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Oct 31, 2008 05:03 PM

What is your favourite champagne cocktail recipe?

I wasn't sure if I should post this on the wine board or the spirits board. I am having a cocktail party and want to offer a champagne cocktail as their welcoming drink. I want it to be easy and liked by most people. I am not interested in a fruity drink. What have you tried and like?

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  1. I love French 75s, which are easy to make and delicious. Here's an example recipe :

    I stole a trick from a restaurant in my area that makes them with meyer lemons. Seriously wonderful.

    -Another Sarah G.

    2 Replies
    1. re: squidly

      Totally agree. French 75s, made with a gin heavy on floral notes and light on juniper (i.e.,Damrack or Hendricks), are entirely worthy of decent sparkling wine or low-end champagne.

      For the kir/belini types of drinks, any sort of bubbly between $10 and $20 seems to go down just fine.

      1. re: squidly

        I finally made a modified French 75 - with gin and bitters and sugar cube. I like it! I had forgotten about your recipe, now I'll try it with lemon juice rather than bitters. But....I can only handle a touch of gin! They are killer.

      2. Splash of Chambord topped with Champagne and a fresh raspberry.

        Happy Halloween !

        1. Favorite recipe?

          1. Chill bottle of Champagne.
          2. Open bottle of Champagne.
          3. Pour.
          4. Drink.

          I know lots of people love Champagne cocktails, but I just had to throw in that I've never tasted one I preferred to "straight" Champagne. But that said, I would urge you not to use a top-quality Champagne in your cocktail. A Charmat bottling from California, or an Italian Prosecco, will work just fine . . .

          13 Replies
          1. re: zin1953

            I know, I know. What can top champagne!

            1. re: sarah galvin

              Sarah, I'm with zin1953 here...

              If you really wanted to play around with a "Champagne" cocktail to greet your guests, I'd be tempted to buy an inexpensive Rose sparkling wine that still tasted all right -- say the Mumm Napa Rose Brut, and add a splash of cranberry or pomegranate juice -- so it's pink on pink -- and garnish with a cranberry in the bottom of the flute...kinda seasonal.

              I recall the old "Champagne" cocktails with the angostura bitters and sugar cube, the Bellini, the Kir Royale, and several others. But you never muck with good Champagne, as you probably well know...

              1. re: maria lorraine

                Sure, you don't much with the good champagne, but what's wrong with mucking with the okay stuff? I'm perfectly happy to drink a nice glass of bourgogne aligoté all by its lonesome, but if I'd like to have a kir, I hardly feel like it's a crime. Some lower-end champagnes are in the same category for me (although they tend to cost too much for what they are, unlike aligoté) -- I'll happily drink them, but I'll happily drink them with cassis or violette as well.

                But to answer my own question, I think drinking or mucking with the okay champagnes is generally a rip-off. Buy two bottles of the same quality Sekt, prosecco or cava, or spend a few bucks more on a better bottle.

                1. re: tmso

                  "Sure, you don't much with the good champagne, but what's wrong with mucking with the okay stuff?"

                  To quote a famous movie line, "You talking to me???"

                  I said mucking with inexpensive sparkling wine was fine, even providing a recipe for suitable mucking with the Mumm Napa Rose Brut.

                  If you like enjoy a Kir Royale, Bellini, or other sparkling wine cocktail, by all means, please enjoy them and muck to your heart's content. I'll even join you occasionally, especially in the summertime for fresh white peach Bellinis on the porch for brunch. But if you try to muck with my Krug or RM, I may get violent.

                  We're not in disagreement so I'm not quite understanding your post.

                  1. re: maria lorraine

                    I thought I was talking to you, anyhow. The point I was trying to make, without too much success it seems, was: I totally agree with you about not messing with Krug, and about going ahead and messing with cheaper sparklers. But, I fear that people often dismiss better Proseccos, Cavas and Sekts as being only good for mixing, and often hold lower-end Champagnes is a reverence they don't deserve. A lot of the latter are no better than Sekts that cost half as much -- while at the same time, there are some very nice Sekts that cost about the same as low-end champagnes, but would be too nice to use as a mixer.

                    Not sure if that's a disagreement with you or not, it wasn't clear to me from your posts.

                    1. re: tmso

                      Yes, yes, very nice. Good points. No, not all Champagnes are, ahem! Champagnes.

                      I truly did not understand your first post. Thanks for clarifying.


                2. re: maria lorraine

                  Maria, what do you know about Roederer Estate's low end California stuff? It used to be my go to cheap Rose, but recently it seems to have fallen off in quality. Are they using new vineyards, expanding production too much, etc.? The higher end stuff still seems the same.

