Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

A Graceful Coup

People don’t like to polish silver these days. Which is good news for those of us who like to collect second-hand silver to use everyday. If you haunt the antique malls and flea markets, you’ll find things like the coups shown above more often than not.

Now, I confess, when Mrs. E. and I were first given these sterling lined with gold champagne coups, I was at a loss. They are beautiful, but I prefer flutes for bubbles. In their defence these wedding coups keep wine very, very cold and there’s a lot to be said for that. But for the most part they went unused, displayed next to the cocktail shakers and julep cups.

The day of the dinner party, our good friend Iñigo, who was visiting from Spain, and I took my son to the farmer’s market to pick up some fresh vegetables for the dinner plate. On the spur of the moment, I bought a pint of homemade Ginger-Lemon Sorbet to serve for dessert.

When my mom heard the menu, she mentioned that she used to serve sorbet in chilled sterling coups. Aha! Into the freezer with the set I had. They made a very pretty presentation garnished with a mint leaf. For a bit of glamour, splash a very small amount of champagne over the sorbet before serving.

6 thoughts on “A Graceful Coup

  1. Excellent idea, I like serve sorbets and some artisan ice creams as dessert, I will look for some old aged silver cups next time I go to the flea market… it will add a nice touch to my next soiree

  2. If only the coup weren’t empty–sounds delicious. A favorite recipe of ours is called ‘Governor’s Coup.’ Not sure which governor this was named for, but a well-known French chef in our city during it’s very gold coast years ran a fantastic dining room for a fine hotel. The Coup consisted of a pint of coffee ice cream, vodka, half-and-half I think, all in a blender. Well you get the idea, a vodka milkshake of sorts served in a coup similar to yours here, or a large brandy glass would also work. Garnish might be shaved chocolate, a rolled cookie, mint would also work I think. This same chef invented the Reuben sandwich and mastered the brownie sundae. More restaurants need to put a quality brownie sundae on the dessert menu and skip those desserts that look like art but taste like nothing. As for polishing silver, it is like ironing. If you love beautiful things, you better be prepared for the work involved to maintain them. I don’t mind polishing silver. It just can’t be done the day of the party or your hands and fingers will be all black for the party. My husband is willing to help polish copper and also irons his own shirts. Love that man!

  3. Governor’s Coup

    1 scoop coffee ice cream
    1/2 ounce light cream
    1 ounce Kahlua
    1/4 ounce vodka

    Mix the above ingredients in blender to desired smoothness. Serve in a champagne coup or brandy snifter glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

    Bernard Schimmel

  4. I use silver because it’s so incredibly durable – metals last forever. (After the second martini and that third glass of red, we’re prone to begin throwing things at one another creating a virtual war zone at the table. Sterling may dent, but it never breaks. It never goes home with sailors either.)

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