One of the best parts of New Year's Eve is the Champagne...
To make French 75s with!No. Although those are delicious, Esquire's David Wondrich describes them as "a hot-rails-to-hell spree drink". While I'm sure there are a few who would disagree with me, I think that the point is to make New Year's Eve memories, not New Year's blackouts.
Mmmmm... French 75s....No! No, this post is about straight champagne. Or more to the point, opening champagne. If you don't know what you are doing, you can put someone's eye out with that cork. Or you could spill your, um, swill upon the ground like Elvis up there. I have a few suggestions for opening your bottle. Many of you may have seen this video from my hero Alton Brown about opening your chapagne. It is a simple and easy process! So, for that method, you just need cold champagne and a cavalry saber... Um... even I don't have a cavalry saber! I'll have to see about fixing that for next year. Watch this space. Also, you still are opening the bottle close to your face, so if you get it wrong, spray is still an issue. So my real offering this New Year is this video, because when you open your champagne bottle with a .50 caliber sniper rifle, you can certainly manage to be out of range of any minor spray that may result! See! Foolproof!
If you have a stone cold sober sniper. ...and a fitty cal. ...and several backup bottles of Cristal!OK. True, cavalry sabers and sniper rifles might be considered somewhat dangerous elements to add to your drunken revelry. Just remember, neither is as dangerous as what the guests have out in the parking lot. I'll finish with a single piece of sensible advice, because I ought to dispense such at least once a year, and this is my last chance. Opening champagne is really simple to do with no mess at all.
- Keep your bubbly chilled and unshaken. If it is disturbed enough to "help" the cork come out, you are going to loose half the liquid when it follows the cork out the neck upon opening.
- Hold the bottle upright and gently remove the wire.
- Always keep the neck pointed at a light fixture-free section of the ceiling.
- Grab the cork in your fist from the side, not the top.
- Gently but firmly rotate the cork in the neck of the bottle. The key to removing a champagne cork is rotation, not bending or pushing!
- Do this slowly back and forth and the cork will slowly start to ease its way out. When it starts to come out, don't get excited and pull harder. Just hold it firmly until it works its way loose.