Bar Talk: Scotch and Champagne? Welcome The Blonde Royal
Scotch, Champagne, lemon and honey: The combination sounds simple (and strange), but the outcome is delicious.
The drink is called The Blonde Royale and was created by the folks at The Glenlivet in anticipation of the new Marylin Monroe biopic “Blonde.”
It might seem strange for an historic Scotch whiskey company – legally distilled in the Livet valley of Scotland since 1824 – to craft a cocktail in tribute of an American icon notorious for her love of Champagne, but according to the brand, “the film celebrates breaking walls with unique style and unconventional approach to life,” much like The Glenlivet does.
Reviews on the movie are a mixed bag, with three out of five stars on the movie review website Rotten Tomatoes, headlines stating, “‘Blonde’ Tells a Story of Marilyn Monroe That’s All Pain, No Pleasure,” (Rolling Stone, Sept. 17, 2022),
and “Daring, Exploitative Marilyn Monroe Deconstruction Blonde Is Tough, Spellbinding Watch,” (Paste Magazine, Sept. 16, 2022) and a debut at the 2022 Venice Film Festival that ended in a 14-minute standing ovation.
While I can’t weigh in on the movie quite yet as it’s not available on Netflix until Sept. 23, I can offer my review of The Blonde Royal, along with the reviews of five others whom I made the cocktail for.
The Blonde Royal is essentially a French 75 made with Scotch instead of gin and honey water instead of simple syrup (the slight difference between the two sweeteners being that simple syrup is traditional sugar and water).
The result of this classic cocktail twist is a light and effervescent cocktail with a slight smokiness thanks to the Scotch, which lends a richer, or robust, flavor to an otherwise simple drink.
The Champagne dulls the tartness of the lemon so you get the flavor without too much acidity, and you can control the level of sweetness in this drink based on how much honey you put in the honey water and the type of Champagne (or Cava or Prosecco) you use.
I decided to bring all the fixings for The Blonde Royal to a dinner party to play bartender and get the group’s take on this vibrant and reimagined cocktail. It was a unanimous hit, with multiple rounds consumed.
At first, people were a little unsure about the combination of The Glenlivet and Champagne, unconvinced that the two alcohols needed to be paired together. But I followed the recipe almost to a T, my diversions being we didn’t have flutes, so I used not-chilled rocks glasses and one Collins glass — and in one round I used Cava while in another Champagne. Either way, one uncertain sip quickly morphed into another, more enthusiastic, sip.
The reviews came rolling in; here are what some at the unsuspecting dinner party had to say:
“When I heard Champagne and Scotch, I wasn’t sure, but that’s good.”
“I’ll be drinking those all night.”
“I don’t usually like Scotch, but you can’t really taste it. I like it. This is good.”
Plus, one guest had a slight recipe revision recommendation if you want to make it more of a summer cocktail in a larger format, like an Aperol Spritz: “It doesn’t need ice, but you could add crushed ice and make it more fizzy to create more of a spritzer.”
With good flavor, simple instructions and no special bar tools or unique ingredients required, I’ll be adding The Blonde Royal to my at-home — or contribution to a dinner party — cocktail rotation.
When: Released on Sept. 23
What: The Blonde Royal
Ingredients: The Glenlivet 12-year, Champagne, lemons, honey and water
– 1 part The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old
– 1/2 part lemon juice
– 1/2 part honey water
– 2 parts Champagne
– Lemon twist
- Pour The Glenlivet 12, lemon juice and honey water into a chilled flute.
- Top with champagne, stir and garnish with a lemon twist.
The Aspen Choral Society (ACS) announced its 47th Annual Presentation of Handel’s “‘Messiah,” taking place on Friday, Dec. 8, at the historic Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Saturday, Dec. 9, at TACAW in Basalt, and Sunday, Dec. 10, at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Glenwood Springs.