slurpee, but we’re talking Champagne here, people).
The sweet slushiness topped with chilled bubbles is perfection. It’s not just a cocktail; it’s a treat. It’s luminous, bright and familiar, but fresh, and South Congress Cafe does it so well.
As a lovely accompaniment to a light lunch (unless I’m ordering everything on the menu) or perhaps a grown-up version of dessert, the Bellini here is juuuust riiiight. It’s classic in a glass, and that’s always an excellent choice.
1600 S. Congress Ave. – Website
#4 The Katie Mae at Rhino Room
Here’s the situation: a sweet name for a sublime drink in a supreme bar. The Katie Mae is vodka, St. Germain, grapefruit juice and Champagne. Love. She’s served in a chilled martini glass that’s almost overflowing, so sip carefully as to avoid losing one precious drop.
Then look around. It’s dark and cozy. Candles flicker. The playlist is perfect. Rhino Room isn’t just a bar; it’s a feeling. And you’re here with the perfect girl. Her name is Katie Mae. This could definitely become a thing.
1012 E. 6th St. – Website
#5 The New and Improved at The Roosevelt Room
So let’s be honest. Justin Lavenue could pour Champagne in a pothole on the street and I would drink it.
And it would be fabulous. Because that’s just what he does: creates fabulous-ness. In addition to Champagne, The New and Improved also incorporates Bombay Sapphire Gin and the end result shines bright like a diamond.
Have you been to The Roosevelt Room? The lighting alone is out of this world (under-lit bar = Hello, Gorgeous!) But every drink is a little masterpiece. Justin happened to make The New and Improved for me on the set while we were shooting a segment for Studio 512. Such a delightful treat! But no matter where you enjoy it, this drink could only be described like the man who makes it: impeccably crisp and the definition of good taste.
307 W. 5th St. – Website
@theAustinot wants to know:
What are your favorite Champagne cocktails in Austin?
Amanda Tatom is the host of Austin lifestyle show Studio 512, weekdays at 12:30 p.m. on KXAN. When she isn’t deciding which shoes to wear, she is thoroughly entertained by her three daughters and endlessly, but joyfully, trying to find balance between home and career. She seriously loves her job because it never allows her to take herself too seriously. Seriously.
The New and Improved image is courtesy of Dennis Gobis.