Olympian Adam Rippon On Pride, His New Partnership + Career Plans: “The World Is My Oyster!”

Adam RipponPhoto Credit: Benjamin Lozovsky for Moët & Chandon

Olympic figure-skater Adam Rippon knows a thing or two about being hot—he won a bronze medal for the U.S.A. as part of the figure skating  team event during the 2018 Olympics and that same year, won season 26 of “Dancing with the Stars“—as well as (obviously) cooling off (because ice skating). So Rippon was an obvious fit to craft the first champagne cocktail served over ice for Moët & Chandon‘s new champagne, Moët Ice Impérial.

Inspired by the jetsetters in the South of France who championed the unexpected champagne over ice ritual and dubbed the drink La Piscine (“The Swimming Pool”), Adam has crafted a signature sip that reflects his personality: Effervescent, bubbly, and especially dazzling on ice.

We spoke to Rippon, who officially retired from figure skating last year as the first openly gay athlete to win a medal at the Olympics, about his new collaboration, how he’s celebrating Pride month and what he’s focusing on next now that figure skating isn’t part of his daily routine.Adam Rippon

Can you tell us a bit about your partnership with Moët & Chandon and how it came to be? Did the phrase “over ice” intrigue you?

As you can imagine, I love anything on ice, especially when it’s a luxury champagne! But what intrigued me most about Moët Ice Impérial, is that it revolutionized the world of bubbly as the first champagne specifically created to be served over ice. Before then it was seen as taboo to mix ice with champagne, so I love that I’m working with a brand that is breaking barriers in the spirits industry as strive to do the same in my career.

Why and how should people drink Moët Ice Impérial? What’s your favorite spot to drink it (at home, a certain bar, etc.?

Moët Ice Impérial means celebration and I love to celebrate with friends and establish new traditions. But being a bit of a “rule breaker” I encourage people to drink Moët Ice outside of the “traditional” celebratory moments and enjoy it any time.

Through my relationship with the brand, I have learned that the ritual of having champagne over ice was actually inspired by the jetsetters in the south France, who dubbed the cocktail “La Piscine” or the swimming pool. So for the summer, the perfect place for me is poolside with my friends. But what’s also great about it being designed to be served over ice is that it makes for fantastic, easy-to-make cocktails, which I can’t wait to try out during the winter at holiday gatherings. I already have a punch in mind!

What was your inspiration behind the cocktail you created, the Moët Riviera Spritz?

I crafted the Moët Riviera Spritz in honor of those south of France trendsetters who forged the path to champagne over ice. It brings together all things French: Moët & Chandon, St – Germain Elderflower Liqueur, and fresh lavender. It’s the perfect spritz for summer imbibing with friends!

How does the drink reflect your personality?

I wanted to create a drink that was bubbly, fresh, and especially dazzling over ice.

Adam Rippon
Rippon at the 2018 Olympics, where he placed with a bronze medal

Photo Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky : Shutterstock

In honor of Pride month, what does it mean to you personally to be the first openly gay athlete to win a medal at any Winter Olympics?

Being the first openly gay athlete to medal at the Olympics was a huge honor for me and it made me realize that the global platform it gave me was an opportunity, and a responsibility, to use my voice to support the LGBTQ+ community. I feel it is my obligation to use this platform to speak for those who need a voice.

What changes do you hope this milestone will incite in the future?

Growing up I didn’t really have an LGBTQ+ role model in the sports world, there wasn’t anyone there I could look to for guidance and support. I hope that through my journey I can inspire other young LGBTQ+ people, not just athletes, to be their genuine selves, to feel strong and secure in who they are and to know that they are loved and supported.

How do you celebrate Pride?

I celebrate Pride by taking the time to reflect on those who went before us and those who helped make our community more accepted and free. To me, it’s really about taking the time to understand our journey and to think about where we’re going and how I can help us get there.

Adam Rippon
Rippon at the 2019 Time 100 gala, looking to the future

Photo Credit: lev radin/Shutterstock.com

And on that note, what do you take pride in most about yourself? You’ve written that you’re proud of who you are as a person, but specifically, how so?

As an athlete, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in my sport. As a gay man, I’m proud of being true to myself and leading by example, ideally showing others that it’s OK to be genuine. As a human being, I’m proud that I can be open to others, accepting of all and most importantly, I can make people laugh.

Tell us about your YouTube show and transitioning to front-of-camera work. Was that always a goal/a dream? How did these opportunities come to be?

I’ve always loved to entertain, to meet new people and to learn about their stories. I’m also a bit of a loudmouth that enjoys making people laugh — both with me and at me. After the Olympics, I had so many great opportunities and met so many great people, and they often said, I’d love to go skating with you. So I thought, wouldn’t it be great to have a show that combined all of these elements? And so, Break the Ice was born. I trained my entire life to get to the Olympics and now in retrospect I think the Olympics gave me the opportunity to show the world who I really am. I’d like to think that when people look back on my life they say, “That Adam Rippon, he is so funny….did you know he was an Olympian?”

And finally, after the dust settles on all these opportunities, what’s next? What’s in the works for the remainder of 2019/2020?

The world is my oyster! My memoir, “Beautiful on the Outside”, is coming out 10.15 (available for pre-order now) so I will be touring with that. We are in the planning stages of the second season of Break the Ice and I have a couple of other projects in the works that you’ll just have to wait and see…stay tuned.

HOW TO MAKE ADAM RIPPON’S MOET RIVIERA SPRITZ

Adam RipponPhoto Credit: Benjamin Lozovsky for Moët & Chandon

3 oz Moët Ice Impérial
1 oz vodka
.5 oz St-Germain French elderflower liqueur
.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.5 oz simple syrup
6 Blueberries (for muddling)
Garnish: Blueberries, lavender

Directions: Muddle blueberries, add mixture (lemon juice, simple syrup, vodka, elderflower liqueur) to shaker tin. Shake vigorously, then strain into Wine glass with fresh ice cubes. Top with 3 oz of Moët Ice Impérial. Garnish with berries and lavender sprig.

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