Classic Champagne Cocktail recipe
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- Dish type
- Champagne cocktails
A simple, sophisticated cocktail, it’s what they’re drinking in 'Casablanca'.
4 people made this
- 1 sugar cube
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 150ml sparkling wine
- lemon twist for garnish
MethodPrep:2min ›Extra time:2min › Ready in:4min
- Place cube of sugar into a champagne glass. Splash a couple dashes of bitters over the cube. Fill glass with sparkling wine. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
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Classic Champagne Cocktail recipes & history
One of the oldest cocktails, dating back to at least the mid-1800s, the Champagne Cocktail consists of a sugar cube douched in aromatic bitters dropped into the base of a glass, over which is poured a small measure of cognac before the glass is topped up with champagne. It remains one of the most popular champagne cocktails.
How to Make a Champagne Cocktail
With just a few additions to the glass, this classic recipe makes celebrations (New Year's Eve, for one) brighter.
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
- Place a sugar cube in a chilled champagne flute, lash it with 2 or 3 dashes of bitters, and fill the glass with brut champagne.
- Squeeze a lemon twist on top, then use as garnish.
Once upon a time, what feels like a million slow-moving eons ago, we stood at the edge of 2019 and dreamt that the decade we were about to step into would be another Roaring Twenties. Then, we tripped and plummeted face-first into this shit. Technically, "roaring" could still apply to the first year of the 2020s, but it&rsquos more or an angry roar into the void, less of a "grab the champagne bucket, old sport" kind of thing.
So, as 2020 ends, armed with light optimism that it can&rsquot get much worse than this, we&rsquove got the option to do it up big. Take some joy wherever we can find it. Toast a New Year with bubbly wine. And, because this year&rsquos New Year&rsquos Eve toast will have more spiritual, even existential, weight to it, we suggest dressing up that bubbly into a more substantial cocktail: the Champagne Cocktail.
This is one of those old-as-bones drinks that never loses its glamour, much like the reputations of the folks who favored it in the original &lsquo20s. And it&rsquos simple&mdashjust sugar, wetted down by Angostura bitters, some fresh lemon, and champagne. Brut is best for this cocktail, because it&rsquos sharper and dryer to counterbalance the sweet. By adding a sugar cube instead of loose sugar to the flute, you'll get a more persistent stream of bubbles rising through the drink, well past the toll of midnight. It&rsquos a glitzy drink, and it tastes wonderfully bright.
Hey, maybe this New Year&rsquos 2021 toast will work, and there&rsquoll be plenty more occasions to whip up a Champagne Cocktail as time gets a move on. Won&rsquot know 'til we try.
A Little Background
In the 1925 book Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, showgirl Lorelei Lee (later played by Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 movie adaption) declares, "So we came to the Ritz Hotel and the Ritz Hotel is devine [sic]. Because when a girl can sit in a delightful bar and have delicious champagne cocktails and look at all the important French people in Paris, I think it is devine." Divine, indeed. That fictitious character was joined in her appreciation of Champagne Cocktails at the Ritz in the Roaring Twenties by F. Scott Fitzgerald, who apparently wiled away more than a few hours sipping them there with other writers of acclaim when he and Zelda moved to Paris in 1925.
By that time, the Champagne Cocktail was already 60 years old, having first cropped up in the 1862 book How to Mix Drinks by Jerry Thomas. In the 160 years or so since then, cantankerous mixologists have grumbled about diluting good French champagne with bitters, sugar, and zest, but there's an easy fix to that: Use cheap champagne.
If You Like This, Try These
For any kind of festivity, there's a champagne cocktail to match it. The Champagne Cocktail just happens to be the most classic (and easily made) one of the bunch. Here are 15 other options. One we'll highlight in particular is the Champagne Punch, another special occasion-ready drink that requires little attention from you, the host, once it's prepared. And in the spirit of winterized drinks, here are 12 other cocktails that are great to make when it's cold.
There's no better way to show off your hosting skills than by mixing up a round of well-made cocktails. There's a kind of magic to classic cocktail mixology that transforms a few simple ingredients into something more alluring than the sum of its parts. Need inspiration on what to make? Start with an Old-Fashioned, as shown here. This delicious, traditional drink is sure to start your party off right.
In order to mix a wide selection of cocktails, you need to make sure you've got the essentials. Setting up a home bar requires a small outlay of cash to get started but, to be able to serve up a round of martinis, Negronis, or daiquiris on the fly is a gift that keeps on giving. And once you have the basics, you can continue to slowly build your arsenal different spirits, obscure liqueurs, and assorted bitters.
