Eugene Weekly : Coverstory : 5.21.2009

Uncorked 2009

Wine, Food, Sun Pony up for pinot

A Memorable Memorial Day Lane County destinations

Taking Flight Jumping headfirst into the world of wine

Tiny Bubbles Pretty Pages, Prettier Drinks

Passion for Pinot Homegrown Voyages

Too Rich for Our Blood? Our wine man revels in recession-proof pricing


Pretty Pages, Prettier Drinks

As a person totally susceptible to the “small things = cute” rule of thumb, I admit to a bit of oohing and aahing at the arrival of Tiny Bubbles: Fizzy Cocktails for Every Occasion, Using Champagne, Prosecco, and Other Sparkling Wines (Chronicle Books, 2008, $14.95). The subtitle is far from small, but the book itself is a petite, lovely thing, its barely 100 pages full of tempting recipes for classic and “new classic” sparkling cocktails, a few mocktails and even a few snacks that incorporate one kind of bubbles of another into their making. The book’s author, Kate Simon, is a Portlander and an editor at Imbibe magazine; the drinks she includes range from those first made in the 1920s to those whipped up by bartenders in New York and Seattle to one she created for Imbibe’s first birthday. Simon begins with the Champagne cocktail, a simple mix of bitters, sugar, Champagne and a twist of  lemon, and ends the alcoholic section with a punch made with sparkling sake, melon balls and lychee (among other ingredients). For a person with a small, spare home bar, many of the drinks will require a quick trip to the store (liquor or otherwise) though those with more elaborate home stashes can probably jump right in. Simon’s accompanying appetizer recipes are largely full of fresh, bright flavors; the photo of an avocado, roasted beet and grapefruit salad is enough to start my mouth watering on its own. As Simon notes, opening a bottle of Champagne can turn any gathering into a celebration. Combining Tiny Bubbles with that popping cork might just make it into a surprise, too: Champagne cocktails aren’t in everyone’s drink repertoire yet, but with inspiration as pretty as this, they may be there soon. — Molly Templeton