Meet Me in Montauk
This simple mashup of a French 75 and Mimosa showcases clementine juice, which I would argue pairs even better with Champagne than orange juice. Clementines are a hybrid of a mandarin and sweet orange and known for their sweet, non-acidic juice and bright, floral aromatics.
This drink has a been a staple on Clover Club’s menu for the last few years, particularly, as you might imagine, at brunch. The name is a reference to the 2004 film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, one of the best movies of that decade in my opinion. One of the lead characters is named Clementine (masterfully played by Kate Winslet), and “meet me in Montauk” is a pivotal, and heartbreaking, quote towards the end.
The Yellow Chartreuse definitely kicks things up a notch, but if you don’t have it in stock, just forge onward without. Clementine and bubbles are the headliners. In fact, if those are all you have, that'll be darn tasty too.
¾ oz gin
¾ oz clementine juice
½ oz lemon juice
¼ oz Yellow Chartreuse
2 (ish) oz Brut Champagne, or dry sparkling wine
lemon peel for garnish
Combine ingredients, except Champagne, in a shaker. Fill with ice, shake and strain into a flute, top with Champagne. Express the oils from the lemon peel, and garnish.
My Christmas Morning Cocktail
As I said above, this is primetime brunch drink. Though I have a personal occasion I specifically reserve it for, Christmas morning. I know, gin for breakfast? Allow me to explain.
When I was growing up, every year for Christmas breakfast my dad would make us a feast of eggs benedict, a tradition my parents still carry on today and one I hope to start with my own family once I’m confident my girls (they are 4, 3 and 8 months) won’t turn their nose up at it.
The meal would take place after the stockings had been emptied but before we descended on the presents. I came to revel in this interlude almost as much as the gifts themselves. My memories of us all being around the table during this time, my two sisters and I bursting with excitement and anticipation, are some of the happiest memories of my childhood.
Where does booze fit in you ask? Well, once we became what my parents deemed an appropriate age, Champagne and mimosas we’re added into the equation (I probably I started getting sips and half glasses sometime during high school). Once I got older, mimosas would give way to straight Champagne after breakfast, which would continue to flow throughout the day. Of course, being a parent myself now, I can’t sustain such indulgences, though I still partake in moderation.
Another childhood fixture at my house this time of year was clementines (their peak season is October to December), which to us were little citrus miracles. Sweet as candy, no seeds, easy to peel, with no little to no pith left behind? Keep ‘em coming! We used to blow through boxes them, and one would usually be and the foot of each of our Christmas stockings.
So I always shake up a round of Meet me in Montauks on the morning of December the 25th because it evokes and ties together my favorite elements of the holidays: celebrating, family, and cocktails during the daytime.