Tom Hanks needs little introduction. The movie star and filmmaker has become one of most popular public figures in the world. Part of his charm is he is one of the best talk show guests going, with a penchant for storytelling (like the time he regaled David Letterman about helping American comedian Slappy White while struggling actor Hanks was a hotel bellhop.) Following Monday’s appearance on Late Night with Stephen Colbert, you can add mixologist to Hanks’ resume.
As the story goes, during the holidays, Hanks and family were at the Café Carlyle to see his wife Rita Wilson perform. Hanks recalls sipping on a Diet Coke when a post-performance bottle of Champagne arrived at the table.
“They brought the Champagne around; they brought the nice flutes… It was like the last episode of The Bachelor,” Hanks explains to Colbert. “They were pouring all this stuff around and I just had this Diet Coke.”
That’s when inspiration struck.
“Oh, give me a shot of Champagne in there for crying out loud,” said Hanks, who had a sip of the uncouth cocktail to his family’s bewilderment.
“Stephen, it was delicious.”
Tasting is believing, so Colbert placed two Collins glasses with three cubes on his desk alongside a can of Diet Coke and a bottle of Champagne. Hanks walked the host through the recipe.
One-third Diet Coke (Any diet cola product will do, Hanks suggests) served over ice. Then top with Champagne.
“This is exactly what the folks at Veuve Clicquot intended for their Champagne,” Colbert quips as he pours. “This recipe can be found in the Book of Revelations.”
Colbert’s protests cease following the first sip: “It’s like an American Aperol Spritz,” he exclaims.
Time will tell if the Tom Hanks — the Hollywood star prefers, “The Diet Cokagne” — enjoys the meteoric rise of the Negroni Sbagliato thanks to social media. It’s possible sparkling wine and Diet Coke will join Mimosas and Bellinis as a brunch staple in North America. Mind you, there’s no need to use expensive Champagne to get the same effect. Since you’re not able to taste the flavour of the Champagne through the carbonated character of a sugar-free cola, any inexpensive bottle of Cava will offer the same refreshing lift to a glass of diet cola.
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