Champagne Cocktail Drink

Champagne Cocktail

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

This drink is straightforward with a few simple ingredients, transforming your evening into a cocktail soiree.

Champagne Cocktail Recipe

Combining Champagne, a hint of sugar, and dashes of bitters is a classic choice for any classy event.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

94 kl

Ingredients

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 5 oz Champagne, chilled
  • Lemon twist, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Champagne Flute
  • Measuring Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Flute: Place 1 sugar cube at the bottom of the Champagne flute.
  • Add Bitters: Drip 2-3 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters directly onto the sugar cube.
  • Pour Champagne: Fill the flute with 5 oz Champagne, allowing the bubbles to dissolve the sugar.
  • Garnish: Twist a lemon peel over the drink to release its oils and drop it into the flute.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Sugar Cube: I sometimes use a teaspoon of granulated sugar if I run out of sugar cubes. The experience changes slightly, but the drink remains delightful.
  • Angostura Bitters: Orange bitters are a delightful alternative, imparting a unique citrusy flavor profile.
  • Champagne: I've used Prosecco or Cava before. While both are sparkling wines, each brings distinct characteristics to the cocktail.

Making a Pitcher of Champagne Cocktail:

  • Scale: For a pitcher that serves 8, use 8 sugar cubes, 16-24 dashes of bitters, and about 40 oz (1.2 liters) of Champagne.
  • Mix: In the pitcher, combine sugar cubes and bitters. When you're ready to serve, pour the Champagne and stir gently.
  • Serve: Distribute the mixture into Champagne flutes, garnish with lemon twists, and serve at once.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Champagne Substitute: Choose a non-alcoholic sparkling wine or a fizzy grape juice. These often capture the bubbly essence without the alcohol.
  • Angostura Bitters: infuse simple syrup with gentian root, cardamom and orange peel to replicate the bitterness and the aromas.
  • Proceed As Usual: Replace the Champagne with the non-alcoholic alternative and follow the original steps. You'll get a bubbly, non-alcoholic treat!

Making it Vegan:

Good news! The classic Cocktail already fits within a vegan diet. However, always check the labels on store-bought items, especially wines and bitters, as some might use non-vegan ingredients or processing agents. Choose vegan-certified products to be certain.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
94
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.01
g
0
%
Sodium
 
10
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
7
g
2
%
Sugar
 
6
g
7
%
Potassium
 
125
mg
4
%
Protein
 
0.1
g
0
%
Calcium
 
13
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%

 

Champagne Cocktail Drink

Champagne Cocktail Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Combining Champagne, a hint of sugar, and dashes of bitters is a classic choice for any classy event.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 94

Ingredients
 

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 5 oz Champagne - chilled
  • Lemon twist - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Champagne Flute
  • Measuring Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Flute: Place 1 sugar cube at the bottom of the Champagne flute.
  • Add Bitters: Drip 2-3 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters directly onto the sugar cube.
  • Pour Champagne: Fill the flute with 5 oz Champagne, allowing the bubbles to dissolve the sugar.
  • Garnish: Twist a lemon peel over the drink to release its oils and drop it into the flute.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Sugar Cube: I sometimes use a teaspoon of granulated sugar if I run out of sugar cubes. The experience changes slightly, but the drink remains delightful.
  • Angostura Bitters: Orange bitters are a delightful alternative, imparting a unique citrusy flavor profile.
  • Champagne: I've used Prosecco or Cava before. While both are sparkling wines, each brings distinct characteristics to the cocktail.

Making a Pitcher of Champagne Cocktail:

  • Scale: For a pitcher that serves 8, use 8 sugar cubes, 16-24 dashes of bitters, and about 40 oz (1.2 liters) of Champagne.
  • Mix: In the pitcher, combine sugar cubes and bitters. When you're ready to serve, pour the Champagne and stir gently.
  • Serve: Distribute the mixture into Champagne flutes, garnish with lemon twists, and serve at once.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Champagne Substitute: Choose a non-alcoholic sparkling wine or a fizzy grape juice. These often capture the bubbly essence without the alcohol.
  • Angostura Bitters: infuse simple syrup with gentian root, cardamom and orange peel to replicate the bitterness and the aromas.
  • Proceed As Usual: Replace the Champagne with the non-alcoholic alternative and follow the original steps. You'll get a bubbly, non-alcoholic treat!

Making it Vegan:

Good news! The classic Cocktail already fits within a vegan diet. However, always check the labels on store-bought items, especially wines and bitters, as some might use non-vegan ingredients or processing agents. Choose vegan-certified products to be certain.

What is a Classic Champagne Cocktail?

Champagne Cocktail is a beverage featuring Champagne, sugar, and bitters. Historians trace its origins to high society gatherings in the 19th century. The name simply and elegantly captures the essence of the drink: a cocktail with the star ingredient being Champagne. The cocktail is considered to be one of the “Contemporary Classics” by the IBA(International Bartender Association) that officially recognizes the drink.

A side shot of a Champagne cocktail in a champagne flute on a black table with a silver cloth around, in front of a red wall.

What is a Champagne Cocktail made of – The ingredients

Prepare the following ingredients for your Champagne Cocktail:

  • Champagne: The primary component, it provides the bubbliness that defines the cocktail.
  • Sugar Cube: Adds a sweetness; it slowly dissolves in the Champagne, creating a gentle fizz.
  • Angostura Bitters: These aromatic drops enhance the flavor profile, adding a hint of spice and complexity.
  • Lemon Twist (optional): A garnish with a slight citrus aroma, complementing the drink’s overall taste.

Champagne, Angostura Bitters and sugar cubes laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a Champagne Cocktail?

To achieve the best results when making your own Champagne Cocktail, follow our guide:

1
<p>Start by placing a sugar cube at the bottom of a Champagne flute.</p>

Start by placing a sugar cube at the bottom of a Champagne flute.