One bottle each of vodka, gin, white rum, silver tequila, triple sec, bourbon, rye, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, and Angostura bitters will give you a well-stocked bar to start your mixology adventures. Ask the clerk at your local liquor emporium to steer you towards their favorite brands for mixing.
To get started on the road to cocktail success, there are a few tools you need. A basic stainless-steel cocktail shaker and a mixing glass for cocktails that aren't made in a shaker, like the Manhattan, are must-haves. A strainer that fits snugly into the top of the mixing glass so you can pour the drink neatly into the serving glass is another item to add to your list. You'll also need a long-handled bar spoon for stirring drinks in the mixing glass and a jigger or measuring cup&mdashcareful measuring is what makes the difference between an okay cocktail and a great one.
There's a whole world of beautiful glassware out there for serving cocktails, and it's possible to have a different set of special glasses for each drink in your arsenal. If you start your collection with a set of coupe glasses and a set of old-fashioned glasses, you can serve any cocktail.
Recipes for the Best Cocktail Drinks with Champagne
1. 70’s Traditional ‘Grand Mimosa’ Easy Champagne Cocktail
You need to mix ¼ oz of each of Grand Marnier and Drambuie with 1 oz orange juice and 3 oz champagne and serve in tall glasses over ice cubes.
[To make the ‘Cobbler Cocktail’, replace the Grand Marnier and Drambuie with Maraschino liqueur and orange juice.]
70’s Traditional ‘Grand Mimosa’ Easy Champagne Cocktail
2. Alcoholic French 75 Vodka Cocktail with Orange & Raspberry
This bright reddish-orange martini can match the mood of the fall/autumn & Thanksgiving parties.
Mix ¼ oz of each of triple sec orange liqueur, Chambord raspberry liquor, and raspberry vodka, along with a dash of simple syrup, in a pitcher. To this, add ½ oz of gin, champagne, orange and raspberry extracts (you can make this at home), each. Top with 1 tsp lemon juice and an orange swirl and serve.
Alcoholic Vodka Martini with Orange & Raspberry
3. Easy Bourbon & Champagne Italian Bellini Royale Cocktail
In a champagne flute, mix together the following ingredients: ¼ oz peach schnapps, white rum, bourbon whiskey and Calvados apple brandy, each, with 2 oz of each of peach nectar and chilled champagne. Finally, add 10-12 drops of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar from the top and garnish with a mint sprig. Now serve.
[For the ‘Champagne Mojito’, omit everything except the white rum and champagne, and add 2 tsp simple syrup, mints and lemon wheels, both lightly muddled.
To make the classic ‘Casablanca Cocktail’, leave out all the ingredients except the apple brandy and the champagne, and add a sugar cube soaked in orange bitters.]
Easy Bourbon & Champagne Italian Bellini Cocktail
4. Yellow French Kiss St. Germain & Elderflower Fruit Cocktail
This healthy, low-calorie drink is ideal for your romantic moments like Valentine’s Day. To make it at home, take a large champagne glass and throw in 3-5 mashed yellow Muscat grapes. To this, add 1 splash of each of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, kumquat juice, Galliano sweet herbal liqueur, pineapple juice (or any other fruit that yields a yellow juice like mango or pear), lime juice, tequila, white wine, and gin, each. Finally, add a small dash of each of Angostura bitters and Jägermeister digestif liquor. Transfer into a wide, old-fashioned glass and top with chilled champagne. Garnish with 2-3 crushed basil, ¼ tsp freshly crushed ginger and a slice of cucumber. Enjoy your drink.
Yellow-Kiss St. Germain & Elderflower Punched-Fruit Cocktail
5. Men’s Winter Holiday Champagne Party Quick-Cocktail
This drink will match with the spirit of men’s gatherings – especially bachelorette parties.
In a large punch bowl, mix 2 cups Malibu coconut rum, ½ a bottle of each of champagne and sweet vermouth, 1 cup lemonade (or any other fizzy soft/energy drink like ginger beer, Red Bull or Sprite), and lychee juice, each, with ¼ cup of each of lime cordial (or juice), Hennessy cognac and Disaronno. Add 2 cups of ice cubes and stir for a while again. Now strain into glasses and serve the crowd.
Men’s Holiday Champagne Party Quick Cocktail
6. Gin & Champagne-infused Pink Girly Party Cocktail
This cocktail is ideal for girls’ parties, like in the bridal or baby showers.
