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Champagne December, The First Seven Days: I’m Not Hiccuping. You’re Hiccuping.

Pictured: Moet @Chandon Imperial Champagne label, with glass of champagne in background

This blog is intended for adults, so please always Hermit Safely.

Descend with me, into a journey of the outrageous: an entire month devoted to champagne. Welcome to Champagne December. This was my first seven days.

The Goal

While I was not required to enjoy champagne every single day, I realized my curiosity over different champagnes and my excitement to mix my favorite champagne cocktails meant I did indeed end up having champagne every day during the first week. Go big or go home, I suppose.

Shut up liver, you’re fine

The Research

I spent quite a bit of time researching champagne for this expedition. Online. In liquor stores. Contemplating a dozen bottles of sparkling, I watched patient liquor clerks evolve from suspicious to exasperated as I hovered near shelves, comparing labels. I asked questions over French regions that left store owners’ eyes crossed. Still, I made sure to buy a bottle in each store even if I didn’t find what I wanted, to ensure their time and labor was not in vain.

The Stock

I quickly filled the rather modest liquor cabinet I owned, as I calculated just how much champagne it would require to consume it as casually as Coors Light, my goal for the month. I began to stack it atop bookshelves, and in the fridge. When I finished, I realized I truly only had enough to last a little over halfway through the month.

Once while driving, I felt something warm in my pocket and, assuming it was my phone, realized it was my wallet. Thinking of the sheer quantity of champagne I’d purchased so far, I burst out laughing and laughed all the way home.

The First Days: When Bad Champagne Happens to Good People

It happens. Despite the best research and with the best champagne diversification, you’re bound to end up with a label you don’t like. Still, there will be no naming names, here. I will not drag labels. One man’s poison is another man’s… well.

I recall one of the summers I spent at my Granny’s house, as a child. Being the astutely frugal woman life demanded, she dictated that all outfits must be worn at least twice, before qualifying for the wash. However, I was not the brightest child in those days, and slightly spoiled. I wore each outfit two days in a row, mourning the indecency to any who would listen. It never once occurred to me that I could set each outfit aside and return to it later, after wearing other clothes.

The first few days of Champagne December were like this.

Once I realized that one of the brands I’d stocked wouldn’t work for me, I grew determined to prove my versatility. After all, lackluster champagne is easily rolled into many decent champagne cocktails. I actually wouldn’t recommend wasting good champagne on these cocktails. Thus, I focused my efforts on making good use of bad champagne, and drank it exclusively in the form of cocktails.

However, my enthusiasm for the craft of vintage champagne cocktails, such as Death in the Afternoon‘s, Gloria Swanson’s, and French 75’s, along with a rather dismal champagne to launch the month, nearly did me in. I had some true Groundhog’s Day moments, as the one-two punch of stiff champagne cocktails throwing my nights into disarray, combined with the promise of more bland champagne the next day, left me sighing into my pillow each morning.

via GIPHY

The way out is through. I finally realized the futility of giving my time to a champagne that didn’t agree with me. I then had a few theories to test, such as:

How Much Champagne is Too Much In One Night?

Look, folks. As an ex-sailor, I’ve taken out life insurance on my liver long ago. With a rather strong tolerance, I was curious to see if one full bottle of champagne was still enough to do me in as easily as it had a several years before. A full bottle was previously reserved for lazy weekends, where a well-timed nap helped stretched a bottle throughout the day.

The answer is, yes. Not because my tolerance had went through the floor, but via the old adage drilled into me during culinary school and bartending certification – yes, carbonation does indeed speed up the digestive absorption of alcohol. This means in general, a full bottle of champagne can have you walking sideways, whereas several stiff martinis might not. Lesson learned, battle lost.

via GIPHY

So how do you overcome this, if you’re not sharing a bottle with a friend every night, or enjoying individual glasses on the town? With some damn good champagne stoppers, to help preserve your bounty.

Finding My Footing

After ditching the marathon cocktails and the bottle experiment, I took a break by enjoying some of my favorite label. Effervescent and crisp, light and wonderful, it reminded me of what I’d originally embarked upon – sensual enjoyment of one of my favorite beverages as a way of living my best damn life. It’s the end of 2017, afterall. Though it may not seem that way, we’ve survived a lot.

Live your best damn lives, people. I’ll see you next week.

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