2
<p>Drip 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters directly onto the sugar cube, allowing it to soak in.</p>

Drip 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters directly onto the sugar cube, allowing it to soak in.

3
<p>Pour chilled Champagne into the flute, filling it up while letting the bubbles dissolve the sugar.</p>

Pour chilled Champagne into the flute, filling it up while letting the bubbles dissolve the sugar.

4
<p>Twist a lemon peel over the drink to release its aromatic oils.</p>

Twist a lemon peel over the drink to release its aromatic oils.

5
<p>Drop the lemon twist into the flute as a garnish.</p>

Drop the lemon twist into the flute as a garnish.

Champagne Cocktail Variations

There are plenty of champagne-based cocktails, we recommend one of these:

  • MimosaEffortlessly combining champagne with fresh orange juice, it offers a citrusy, refreshing experience perfect for brunch. The natural sweetness of the orange juice complements the bubbly lightness of the champagne beautifully.
  • Bellini – Champagne meets peach purée in this mix, creating a fruity, velvety delight. The soft, sweet touch of peach purée enhances the crispness of the champagne, making it a festive favorite.
  • Kir Royale – Champagne gets an elegant twist with a splash of crème de cassis, introducing a luxurious blackcurrant flavor. The deep berry taste from the crème de cassis pairs exquisitely with the champagne.
  • French 75 – Gin, lemon juice, and sugar join champagne in this classic, balancing tartness and sweetness with a botanical complexity from the gin. The combination elevates the champagne’s effervescence to a sophisticated level.
  • Black Velvet – Stout beer layers with champagne in this unique choice, contrasting the deep richness of the stout with the light, crisp champagne.
  • Air Mail – A tropical twist emerges as champagne blends with rum, lime juice, and honey. The zesty kick from the rum and lime juice, smoothed by honey, creates a refreshing experience.
  • Death in the Afternoon – Champagne and a dose of absinthe come together for a potent, anise-flavored kick. The strong flavor of absinthe boldly stands out against the champagne’s backdrop.
  • Poinsettia – Cranberry juice and triple sec mix with champagne, resulting in a fruity, holiday-inspired creation. The tartness of cranberry juice and citrus notes from the triple sec harmonize delightfully.
  • Seelbach – Bourbon, Cointreau, and bitters combine with champagne for a complex, spirited lift. The warm depth of bourbon contrasts nicely with the champagne’s lightness.
  • Diamond Fizz – Offering a more carbonated experience, this is similar to a French 75 but served as a fizz. I enjoy its lively extra fizziness, which elevates the classic gin and champagne combination.
  • Rossini – Strawberry purée and champagne blend to create a berry-infused, sweet treat. The natural, fruity sweetness of strawberry purée is something I find irresistibly refreshing, especially on warm days.
  • St-Germain Cocktail – St-Germain elderflower liqueur infuses champagne, adding a unique floral sweetness. The subtle floral notes from the elderflower create a sophisticated, aromatic experience.
  • Champagne Mojito – This brings a bubbly twist to the classic mojito mix of rum, mint, and lime. The addition of champagne makes the traditional mojito even more celebratory and refreshing.
  • Hibiscus Champagne – Champagne is enhanced with hibiscus syrup, introducing a tart and floral note. The vibrant color and distinct tangy flavor of hibiscus syrup beautifully complement the champagne.

A side shot of a Champagne cocktail in a champagne flute with a silver cloth around, in front of a red wall and a champagne bottle.

History and Origin of the Champagne Cocktail

The Champagne Cocktail boasts a storied past that dates back to the 19th century. Historians often regard it as one of the earliest concoctions labeled a “cocktail,” a testament to its timelessness and appeal. The drink first made its printed appearance in Jerry Thomas’s 1862 bartending guide, “How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion.” Its simplicity and elegance quickly endeared it to high society, making it a staple in upscale bars and salons across the United States and Europe.

Its popularity dovetailed with Champagne’s increasing availability and allure during the same period as more people gained access to this once exclusive beverage. The Champagne Cocktail offered a novel way to enjoy the bubbly in a mixed drink format. Over time, the cocktail has maintained its stature, continually appearing on bar menus and in literature, cementing its place as a classic in the world of mixology.

A Champagne cocktail, shot from above, in a champagne flute on a white marmol table surrounded by Champagne, Angostura Bitters and sugar cubes.

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FAQ

How many calories are typically in a Champagne Cocktail?
A standard Champagne Cocktail contains approximately 80-100 calories, which can vary based on the specific ingredients and proportions used.
What is the average strength of a Champagne Cocktail?
The ABV (Alcohol by Volume) for a Champagne Cocktail typically ranges from 10% to 12%. In terms of proof, that's 20 to 24 proof.
Which alcohol forms the base of the Champagne Cocktail?
The primary alcoholic component of a Champagne Cocktail is, unsurprisingly, Champagne.
In which type of glass is a Champagne Cocktail usually served?
A Champagne Cocktail is traditionally served in a Champagne flute.
What does a Champagne Cocktail taste like?
The Champagne Cocktail offers a sophisticated flavor profile, balancing the effervescence of Champagne with the sweetness of sugar and the aromatic complexity of bitters.
What's the typical ratio of ingredients in a Champagne Cocktail?
While variations exist, a classic ratio involves one sugar cube, 2-3 dashes of bitters, topped off with Champagne in a flute.
How is the Champagne Cocktail usually served in relation to ice or temperature?
The Champagne Cocktail is served chilled, typically without ice. Champagne should be cold when poured into the glass.
What's the history behind the Champagne Cocktail?
Originating in the 19th century, the Champagne Cocktail became popular through high society gatherings and featured in early bartending guides.

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