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Toma's Signature Cocktail Coco Chanel with a Dagger Made with Citadelle Gin | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva

French 75s #DivaStyle: Coco Chanel With a Dagger Made with Citadelle Gin

At our 5th Annual Paris Flea Market Champagne Brunch I’m serving cocktails #DivaStyle:

Coco Chanel With a Dagger by Maison Ferrand  

Alex and Debbie Gabriel

Alex and Debbie Gabriel

Artisanal Gin de France producer Citadelle Gin, by Maison Ferrand, will make French 75s – my signature cocktail that I like to call Coco Chanel with a Dagger – with The Antiques Diva signature champagne. Not only is Citadelle my favorite gin, Maison Ferrand happens to be owned by Alexandre and Debbie Gabriel, one of our Paris Antiques Diva Guides. Citadelle Gin is made following a centuries-old method, using an open flame pot still distillation, and a traditional Charentaise pot still used in Cognac, France. Distillation over an open flame allows the complementary aromas to come together when the wine comes into contact with the bottom of the boiler. The name Citadelle honors where this gin was first authorized to be made in 1775 by Louis XVI, at the Citadelle in Dunkirk. 

 

WATCH: Citadelle bartender Cedric taught me to make a Coco Chanel with a Dagger

 

Coco Chanel with a Dagger by Maison Ferrand Recipe 

  1. 1 1/2 oz Citadelle Gin
  2. 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  3. 1 1/2 oz rich simple syrup
  4. Fill shaker with ice, gin, lime juice and simple syrup
  5. Shake like mad until well-chilled, then strain into chilled champagne flute
  6. Top with champagne (I prefer The Antiques Diva signature champagne)
  7. Garnish with lime spiral

Santé! 

Toma – The Antiques Diva

 

The Antiques Diva Belgian Experience

Dear Diva Readers,

When I take clients on tour, my goal is to maximize their time and give them the most bang for their buck so to speak. If a person is flying across the ocean to source antiques, chances are they want to utilize their time and resources to the best of their ability and that’s where we come in.  Not only do we custom plan a shopping route according to each client’s needs, but we also translate and negotiate on their behalf. We typically start the day pretty early in order to arrive at each appointment on time, which means that while on tour, fatigue can set in and quick meals on the go are usually a must to allow more shopping time!

Sourcing antiques in Europe, Filling a container with antiques, Buying Tours of Belgium, Antiques Diva, Belgian Antiques Dealers, Champagne, European Lifestyle

Lunch at Mulino – an Antiek Café on the French/Belgian border

However it’s not all work and no play. Our relationships with our trusted dealers and sources allow us to offer clients the best shopping experience possible—Diva style!  Last week I was leading a tour in Belgium where the antique dealers seem to be the most hospitable in Europe.  On our first day, just about the time when we needed to refuel, a favorite antiques dealer we were visiting met us at the door with a bottle of Champagne. How thoughtful! He and his wife then offered to make us a gorgeous lunch consisting of croque monsieur and fresh cherry tomatoes. This little bit of down time allowed the client and I a few moments to go over the morning’s purchases and discuss items that she was considering. After our lunch break, we were refreshed and ready to hit the road for our next appointment! (and a few more purchases were made in the store after refueled with lunch and some bubbly).

Sourcing antiques in Europe, Filling a container with antiques, Buying Tours of Belgium, Antiques Diva, Belgian Antiques Dealers, Champagne, European Lifestyle

Anne-Marie of Antiques Histoire in Tongeren opening a bottle of champagne for Diva clients

The second day on tour, we stopped into another favorite dealer around lunch time. She too had a bottle of Champagne at the ready and after toasting to a successful buying trip, we enjoyed a beautiful spread of ham & cheese sandwiches that she had prepared. To finish, she offered us apple cake, made with locally grown apples. How decadent!

Sourcing antiques in Europe, Filling a container with antiques, Buying Tours of Belgium, Antiques Diva, Belgian Antiques Dealers, Champagne, European Lifestyle

Sourcing antiques in Europe, Filling a container with antiques, Buying Tours of Belgium, Antiques Diva, Belgian Antiques Dealers, Champagne, European Lifestyle

Sourcing antiques in Europe, Filling a container with antiques, Buying Tours of Belgium, Antiques Diva, Belgian Antiques Dealers, Champagne, European Lifestyle

Sourcing antiques in Europe, Filling a container with antiques, Buying Tours of Belgium, Antiques Diva, Belgian Antiques Dealers, Champagne, European Lifestyle

It’s the kindness and thoughtfulness of antiques dealers whom we know and trust that help make The Antiques Diva Buying Tours what they are. When you come on one of our tours, it’s all about introducing you to the best dealers in Europe and building lasting relationships so that we can help you source antiques for years to come. More than just shopping, The Antiques Diva & Co gives you a glimpse into the European lifestyle—and what’s better than a little champagne while you work?  My husband always jokes, “Do you really work? I’m only seeing photos of you drinking champagne!!” Our client filled her container in 2 days  – so that’s proof positive that shopping with The Antiques Diva® is more than just fun, but when shopping for antiques does it ever really feel like work?!

Sourcing antiques in Europe, Filling a container with antiques, Buying Tours of Belgium, Antiques Diva, Belgian Antiques Dealers, Champagne, European Lifestyle

Bonne Shopping!

