The Classic Champagne Cocktail dates back to the mid-1800s. This one’s truly a classic. Champagne, Cognac, a sugar cube, and bitters, many would argue that one shouldn’t pollute a glass of fine champagne with sugar and bitters.
David Embury wrote in his 1940’s book ‘The Fine Art Of Mixing Drinks’:
“From every point of view, other than cost, this cocktail is a decidedly inferior drink, and no true champagne lover would ever commit the sacrilege of polluting a real vintage champagne by dunking even plain sugar — much less bitters — in it. So if you must…serve this incongruous mess just for the sake of ‘putting on the dog,’ then, in the name of all that a true lover of the grape holds sacred, use an inexpensive domestic champagne or even an artificially carbonated white wine.”
I tend to agree, up to a point. Good champagne should be enjoyed as is, but if you’re like me, and you have cheap champagne in the fridge and prefer cocktails to wine, then champagne makes the perfect mixer. Although called a Champagne Cocktail, it works great with any sparkling wine and a variety of cognacs and liqueurs.
Here’s my Classic Champagne Cocktail recipe:
Classic Champagne Cocktail
- 1 Sugar Cube
- 3 Dashes Angostura, Orange or Peychaud’s Bitters
- 1 Ounce Grand Marnier
- 3 Ounces Champagne
- Orange Peel
- Place a sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne flute or coupe and add 3 dashes of bitters
- Add 1 ounce of Grand Marnier
- Top off the glass with Champagne
- Garnish with orange twist or strawberry