As if I needed another excuse to drink champagne and eat French macarons- HA! Cocktails & Corsets month shifts to Versailles this week with the film Marie Antoinette (DVD/Download). Written and directed by Sofia Coppola, it truly is quite the female fantasy. Silk, ruffles, pretty pastries, champagne overflowing coupe glasses, and tiny adorable dogs- damn it was good to be a French royal in the mid-18th century! (well, until the peasants revolted and stormed the palace, but let’s not go there).
Inspired by the book by Antonia Fraser, Kirsten Dunst’s Marie Antoinette is simply a young girl with extraordinary privilege and power, in the wrong place at the wrong time. She seems too naïve to realize that it’s a big deal to have your royal subjects starving while you and your friends are living bucolic, lazy days in the French countryside. Why not let them eat cake when bread has become scarce? Cake is amazing. At least, the cakes in this film look amazing. The delectable sweet treats are in line with the clothes, the shoes, the actual Versailles interiors, and the incredible wig achievements that this film beautifully showcases. If the dialogue’s a little sparse, it’s only because it’s almost unnecessary against such beauty. The 80’s New Wave soundtrack and sly inclusion of Chuck Taylors in the bedroom reminds us of the similarities between these French royals and today’s modern wealthy- drunk on money, power and fame. Eventually, it will all come crashing down.
Apparently champagne was preferable to any other beverage in Marie Antoinette’s day. I think I only spied water once, and even then it was in a crystal martini glass. This sparkling beverage goes very well with all the delicious tarts and pastries on full display, and by adding some berry flavors it’s almost like dessert in a glass. While watching Marie Antoinette, I recommend drinking a Versailles Sparkler.
5 oz French Champagne
½ oz Crème de Cassis
First make a raspberry syrup. Muddle fresh raspberries through a sieve, straining out the seeds. Mix with a dash of simple syrup, then pour mixture into the bottom of a coupe glass. Top with crème de cassis, then chilled champagne. Garnish with raspberries.
In addition to copious amounts of champagne, I’d also recommend stopping by your local bakery and picking up some delicacies to enjoy during the 2-hour running time. Marie Antoinette might have been spoiled, vapid, and naïve, but two things are certain- she knew how to dress, and she knew how to drink. Cheers!