I had planned to make this recipe on the day my home was fully restored but today I signed the letter confirming the loss of my job. I decided to take control of the situation by making Mrs. C. Everett Hoffman’s Champagne Cup in my comfortable hotel room. Even in 1906, Champagne was used for occasions so it isn’t surprising to find such a recipe in the Berlin Cook Book.
I was able to get to a store tonight to get the supplies I need for this recipe since I had access to a car. I did not buy a quart of champagne. I bought a small bottle (200 mL) of sparkling wine so I’m cutting the recipe significantly. I also don’t like cucumber so I’m taking the citrus option instead. I put some champagne in a glass (1 cup), added some soda water (1/2 bottle), a dash of brandy, a bit of powdered sugar (1 1/2 teaspoons), some citrus and ice and then made a toast to all the possibilities of the future. A future without a job I’ve enjoyed for 14 years, but a future that will bring new opportunities for education, writing, career change and food.
Mrs. C. Everett Hoffman deserves to have some champagne too. This is the woman whose life was turned upside down just a few years after the cook book was published. Her husband Charles Everett Hoffman died of diabetes. Wilhelmine Pattison Hoffman went from being the wife of a druggist and manufacturer to widowhood after twenty-three years of marriage.
This drink will not appeal to everyone. I’m not much for champagne so the additions actually made my sparkling wine a little more interesting but some people will find all these extras spoil a nice drink. Someday I’ll try the champagne cup the way the recipe intends it so I have a better idea of the proportions.
1 quart champagne, 2 bottles soda water, 1 liquor glass brandy, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, a few thin strips of cucumber rind and a large piece of ice. If preferred, lemon or orange rind may be used.