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By the mid 1800’s the classic Champagne Cocktail was all the rage in genteel society. Cocktails using champagne as a base are as old as the beverage itself. Add fruit to anything that fizzes and you’ve got a drink that’s been around for hundreds of years. One has to believe that the monks who invented champagne put in some local fruit during their experimentation with the bubbly wine that they created. Today champagne cocktails are as hip as ever!
Champagne Cocktail Basics
1. Chill your champagne to 42 to 45° F.
2. Do not use cheap champagne for cocktails.
3. Good ingredients make for a good drink.
4. Use dry champagne for cocktails because most champagne drinks are on the sweet side.
5. Chill the glass/flute ahead of time.
6. Pour small amounts at a time to prevent a foam over. Repeat until the glass is filled.
Classic Champagne Cocktail (From the Metropolitan Hotel, NYC circa 1935)
1 Sugar Cube
Soak the sugar cube with a couple of good splashes of Angostura
Bitters and place in the bottom of a large champagne flute. Fill
Slowly with the sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon twist.
For a stronger drink add a “float” of cognac to your Champagne Cocktail or add a splash of Campari instead of the cognac and you’ve got a “Goodnight Kiss.”
Prepare the lemon twists one or two hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate them until they are needed. Lemon twists are made from the entire peel. Peel half a lemon with your thumb (as you would and orange) and then cut several twists from the peel. A twist should be about ¼ inch wide and 1 inch long.
½ Ounce Crème de Cassis
Large Wine Glass
Pour the champagne into a large chilled wine glass. Add ½ ounce of crème de cassis and gently stir. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
1 Ounce Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
5 Ounces Champagne
Pour the champagne and orange juice into any chilled wine glass and gently stir. Garnish with an orange slice.