December 1, 2016 14

Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail + scenes from the sonoran desert!

Refined sugar-free, turmeric spiked champagne cocktail.

Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail | A turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper elixir lightly sweetened with maple syrup + topped w/ bubbles for a champagne cocktail called, Golden Bubbles.

Vast and unrelenting.

Expansive and barren.

A dangerous and unforgiving beauty.

The desert calls my name.

Again, and again.

#thedesertismyspiritanimal.

Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail | A turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper elixir lightly sweetened with maple syrup + topped w/ bubbles for a champagne cocktail called, Golden Bubbles.

Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail | A turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper elixir lightly sweetened with maple syrup + topped w/ bubbles for a champagne cocktail called, Golden Bubbles.

Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail | A turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper elixir lightly sweetened with maple syrup + topped w/ bubbles for a champagne cocktail called, Golden Bubbles.

Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail | A turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper elixir lightly sweetened with maple syrup + topped w/ bubbles for a champagne cocktail called, Golden Bubbles.

Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail | A turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper elixir lightly sweetened with maple syrup + topped w/ bubbles for a champagne cocktail called, Golden Bubbles.

I was 23. He was 32. And despite our nine year age gap we had a few things in common. Really though, just a few. When I met Chris in Denver in 2006 I kinda new right from the beginning that he was going to be my husband. We were both originally from New York. Lost in our own free-spirited worlds, feeling deeply.

And, we both loved the desert.

I’ve traveled through the desert a lot. Each trip is equally memorable but a few have been life-changing. And I don’t use this term, loosely. The first was our trek through Joshua Tree. And then our last, through the Sonoran Desert. An unearthly slice of heaven in the southern corner of Arizona. The land of the saguaro. The tall, gentle, ancient, wise one.

If you love the desert, travel there.

If you’ve never been to the desert, start there.

But either way definitely make this champagne cocktail. Like the desert, it’s bright and earthy. It starts with a simple simmer of turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper. Lightly sweetened with maple syrup {or honey}. And then topped off with bubbles. The mellow, golden elixir grounds the airy, tart effervescence. It’s a glass of sunshine. A wonderful winter pick-me-up and holiday imbibe.

Also, there are airplanes in this desert. Giant, unoccupied, shells of past lives. If your partner in life eats/sleeps/breathes airplanes, then you probably already have this destination on your short list. Take water. Take snacks. Wear sunscreen. Enjoy.

It often occurs that pride and selfishness are muddled with strength and independence.
They are neither equal nor similar.
In fact, they are polar opposites.
A coward may be so cowardly that they mask their weakness with false personification of power.
They are afraid to love and to be loved.
Because love strips bare all emotional barricades.
Without love, strength and independence are prone to losing every bit of their worth.
They become fearful, and intimidated.
An empty tent lost somewhere in the desert of one’s self.

– Criss Jami

Sonoran Desert, Tucson AZ | Home of the ancient, wise saguaro cacti.

Sonoran Desert, Tucson AZ | Home of the ancient, wise saguaro cacti.

Sonoran Desert, Tucson AZ | Home of the ancient, wise saguaro cacti.

Sonoran Desert, Tucson AZ | Home of the ancient, wise saguaro cacti.

Sonoran Desert, Tucson AZ | Home of the ancient, wise saguaro cacti.

Sonoran Desert, Tucson AZ | Home of the ancient, wise saguaro cacti.

Sonoran Desert, Tucson AZ | Home of the ancient, wise saguaro cacti.

Sonoran Desert, Tucson AZ | Home of the ancient, wise saguaro cacti.

Sonoran Desert, Tucson AZ | Home of the ancient, wise saguaro cacti.

Sonoran Desert, Tucson AZ | Home of the ancient, wise saguaro cacti.

Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Serves 1½ cups elixir     adjust servings

I have not tried making this with dried ingredients, although you could adapt it to fit pantry staples. Any champagne, prosescco or bubbly will work beautifully. It pairs well with sparkling water also for a drink sans booze. This yield 1½ cups golden elixir, enough to make approximately 12 drinks.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup fresh turmeric, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh ginger, sliced
  • 4 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • champagne or prosecco

Instructions

  1. Combine the water, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper in a small sauce pot over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 - 30 minutes. The longer it cooks, the stronger the flavor.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely. Then add in your desired amount of maple syrup. Start with ¼ cup and build from there up to ½ cup.
  3. To assemble the cocktail, combine 1 part elixir to 3 parts champagne. Spoon the elixir in the bottom of the glass or flute and top with bubbles.
  4. Enjoy responsibly.

