The World's Greatest Sgroppino, 1st Ed.

Folks, O patient folks, cherished blog-reading folks: Mea culpa runneth over.

I am sorry I have not posted in so long. I was busy moving out of the country, then resettling in my new one. The PhoBlograpHusband will be starting his Ph.D. in musicology at McGill University this week (location: sunny Montreal, Canada), which I suppose means that in a few years his proper title will be Ph.D.oBlograPh.D.usband.

Tragically, this life upheaval included a metaphorical man-overboarding of our booze supply, in the literal form of a "Drink Us Out of House and Homeland" farewell party we held for our NYC friends at the end of July. Like most immigration policies, Canada's rules and regs on bringing  booze into the country change with every website you consult and infoline you call, but best we could tell, the first bottle per person is on the house; after that, all subsequent bouteilles are taxed at 100 percent their retail cost. Merde!

We've been slowly replenishing the home supply since then, a process which may or may not have included questionable bootlegging from the States but which has definitely involved making painstaking purchasing decisions at various SAQ stores around town. SAQ stands for Societe des alcools du Quebec, and given the moniker, you'd think it'd be like the Roaring 20s or Parisian cafe society all over again up in this province. A society of alcohol?! Wheeeeee!!!

Alas, the SAQ is a finicky little fusspot, a good-times gestapo that jacks up prices and prizes Jack, seemingly; you're rilly lucky to find a Knob Creek, you're not ever going to find a rye whiskey and I'll just stop typing now before the tears start flowing.

Moving on, then! Beer and wine carry the day here, but we have found a few cocktail bars that rival my stateside faves, about which I'll be blogging in the near future. Meanwhile, the fact that grape-based products are so easy to come by in Montreal was just one factor that prompted me to fashion a bubbly-based cocktail I'm kinda crazy about, the Sgroppino.

The Sgroppino is an Italian concoction that, at its core, is comprised of Prosecco and lemon sorbet. From there, some recipes call for vodka, some for grappa. I've also seen variations that made use of mint leaves, grapefruit flavoring (in the sorbet, if not the liquid ingredients), and either I saw one that also had bitters or I just think bitters would be a no-brainer to include. (Today I even flipped past a recipe that called for heavy cream. Erm, blargh?) With so many variables at play, I've decided to dub the recipe below only a rough (very rough, still delish) draft, or first edition, of the World's Greatest Sgroppino. I'll have a World's Greatest Sgroppino, Final Answer for you soon.

The World's Greatest Sgroppino, 1st Ed.

About 4-5 ounces Prosecco

1 small scoop lemon sorbet

Put the lime in the coconut lemon sorbet in a champagne flute. Top with Prosecco.

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The Bloodsugarsexmagic

I'm not the most romantic gal. I don't need my drink to be pink just because it's Valentine's Day; a well-made Manhattan will always do just fine. (This was confirmed on Friday night, when my husband and I went out for an early V-Day round of rye perfect Manhattans at the original P.J. Clarke's -- specifically so we could gawk at this guy; the hubs has not stopped gushing about his "bartender mancrush" since.)

What I wanted to make for today's cocktail was a concoction that simultaneously embraces and flouts every V-Day cliche on sale at Rite Aid: The pink, the chocolate, the faux-coyness, the girly-girlyness, etc. What I came up with is, in effect, a chocolate and blood orange Bellini. It's quite palatable and easy-downing; it's nothing too rough/jaded/forward but it's still got complexity; and it'll getcha toasted long before you realize just how toasted you are.

I also took lots of silly seX-rated pics, just because it's Valentine's Day. Enjoy!

The Bloodsugarsexmagic

2 ounces light creme de cacao

About 2 ounces prosecco or sparkling white wine

1 1/2 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice

4 dashes Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

Combine creme de cacao, juice and bitters in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. Strain into champagne flute. Top with prosecco.

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