Create a Rhubarb-Champagne Beverage

Make a punch, classy cocktail or sip rhubarb-champagne by itself. And mind your champagne-etiquette.

Make your own champagne out of rhubarb and you may just be creating what was the intended way of thinking in the first place.

Read on for some interesting champagne facts.

Champagne is a sparkling wine, which has always been produced in the region of "Champagne" in France. This is where the name actually comes from.

Champagne France Village

Many other countries who produce sparkling wines limit the use of the word "champagne" to only those that come from the french region. Under certain circumstances, the name is exclusive only to those who produce it. The laws on this subject and all it entails are quite detailed.

Contrary to popular belief, champagne was not invented by the french monk Dom-Perignon, though he did develop many improvements throughout the production process.

Champagne is made by a second fermentation of wine using more sugar, but this had already been done years prior by an English Scientist named Christopher Merrett. He was also a prominent Physician in his time.

Many believe that champagne was created by a fluke. Interestingly enough, many believe that the first champagnes were created using rhubarb.

How about that?

This apparently stopped though because of the excessive costs.



4 cups finely chopped rhubarb
4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 lemon finely sliced
25 cups water

Combine all ingredients and let stand in a pail for at least 2 full days. Strain out fruit and residue and bottle.

This is meant to be consumed reasonably soon, as the mixture could become quite pressurized over too much time.

Things have changed since the days of Dom Perignon. The tastes have shifted back and forth from sweet and dry depending upon preferences.

What has always remained constant though, is that champagne has been always held in the highest esteem, kind of the way meads were. Champagnes were always an important part of religious and royal ceremonies. To serve champagne meant demonstrating the seriousness and importance of the occasion.

As time went on, champagne became even more associated with wealth, power, high-society, and the upper-class. It represented luxury and social status. At least, this is what was strived for during the 1800's by way of advertising and promotion by affluent spokesmen.

To a huge degree, this idea still thrives today in modern society. Look how champagne is served in our own special celebrations.

People throw champagne receptions and luncheons.

A common custom is to spray your teammates with it after winning a sporting event. Hopefully there is enough left to drink!

It is specifically served to toast at special occasions such as weddings or baptisms. It is even used to launch ships by way of smashing a bottle over the hull. (You know that if the bottle doesn't break, that is considered bad luck!)

If you want to do it exactly right, there is some champagne-etiquette to learn and follow as well.

Serve your rhubarb-champagne in a tall fluted glass, or taste-test it in a Bordeaux wineglass before serving. Follow the traditions of some, and serve it with strawberries to enhance the flavour. Follow another tradition, and bring out the flavour by adding a little liqueur.

Always hold your glass by the stem, never by the body of the glass itself.

Most importantly, never fill a glass more than 2/3 full.
This is just not done!



Rhubarb Mix

1/2 pint strawberries
1 tsp. white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Lime juice to taste
2 or 3 rhubarb stalks

Combine the above ingredients except the lime. Boil down in a saucepan over low heat in a saucepan to make a puree. Don't forget to clean the strawberries, and remove any bad spots on the rhubarb.

Add lime to the cooled mixture, and refrigerate in an airtight container.

The Cocktail

4 oz. rhubarb puree
4 oz. cointreau-champagne

In a fluted glass, begin with some rhubarb mix. Add a dash of cointreau, and fill the remainder of the glass with champagne.

Garnish with a strawberry or lime slice.

Don't be afraid of the champagne bottle. Just watch the video.

Champagne-etiquette also calls for it to be served well chilled, but the bottle should not be returned to the ice-bucket. The flavour gets better as it begins to warm.

Interesting little facts to know about the proper way to drink any champagne.

There are many ways to enjoy rhubarb and champagne. How about a rhubarb punch?


3 1/2 cups diced rhubarb
3/4 cup white sugar
3 1/2 cups water

Combine the above ingredients in a saucepan, and cook down over low heat until the rhubarb is tender. Remove from heat, and refrigerate.

When ready to make punch, pour into a blender and make a puree. To this add:

4 tblsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 cups of pineapple juice
2 cups champagne

Serve in a fluted glass over crushed ice, and garnish with a lemon wedge.

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