Champagne Cocktail

Champagne Cocktail with sparkling wine, brandy, bitters, and a sugar cube

The Champagne Cocktail is an ancient recipe that’s so far out, it’s back in again. We like the proportions of this recipe from Simon Difford’s Cocktails: The Bartender’s Bible, which was featured in The Washington Post a few years ago. It’s really more of a template than a hard-and-fast recipe; it’s a great canvas for experimentation with spirits and bitters. It doesn’t even strictly require Champagne; any dry sparkling wine will do.

Nobody knows the origins of this drink, but it goes back at least as far as the mid-19th century, when sparkling drinks became the must-have trendy drinks among elites in America and Britain. Older recipes call for the addition of an ice cube or two, which we prefer to modern ice-less recipes; if you don’t keep your brandy or other spirit chilled, it’ll warm up the drink unpleasantly without the ice cube.

You’ll notice that the sugar cube doesn’t completely dissolve. Resist the urge to break it down with a barspoon – it’s meant to stay mostly whole, serving as a medium to soak up the bitters before they’re carried into the drink by the sparkling bubbles.

Ingredients

Instructions

Place the sugar cube at the bottom of a chilled champagne flute. Soak it with the drops of bitters, and top with the brandy (or other spirit). Add some ice if desired, and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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Cocktail Party app on tablets and phones

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The Cocktail Party app puts this drink – and hundreds more – in your pocket, and tells you what you can make from the ingredients you have at home. It's the best $3.99 you'll ever spend on a drink.

Really Good App

We downloaded the app after seeing it as one of the top posts on /r/cocktails, and we've been playing around with it and adding our ingredients to the list. While it's not an all inclusive list of ingredients (missing some creme de ), it's a solid overall app and tosses out some truly spectacular recipes based on what you have in your liquor cabinet. Minor quibbles for an otherwise fantastic application!
US JCorduroy, iTunes App Store