Delicious on its own, chilled in a long tall flute or a round coupe, Champagne is the world’s favourite drink for festive occasions and just about any time. It also makes a wonderful base for a special cocktail and here are five of my all time favourite classic Champagne Cocktail recipes…
Place a sugar cube in a chilled champagne flute, lash it with two or three dashes of bitters (Angostura or Peychaud’s), then fill the glass with brut champagne and squeeze a lemon twist on top. For a cheaper alternative you can use plain sparkling wine but it definitely won’t taste quite the same!
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.
This delicious drink was invented at Harry’s Bar in Venice. To make it really special squeeze ripe peaches and add four parts Champagne to one part juice. You can also use creme de peche or tinned peach juice.
Death in the Afternoon
One part absinthe to three parts Champagne, this is not a drink for the faint hearted, or for anyone who wants to function afterwards. Ernest Hemingway claimed to have invented this Champagne cocktail and to enjoy five glasses in a sitting – who knows, it could be true! You can use Pastis instead of absinthe, which isn’t available in some countries.