In a shaker, mix ½ tsp of gin with ½ oz Kirschwasser (Kirsch) fruit brandy, ¼ tsp Pernod Absinthe, Grenadine, Campari and Creme de Cassis black currant liqueur, each. Strain into a cocktail glass. Now add ⅛ cup grapefruit juice and ½ tsp lavender syrup or Funkin Rhubarb Syrup (whichever flavor you would prefer) to the mix, and fill the rest with rose champagne. Sprinkle a dash of rose water and garnish with a small tbsp of sherbet, and a chilled strawberry or pink rose petals.
[This will give add the desired pinkish hue to the drink. However, if you want to make a purple variation, you need to replace the black current with blue curacao liqueur.]
Gin & Champagne-infused Pink Girly Party Cocktail
7. Cranberry-Champagne Poinsettia Signature Christmas Cocktail
Not just Christmas, this bloody-red cocktail will do well for Halloween parties as well!
This is a signature drink for the Xmas. To make this, thoroughly combine 3 oz cranberry juice with ½ oz of Cointreau in a champagne flute. Fill the remaining with chilled champagne. Now serve.
Cranberry-Champagne Poinsettia Signature Christmas Cocktail
8. Mixed Red Fruity Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail
This chilled, fruity, classic cocktail is a standard specialty drink for a spring or summer morning breakfast or for an afternoon brunch.
To make it, lightly stir mix ½ oz of each of Pallini Limoncello and Amaretto Almond Liqueur, 2 oz Champagne Brut and homemade blended pomegranate juice, each (you can also use any other red fruit like cranberry, strawberry, cherry or watermelon). Add a dash of grenadine from the top. To match with the red effect, you can garnish with mint and a hibiscus flower.
Mixed Red Fruity Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail
9. Champagne-Choco-Coffee Punched Mexican Summer Cocktail
Shake briskly for 30-40 seconds 1 tsp of corn syrup with 1 tbsp chocolate powder, 1 scoop espresso coffee ice cream, ½ oz Kahlua and Cazcabel Mexican coffee liqueur, ⅛ cup dry champagne, along with 1 cup crushed ice, until frothed up. Garnish with a pinch or two of chocolate or coffee powder.
Champagne Choco-Coffee Cocktail
10. Simple Aperol Champagne Cocktail for New Year
While you party hard in the New Year, you need to save time making the easiest drinks for your friends!
Just pour ½ oz of each of Aperol and yellow chartreuse in a champagne glass, and top off with ice-cold champagne. Decorate with a citrus wheel and serve your guests.
[For the ‘Kir Royale’ recipe, just replace the Aperol with chilled Crème de Cassis.]
Simple 2-ingredient Aperol Champagne Cocktail for New Year
While some of these yummy champagne recipes are the traditional and original ones, the others are unique and unusual. We tried to give you the best ideas to make them all right at home. So, don’t wait anymore. Just call your buddies and swoosh your champagne up in the sky!
- 5 Different Types of Wine and Their Tastes You Need to Know About
- Different Types of White Wine a Wine-Lover Should Know About
- 22 of the Best Types of Coffee to Keep You Refreshed
- 13 Types of Red Wine
Fill a champagne flute with either one part or two parts freshly-squeezed orange juice (depending on how you strong you like it and what time of the day it is) and top up with brut champagne. This is a popular drink to start the day with a pop for special celebrations such as Christmas or on the last day of a cruise!
The classic Kir Royale calls for you to add a few drops of Creme de Cassis (black currant) to a glass and top with Champagne. You could also add creme de Mure (blackberry) or peche (peach).
Note if you don’t want to use Champagne and use sparkling wine instead, it’s called a Kir Pétillant. Pêtillant means sparkling, when asking for a sparkling wine you should say “un pétillant sil vous plait”!
If you use plain white wine (non-sparkling) it is just a Kir.
A never-ending bubble fountain!
The best part about a champagne cocktail? The bubble fountain! Instead of adding sugar to the drink itself, you’ll add a sugar cube. When the champagne hits the sugar cube in the bottom of the glass, it creates an ongoing fountain of bubbles that leaves the glass literally sparkling for minutes! Want more bubbles? Just top off the glass with champagne, and you’ll have another round of bubbles to keep things lively.
