Fake Champagne

In a moment of madness, I started tidying up my tea draw OMG what a mess. During the cleaning process my mind started wandering as it often does. As I worked also wondered if I could do something more FUN with the stray tea bags at the bottom of the draw. Make something more spectacular than a hot cuppa or a jug of iced tea.

The day is grey and wet. We call that miserable and I’m still feeling the effects of jet lag. I am off the booze completely because I feel unnaturally intoxicated most of the day. Walking around like a zombie as my body adjusts to a new time zone after 5 weeks abroad.

So, I am very happy to stay put in the kitchen today and work on this idea. Yes, I feel capable of turning tea into wine. With the help of a little kitchen science, I am confident that I can make a sparkling drink, but the real challenge will be the taste!!

What does champagne actually taste like? The experts say pleasantly sparkling and velvety. The taste should have an underlying fruitiness, with a lingering fragrance that causes you to meditate silently and at length on the wine’s aromatic qualities – long after you put down your glass”.

Ok so my version is champagne is all about the bubbles which gives this drink texture similar to Guinness – which is gassed up with lots of tiny nitrogen bubbles. When seriously tasting wines, I discriminate on herbaceous earthy mineral floral and citrus notes.

Whew!! lucky I have done a tea blending course and can discriminate better than before. Thanks to Sharyn at Australian Tea Masters!  However, I do know from experience that blending is the key to success and today’s goal of mixing a pleasant tasting mock champagne.

Oh boy do I love the creative side of my business. With a full kettle on the boil, a draw full of tea boxes I set myself on a voyage of discovery – pairing my favourite teas with my favourite botanical syrups then mixing the concoction into apple juice to get the right colour for a convincing champagne. The greatest challenge was tasting overload and many trips to the bathroom before I settled on the final recipe.

The recipe below works beautifully with one of my all-time favourite tea and syrup flavour “bergamot” found in Earl Grey, Lady Grey and Bergamot Simple Syrup. A familiar citrus taste when carbonated nicely mimics a champagne cocktail called French 75 – Job Done!

Now it just so happens that the Melbourne Cup is next Tuesday, and I am excited to try and trick my family and friends with this mock champagne. I plan to pop a cork but pour them a tea champagne from a hidden bottle that’s been filled with my concoction.

Ok Yes this might be a bit mischievous but to me it feels like I am still having fun AND running a double-blind tasting test at the same time.

Who gets the real champagne and who gets the tea champagne will be a random affair although I am tempted to give the tea champagne to the men in my family as they generally can’t tell a soda from a tonic, Moscato from Prosecco you get the picture right?

The Melbourne Cup is quite the affair with four days of world class racing and entertainment leading up to this legendary race. It’s a time to cut loose have a flutter and witness racing greatness. Be seen Be Loud Drink Champagne Get Drunk and Wear a Fascinator.

A day for glory and the glorious! and the only time “down under” we get to wear an eye-catching head piece called a fascinator.

Look to the British royalty for inspiration, because they rock this type of headwear commonly made with flowers feathers and beads. Thanks Kate Middleton 🙂

Fascinators can be as traditional or wacky as your personality allows. For me I love flowers and feathers. Its going to be handsome and hand crafted for me. I have the perfect hat, that if it was a cocktail is crying out for some garnishing. Not Carmen Miranda style fruit but more simple and restrained flowers.

Today I am off to Eco Soul Collective in Belgrave to make a dried flower arrangement for my sheer lime green hat. I can imagine it now!  It will look glorious but sadly will never attend the races let alone a Melbourne Cup. This renewed hat will bring me great joy AND a sense of inclusion when I sit down at 3pm to watch this iconic race on TV with a glass of champagne in my hand and a beautiful flower fascinator on my head.


Tea Champagne Recipe



  • 15 ml Bergamot syrup
  • 15 ml freshly brewed Earl Grey Tea (chilled)
  • 15 ml clear Apple juice (cold from the fridge)
  • 1/2 tsp Champagne Acid
  • 250 ml (1 cup) Schweppes Natural mineral water (cold from the fridge)



Before you begin it is important that all liquid ingredients are chilled prior to mixing and if you don’t have a measuring cup or jigger use a kitchen spoon (1tsp=5ml)

Tea base

  1. Make a cup of Earl grey tea
  2. Brew for 4 min remove bag and cool.
  3. Chill tea in the freezer so it is icy cold (this will take about 20 min)

Champagne Acid

  1. Mix together 1/4 ts tartaric acid with 1/4 ts baking powder

Champagne Mocktail

  1. Check all ingredients are chilled prior to mixing
  2. Measure liquid ingredients into a glass jug
  3. Sprinkle over 1/2 tsp champagne acid
  4. Stir to mix watch the powder dissolve the bubbles begin
  5. Pour in natural mineral water and watch the fizzing take off
  6. Pour champagne mixture into two champagne glasses
  7. Option to garnish glass with an orange curl

Success is sweet and bubbly. Enjoy feeling the bubbles hit your face as you sip this uniquely crafted sparkling non-alcoholic champagne

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