People who know “know” me can tell you that I’m a lover of wine especially of the sparkling variety. And if it’s French, even better!
Fortunately I received an invitation to a cocktail party from the folks at French sparkling wine house Veuve Ambal, a well-known sparkling brand hailing from Burgundy. My first impression when I walked in? Welcome to great open bar in a cool place with interesting people.
The first of their event series,”Envy”, was held in the newly renovated upper lounge of the upscale French-Vietnamese restaurant, Le Colonial, on the Upper East Side. The beautiful and charming decor is reminiscent of the French colonial era in Southeast Asia, and it will transport you to another world. Having been to the lounge once before it was revamped, I was surprised to find that the space opened up a lot. The new lounge still retained its cozy feel, but the warm ambiance is more comforting and inviting.
There were guests of all sorts - young and old professionals, nightlife partygoers, socialites, bloggers, writers who were dressed and ready to impress. Fresh, energetic beats spun by DJ Teal Cammer set the mood. Mixologist Moses Laboy, Le Colonial’s recent addition and formerly the mastermind behind the cocktails at Red Rooster, Ginny’s Supper Club, Krescendo and Los Americanos, kept the drinks flowing all night long. Supposedly, he also created and served cocktails to Presidents Obama and Clinton. Do we have a presidential cocktail craftsman in our midst? Seems like he already has impressive credentials under his belt!
For this occasion, Moses crafted three unique cocktails using Veuve Ambal sparkling wine which were the 1) “Wild Ambal” (Veuve Ambal Cremant de Bourgogne, Russian Standard, fresh lemon juice and spiced pomegranate), “Bubbles” (Veuve Ambal Cremant de Bourgogne, Tanqueray Gin, fresh lemon juice, lemongrass and Burlesque bitters) and the “French 85” (Veuve Ambal Cremant de Bourgogne, Maker’s Mark, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup). Of the three, my favorite was the French 85. Based on the classic “French 75” cocktail, I took an immediate liking to Lamboy’s playful take on the original version.
Pictured below from left: The “French 85" and ”Bubbles” cocktails
Guest nibbled on hor d’oeuvres done in the French-Vietnamese fusion style of Le Colonial’s Chef Ronald Wingwee Hsu. Served that evening but not pictured were the “Bo Lui” (Grilled sesame ginger beef skewers with scallion oil), “Cha Gio Chay” (Vegetarian crispy spring rolls filled with mushrooms, tofu, taro and carrots, Served with spicy soy sauce) and “Chicken Lettuce Wraps” (With turmeric, roasted peanuts, dill and fresh chili). These small bites were the perfect pairings for Lamboy’s cocktails.
Toward the night’s end, Veuve Ambal sparkling wine was served in flutes to guests on its own. It was great to see that the bubbly beverage would be savored as is to close the party, and a nice touch it was indeed. Would I say it was a success? So far, so good!