Dan and I got home from our one-night honeymoon at the beach to find five silver or gold bags waiting for us in the mailroom. More champagne – of sorts. Only one bottle met our snobby standards: a Taittinger Prestige Rose. The others were destined for more Kir Royales – either that or re-gifting.
“Mmmmmm! Champ-AGG-nee!” I squealed in the voice of Curly from "The Three Stooges" each time Dan opened a package. (Note to youth: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_three_stooges .) I do a pretty good Curly, but by the fourth time it was wearing very thin. “Stop doing that,” Dan said. “I can’t help it,” I replied. “It’s Pavlovian.” “That’s bullshit,” he said. “You’re just trying to irritate me.” (I silently admitted that he was correct.) “And I’m sick of Kir Royales,” he continued edgily, “so don’t make any more. I’m hungry, I’m tired, and I don’t know why we don’t have more sophisticated friends.” He stomped toward the bedroom.
“Then I’ll make Queer Royales,” I declared, having no idea what the drink would contain.
“OK, I’ll bite,” he said. “What’s in a Queer Royale?”
Sudden inspiration: “Creme de Violette!”
“I love you,” Dan said as he marched back into the living room to kiss me. “Put a bottle of this… this… ‘cava’ in the freezer while we unpack.”
“Cava is dead to us,” I announced for at least the 75th time.
“There’s a clause in our pre-nup that says that if you say ‘cava is dead to us’ one more time you get nothing in the divorce settlement,” he said as he stripped off his shirt. It was a sight I’ve seen daily for 10 years, and it still produced a rush. I couldn’t wait to curl up next to him in bed and grope him.
I dialed Chen’s Sichuan and placed our usual order: seafood dumplings and Chicken with Peanuts for Dan, who doesn’t like heat, and the spicy tripe appetizer and the Fiery Shredded Pork for me.
By the time Dan came out of the shower and dressed, the food had already arrived, the biking delivery boy leaving a trail of petrified pedestrians and drivers alike from his race to our building. I put two new, tall Waterford champagne flutes on the table (getting married is a blast!), each with a few drops of Creme de Violette already poured. I popped the cork (just like Fyedka; see above) and poured.
The resulting color was strange; gold and violet don’t blend well. But the taste was superb. We polished off the doctored cava during dinner.
“I love our cheap friends,” said a tipsy, happy Dan as I poked the last piece of blistering-hot pork in my mouth.
“Let’s go to bed,” I said, still chewing. “Now.”
“Brush your teeth for the full two minutes and I’ll consider it,” said Dan as he reached into my boxers from the bottom. So this is what they mean by “second honeymoon.”
The Queer Royale
1 bottle of cava, prosecco, or other champagne variant
A few drops of Creme de Violette
Put a few drops of the crème de violette in as many champagne flutes as you have guests, then carefully pour in the ersatz champagne so that the flute doesn’t overflow. Keep as much fizz as possible.