|Photo from Goodreads.com|
For the cocktail pairing I had to of course use champagne, but I wanted to glam it up and make it pretty for MM. I had seen a champagne cocktail that used a blooming hibiscus flower for garnish and I thought it looked so beautiful, my eye was instantly drawn to it, and that pretty much sums up what Marilyn does to most people, even 51 years from her passing, she still draws the eye in and fascinates us (she passed 51 years ago today on August 5th 1962). I'm calling this one The NJ for Norma Jeane.
6 oz. Champagne (any one you prefer, although Marilyn did like her Dom Pérignon)
A hibiscus flower in rose water syrup
1/3 cup of Granita made from Hibiscus tea and simple syrup
How to: First make the granita. To begin, seep some dried hibiscus blooms in boiling water to make the hibiscus tea (about 1 1/2 cups). Strain the tea and let it completely cool. Mix the tea with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of simple syrup. Pour into a small metal cake or pie pan and freeze until the top layer begins to harden. This takes about two hours. Using a fork, scrape the mixture to break the frozen parts into tiny pieces. Freeze for another 30 minutes and then scrape again. Repeat this process until the granita resembles fluffy shaved ice. This takes about 4 hours in total. To assemble the cocktail, lay about 1/3 of a cup of the granita in your favorite champagne glass. Place a hibiscus flower on top of the granita. Then slowly pour your champagne into the glass. You can use the flower itself or the back of a small spoon to let the champagne slowly roll into the glass so that it floats on top.
|This is the granita the first time out of the freezer|
|After a few times back and forth between scraping and freezing, the granita becomes 'fluffier'|
|Start assembling the cocktail with a bed of granita first|
|Then add the hibiscus flower|
|These flowers are edible, sustainably harvested in Australia and packed in the essence of Bulgarian roses|
|Pour the champagne slowly so that it rolls over the flower and into your cocktail glass|
|The finished champagne cocktail - this one's for you NJ!|