The Antiques Diva®

Antiques Diva Cocktail Hour: French 75

On Friday evenings Chez Antiques Diva, Mister Divo (aka the Wine Guy) takes off his sommelier hat and tries his hand at mixology.  While each week he personally likes to try something new, testing new recipes for Blood & Sands, Horses Necks, Sidecars and various type of Martinis, I tend towards having a favorite drink – a signature drink.  9 times out of 10 when he asks my flavor I respond with a sigh…. “Give me Coco Chanel with a Dagger” –  my code name for the French 75.  It’s elegant yet packing heat!

Toma Clark Haines, French 75 Cocktail, Signature Drink, Champagne cocktail, Gin, The Antiques Diva

French 75 Recipe, per my husband:

  1. Put Champagne flute in freezer
  2. 1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin
  3. 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  4. 1 1/2 oz rich simple syrup
  5. Fill shaker with ice, gin, lemon juice and simple syrup
  6. Shake like mad until well-chilled, then strain into chilled Champagne flute
  7. Top with Champagne (do NOT use a low quality sparkler…)
  8. Stir gently and rim the glass with the lemon
  9. Garnish with a long, thin lemon spiral and a cherry (I like to use a bing cherry if available)

 

Guest Blog from Chef in Berlin: Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams

Below is a Guest Blog from the wonderful “Chef in Berlin”!

Dear Diva Readers,

You don’t need to lead the life of the rich and famous to enjoy “Champagne Wishes or Caviar Dreams.” 

When I saw the new “Designer Tag Sale” The Antiques Diva® & Co was offering on their website, I was like a kid in a candy store.  A multitude of gorgeous caviar presentation dishes caught my eye and I told the Diva that as CHEF in BERLIN” it was practically my obligation to write a Guest Blog to share some Caviar details with you!  

Rosenthal Champagne and Caviar Cooler

Have you ever wondered what real caviar actually is? The world’s leading producer is Iran at 300,000 metric tons, followed by Russia’s Soviet States. Both countries border the Caspian Sea which is the world’s largest salt-water lake.  Caviar is actually a type of fish egg called roe. Exactly like Champagne has its own designation, caviar traditionally comes from the sturgeon roe. Today these eggs come from a wide variety of fish like beluga (the most expensive up to $25,000/kg), trout, salmon, and other sorts of fish that are raised to produce the eggs. Beluga is the most prized and the price is directly relevant to the age of the fish. Apparently the older Beluga sturgeon can take up to 20 years to mature and their eggs range in color from black to pearly white. 

Saint Hilaire Caviar Knife

When eating caviar, it’s all about the accessories!  Caviar is typically eaten with a bone, horn or mother-of-pearl spoon or spreading knife since a metal or silver one imparts a metallic taste.  Another way to serve caviar is with a gold spoon as it also has qualities that do not impact the taste. 

Aficionados and purists might not agree on all of the typical caviar garnishes but one thing they do agree with is that caviar should be enjoyed with either ice cold vodka (my favorite way to consume caviar) or, as The Antiques Diva® does, with “un coup de champagne”. 

Saint Hilaire Caviar and Vodka Presentation Set

There are loads of caviar imposters like lumpfish (hard black or red colored eggs), salmon or trout (orange/red in color), or whitefish (golden color). Last week I saw green caviar which is some sort of manufactured wasabi product – it seems to be popular on the sushi circuit for its bright psychedelic green hue.  They are sort of the “proseccos and sparkling wines” of the caviar circuit.

As I know Diva Readers love La France, I must share with you that France has its own type of caviar called Poorman’s Caviar. It’s not fish eggs but rather a whole baked eggplant mixed with a whole roasted head of garlic. Slather it on a chunky baguette and sip some champagne!  Perfect budget-friendly party food!

Champagne Kisses and Caviar Dreams,

CHEF in BERLIN
(seen below with The Antiques Diva®)

 

Jill DiGiovanni is “CHEF in BERLIN” – a Germany-based Canadian who has taken Berlin by storm with her great selection of gourmet offerings.  She’s a personal chef for hire who offers in home catering, private cooking lessons and custom menus for busy people. Visit www.chefinberlin.com for more information.

One Minute Diva: Clutter Control in the Bathroom

Dear Diva Readers,

You might have already guessed this about me, but I’m a girly girl. My bathroom is filled with all sorts of potions and perfumes, oodles of accessories and creams for this and that. Needless to say, clutter control is down-right a necessity. And while I’m always searching for antique cupboards, cabinets and commodes for storing things out of the way, there are a few things I need to keep within easy reach but still want organized in a more controlled environment. My Diva-worthy bathroom clutter control solution: a French brocante find now available for $60/47 Euro on “Treasures” by The Antiques Diva™ is this charming vintage champagne bucket!

When I’m not using this Moët et Chandon heavy-duty champagne bucket to chill bubbly, it’s repurposed year round as a chic catch-all beside my bathtub! Perfect for the inner diva in everyone!

Yours,
The Antiques Diva™

(with artfully arranged bubbles!)

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The Antiques Diva & Co offers custom planned Antiques Buying Tours for tourists and trade professionals. Whether you’re looking to buy one specific piece or wanting to fill an entire container, our personal shopping antique buying guides share their vast knowledge of secret sources to take you to all the right places.

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