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What I'm drinking.

With a good deal of luck, next month will usher in a rainy season worthy of the name. Why not host an alfresco brunch to say goodbye to the season of parched lawns?

Always appropriate at brunch is one of the many variations on the champagne cocktail, the classic version of which sees a sugar cube soaked in two dashes of Angostura bitters dropped into the bottom of a flute and drowned in chilled sparkling wine. Some hedonists add a half ounce of Cognac to the recipe. Garnish it with a twist of lemon if you feel extra fancy. For a Kir Royale, add a half ounce of creme de cassis to the bubbly. All are quite tasty and light enough to suit the occasion.

There are those among us, however, who insist on the eye-opening snap of a Bloody Mary to get things off to a proper start. If you plan on shaking up a batch, you won't go wrong with this recipe by Fernand Petiot, who invented the cocktail while working at Harry's New York Bar in Paris.

 2 ounces vodka
 3 ounces tomato juice
 half ounce lemon juice
 black pepper and salt
 3 dashes Worcestershire
 2 drops Tabasco

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a highball glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a stalk of celery.
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Title Annotation:food & wine
Publication:Sarasota Magazine
Date:May 1, 2009
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