This summer, as I rode the escalator up to the top floor of KaDeWe, a spectacular department store in Berlin, I had no idea what I was in for. Like all good gays and queens, if there’s one thing I know a lot about, it’s alcohol. Strolling through the endless gourmet goods and delicacies, I came upon a new favourite that I can only call ‘Fabu-lish’!
As bourgeois as it sounds, I’m a huge fan of champagne and have become rather obsessed with it over the past several years. It’s undeniably my drink of choice. Therefore, you can only imagine my delight when I rounded the corner of a spectacular seafood display to set my eyes on the Moet & Chandon champagne bar.
A beauty of a bartender was slinging all types of class A bubbly as my partner and I sashayed our way to some seats. A white bottle I had never seen before caught my eye, and we were informed that it contained a new summer edition that was ‘sweet but deadly’. Well, I don’t know about you, but that sounded like a challenge. I ordered mine with a twist of orange peel, while my boyfriend had his with a spring of mint – both were served over ice. Two glasses later and it was clear the bartender hadn’t been lying.
I am anything but a lightweight. Yet this sweet treat left me buzzing. Anyone who has been to KaDeWe will understand that this now posed a dilemma. Navigating through the narrow pathways of costly displays without making a fool of myself would be a problem. However, several near-misses later, I found myself safely on the streets of Berlin.
Like a gay Columbus detailing my discoveries in the New World, I arrived in the States eager to share this story of foreign adventure and intoxicating booze with my friends. I became so carried away in my descriptions that I began to sound like that crazy uncle who insists they caught a Moby Dick of a fish only to have it get away. In an effort to save face, I announced that I would serve this drink at a dinner party the following week, to prove myself right. Little did I know, I had put my foot not only in my mouth, but planted it on a pile of American self-absorption, where everyone in the world has heard of something but us.
The day before the party, I went to a local liquor store to buy the champagne. This should have been an easy purchase, but the store not only didn’t carry it, but had never even heard of it. When I went to the next store on the block and heard the same, I began to worry. After going to no less than eight stores around New York City, I finally found one bottle in a very upscale wine shop on the Upper East Side. The trouble was worth it, as it made my little soiree a great success and introduced a room full of New York gays to Moet’s Ice Imperial, my new favourite drink.