Well it had been a while since we had been able to gather so we went all out with Prime Rib roast, fresh focaccia and a really delish walnut and avocado salad. And so we decided to start with an oldy, but goody cocktail. You can find a lot of Champagne cocktails if you go looking, but there is only one Champagne cocktail. Appearing as early as 1862, the original version had no brandy, but by 1882 Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Bartender’s Manual, or How to Mix Drinks in the Present Style had added in the extra fruity flavour and that’s how it stands today.
They recommend you choose a good Champagne because it contributes the flavour, making for a better cocktail overall. We went with Mumm’s to try and keep it in some sort of reasonable budget, and I would be willing to try again with a good prosecco or cava.
- 1 sugar cube
- 2 to 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
- .5 ounce cognac
- 6 ounces Champagne
- orange slice
Add the sugar cube to a champagne flute and saturate with bitters. Add the cognac and top up with Champagne. Garnish with orange slice and/or a maraschino cherry.
The verdict: Was there any doubt? It would take a pretty hardened teetotaller to turn their noses up at this classic. The drink definitely has layers with some of the sugar and cognac concentrating near the bottom of the glass giving you a nice sweet finish that really just entices you to pop another cork. I could see this become a really expensive addiction. Needless to say, enjoyed by all.