14 Responses to "Golden Bubbles Champagne Cocktail + scenes from the sonoran desert!"

  1. Reply

    Kati | black.white.vivid.

    December 2, 2016 at 4:12 AM

    Oh, I love this recipe. Such a great idea and the perfect drink for our Christmas party we are hosting this weekend. Also, your photos of your desert trip are beautiful. x Kati

  2. Reply

    Karlie

    December 2, 2016 at 6:26 AM

    Beautiful words. Will be trying this recipe!

    • Reply

      Sherrie

      December 12, 2016 at 1:48 PM

      Let me know what you think, Karlie! xx

  3. Reply

    Jessie Snyder

    December 2, 2016 at 3:19 PM

    Speaking to my desert heart here girl. And this drink sounds like it would blow my flavor mind. Hope you two are enjoying all the wine and good cheese in Italy now friend, you deserve some r & r! xo

  4. Reply

    amanda paa

    December 3, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    Your writing is killer. I feel like I can envision the magic you feel when in the desert, but can’t because I haven’t been. I think it would be an enlightening experience for me, and i’m putting it on my fall 2017 list {you’re invited, lol}. I like to think it would help settle my soul in a way I haven’t felt before. And I absolutely love seeing the pictures of both you and Chris. A boy and his airplanes…

    And this cocktail, well pure genius. I know there will be a lot of this floating around on New Year’s eve. They remind me a little of our opening cocktails at the retreat, their vividness. All the love, xo.

  5. Reply

    Anne

    December 4, 2016 at 7:20 PM

    Beautiful words. Thoughtful story. Gorgeous pictures. Genius recipe! Must I say more?

  6. Reply

    Christine // my natural kitchen

    December 5, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    Beautiful words about the desert and its magic. I’ve never been but I’m hoping to this coming year! I so love this cocktail idea too and that golden syrup is most definitely happening in my kitchen this holiday, both for champagne and sparkling water like you’ve suggested – both sound so good!

  7. Reply

    Julia @ HappyFoods Tube

    December 5, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    Beautiful photos! Love these cocktails, I bet they taste amazing!

  8. Reply

    Aysegul Sanford

    December 6, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    That desert and those photos… I remember feeling in similar ways when I visited the Grand Canyon many years ago. Truly breathtaking. I love that you shared some of your own photos in this post Sherrie. It makes it so personable and interesting to see the person behind this lovely website.
    And that champagne cocktail… All kinds of goodness is in there. I am pinning it to try as soon as I can get my hands on some fresh turmeric.
    Cheers and happy holidays my dear friend. <3

  9. Reply

    Jayme | holly & flora

    December 7, 2016 at 10:31 PM

    I will always share fond memories there in the Sonoran Desert, for that’s where Steve and I celebrated our engagement this past year. I foolishly waited until the sun set to lie down on the desert floor, in order to look at the bright stars and drifting satellites. I’m just happy that a desert snake didn’t make its way over to me. I think a revisit is on the books for us this February. A kind of engagement anniversary. And I LOVE this fiery, spicy concoction of yours. Warming and enlivening at the same time. Hugs your way, lady, as you travel back home.

  10. Reply

    Brooke @ Chocolate + Marrow

    December 8, 2016 at 11:54 AM

    Gosh these photos are just stunning, Sherrie! Felt like I was right there with you. Love that the desert is your spirit place (mine is snowy mountains) and that your partner shares that with you. Hoping you two have a beautiful December filled with these oh-so sunshiney yet wintery cocktails. <3 <3 <3

  11. Reply

    Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

    December 9, 2016 at 1:33 PM

    These images and the cocktail together are too much, Sherrie! And I meant that in an awesome way. Those airplanes! Gah, I am swooning. Super cool and spooky. And the light! I have to go.

  12. Reply

    Sarah @ Snixy Kitchen

    December 12, 2016 at 3:05 AM

    Wow – this wasn’t on my list of places to visit until now. If only for your stunning photos! Also in love with these bubbles:)

  13. Reply

    alana

    December 12, 2016 at 4:16 PM

    Ahhhh! I’ve never had the desire to visit the Sonoran Desert ’til now. And now, yes. Please. Also, so many hugs and heart eyes for these photos of you and the hubz and your desert loving souls. xoxoxoxoxo

    Oh and duh, almost forgot, this champagne cocktail, yes yes yes.

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With Food + Love © 2016 | All photos + words belong to Sherrie Castellano -- they cannot be used or distributed without permission.
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