This is a classic sparkling drink that’s been around for a very long time. At least since 1862. Modern versions add an ounce of brandy or cognac, and I certainly don’t object if you want to go that route, but here we’re featuring the original. It uses Angostura Bitters in an interesting way: as the principal flavor component, balancing them with plenty of sweetness so that they don’t overwhelm the palate.
This drink is all about the preparation. Sure, you could substitute simple syrup for the sugar cube, but it’s more fun to really soak that cube with bitters, then add a little champagne, and stir thoroughly to let the sugar dissolve. You’ll have to top it up very slowly — the sugar really makes the champagne fizz, but the end result is delicious and worth the wait.
This article is a modified and enhanced version of a post that ran on my nightly cocktail blog, DrinkShouts. Liquors in parentheses are what I used when I made this recipe, and are included as suggestions.
The Champagne Cocktail Recipe
- Bar spoon
- Place the sugar cube in a champagne coupe or flute. Soak the sugar cube thoroughly with bitters and add a bit of champagne.
- Stir thoroughly, until sugar is entirely dissolved. Top off slowly with more champagne.