There are lots of variations on a champagne cocktail, so of course we’ve put our own spin on it! Here’s what makes our version special…
Champagne, especially high-quality champagne, is a delicious beverage that requires no adulteration. And yet, it mixes so well with spirits, liqueurs, bitters and citrus that bartenders can’t help but use the sparkling wine in cocktails. Fortunately for the drinking public, that effort has resulted in countless champagne drinks, from the French 75 to the Kir Royale. But perhaps none is more elegant or complementary to its chief ingredient than the aptly named Champagne Cocktail.
This simple classic originally appeared in “The Bartender’s Guide,” an 1862 tome by Jerry Thomas. Chock full of timeless recipes, the book has become an essential resource to bartenders, both professional and amateur. Some of the drinks within are difficult to make with today’s ingredients, but not the Champagne Cocktail. Chances are high that you have everything you need to mix one: sparkling wine, Angostura bitters, sugar and a lemon twist.
You’ll take those straightforward ingredients and follow the directions of San Francisco barman Jacques Bezuidenhout, who provides this recipe.
Rather than shaking or stirring your way to a finished product, you will simply build the cocktail in your champagne flute. A bitters-soaked sugar cube is dropped into the chilled, effervescent wine, quickly lending its color to the drink along with a thin, aggressive line of bubbles racing from the bottom to the surface.
The delicious, low-ABV cocktail seems fit to improve any occasion. Drink one as an aperitif before dinner, or have one as a nightcap. Fill everyone’s outstretched hand with a flute on New Year’s Eve or at other celebratory events. You can’t go wrong when champagne is on the menu.
Note that if you don’t have any sugar cubes (say, if you’re not a 20th century tea drinker or responsible for giving treats to horses), you can use simple syrup as your sweetener. The drink will taste the same, but you’ll miss out on the fizzy effect. So, for the best results, procure some cubes. Asking for sugar is still a great way to meet neighbors—especially when you invite them over for a drink.
15 Champagne Cocktails for Celebrating Anything (But Especially New Year's Eve)
Serve up a champagne-and-something to toast the little things.
There isn't much to celebrate this year. Bleak! Or rather, there&rsquos not much big to celebrate this year. So we turn our attention to the little things that are behemoth in their achievement. Applying for that insurance reimbursement. Getting a hundred bucks chopped off rent. Completing another day of working from home next to the kids, who just completed another day of learning from home. Tiny victories, minor wins, 24-hour triumphs&mdashthat&rsquos the stuff that deserves a toast in 2020. Dust off the champagne. You know, that bottle of sparkling stuff you haven&rsquot indulged in for months.
This year was supposed to be the beginning of another Roaring &lsquo20s, with all the same riotous, champagne-popping revelry (and none of the Prohibition). It was decidedly not. But, what we imagine will be a very big celebration indeed is the passing of this wretched year and the start of 2021. Nothing feels hopeful like a new year ushered in with a bubbly drink. And in the months leading up to New Year's Eve, we recommend you break out champagne-and-something to celebrate all those tiny victories, too, which is why we put 15 champagne cocktail recipes before you.
There's the simplest champagne cocktail (called, quite literally, the Champagne Cocktail), a punch to satiate your closest friends, and more than a few classics meant for drinking the next morning, when the hair of the dog is much needed. There's even a killer called Death in the Afternoon, with absinthe and champagne. We recommend a drier brut champagne in all cases. And we recommend refills.
What is a French 75?
A French 75 is just a fancy name for a champagne cocktail made with gin and lemon! It’s a classic alcoholic drink on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. Alex and I love how the flavor is complex and tangy, and the mouthfeel is bubbly. Here’s what’s in a classic French 75 cocktail:
- Lemon juice
- Simple syrup
You also can substitute pure maple syrup instead of simple syrup as a naturally sweet option. In fact, we prefer the flavor: it’s a gentler sweetener than sugar. We use this trick in many of our classic cocktails, from our gin fizz to classic daiquiri to whiskey sour. But of course you can use simple syrup instead if you prefer!
Our page on the history and alternative recipes for the Champagne Cocktail gives more information.
There are approximately 135 calories in one serving of Champagne Cocktail.
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Classic Champagne Cocktail recipes & history
One of the oldest cocktails, dating back to at least the mid-1800s, the Champagne Cocktail consists of a sugar cube.
Bitters are alcoholic beverages prepared with herbs, spices, roots, fruits and peels infused in alcohol or glycerin.
Cognac is a fine French brandy (eau-de-vie) from the region that surrounds the little town of Cognac in southwest.
Angostura & Angostura-style aromatic bitters
Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert, a German doctor, created Angostura Bitters to treat stomach disorders and indigestion.
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