                  In my experience it strikes me as a better value than Mumm's low end stuff.

                  1. re: SteveG

                    Just had a glass two weeks ago (as a greeting!) and it seemed kinda like nothin'.

                    Roederer Estate changed their winemaker, perhaps changed their fruit-sourcing,
                    perhaps over-expanded and quality suffered as a result. But no, it's not the same.I believe Jason (zin1953) wrote a post within the past year about the changes in RE. I'll see if I can find it.

                    But for a Champagne cocktail, cheap RE would be fine. The Mumm Rose --
                    in contrast to the RE -- has more Pinot Noir heft...better for food and for a cocktail.

                    I'd love to try a Mumm Rose cocktail with a dosage of Cointreau, a splash of Pom, and a long spiral of orange peel. I may hate it, but I'd like to try it.

                    1. re: maria lorraine

                      Maria, remember when I didn't care for the Mumm rose? I think I've come around on it! I had a glass this past week, and it was, well, pretty damn good! Maybe it was because it was free. I'll try a second bottle on my own dime.

                      1. re: mengathon

                        Happy New Year, meng...
                        It's the not the finest Rose Bubbly, but for $13 -$15, it's got a great QPR. As does the Brut Prestige, also by Mumm Napa Valley.

                1. re: ibstatguy

                  I somehow doubt the IP was wondering what to do with a case of 1996 Krug.................

                  1. re: TonyO

                    I should bloody well hope not!

              2. There is nothing you can add to Champagne that doesn't detract from one of the most enjoyable drinks in the world.

                If you intend spoiling your Champagne, please do leave a few glasses untouched for people who appreciate it.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Gussie Finknottle

                  I am torn. I love champagne alone. I even like the other sparklies like cava and prosecco.

                  1. re: sarah galvin

                    There are countless delicious sparkling wines from around the world, not only from the Champagne region of France.

                    You might want to seek out, as but one example, a Vin de Bugey-Cerdon. There are low in alcohol, typically about 8 percent, and quite fruity; off-dry, but not cloying (think of a well-made Extra Dry, rather than a Brut, but with more finesse); and with a pale pink-to-rosé color. The two best I have found are the Domaine Renardat-Fâche, which is imported by Louis/Dressner (see ); and the one produced by Patrick Bottex, which is imported into the US by Kermit Lynch (Kermit's website is horrible, so see for a description). I think you'll like them.

                    1. re: zin1953

                      Perhaps I should serve a rose champagne/sparkling wine rather than the cocktail idea. It would be much simpler.

                      1. re: sarah galvin

                        The Wine Cellar in Calgary appears to have some Lucien Albrecht Cremant D'Alsace Brut in stock -- very tasty!

                        1. re: zin1953

                          I just checked their website and couldn't find it. I'll have to drive down and ask. Thanks for the tip.

                          1. re: sarah galvin


                            CSPC PRODUCER Our SPARKLING YEAR PRICE
                            718195 Lucien Albrecht Cremant D'Alsace Brut $20.99

                            1. re: zin1953

                              Wow! That's service and such a good price point. I'll be down.

                2. I disagree with many above. ANY sparkling wine works in a champagne cocktail, even the $3 bottles. That's the beauty. The bubbles make it all good. I love (even though you said not "fruity") the "Me and Mrs. Jones" cocktail from the great book SHAKEN AND STIRRED, from NYT colum of same name. (Remember that song? The drink feels like that exactly. Very seductive.)

                  1/2 oz dry vermouth, 1/2 Rose's Lime Juice 5 oz champagne or sparkling wine, 1 oz chambord, 1 or 2 dashes maraschino cherry juice, dash of bitters, maraschino cherry if you like.

                  Chill everything. In champagne glass add lime juice, and Chambord. Fill the glass with champagne. Top with vermouth, cherry juice and bitters. Garnish with cherry (optional) The layers merge lazily together and the only problem is drinking too many and going astray during the party.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: pickypicky

                    >>> I disagree with many above. ANY sparkling wine works in a champagne cocktail, even the $3 bottles. That's the beauty. <<<

                    Who are you disagreeing with? The whole point IS to use inexpensive sparklers!

                    1. re: zin1953

                      I was disagreeing with the commentors who said that a champagne cocktail is a ruin of good champagne. True. A champagne cocktail should only be made with an cheap bubbler. And I've never found one so bad it couldn't be used in a ch. cocktail. . .

                    2. re: pickypicky

                      If you're talking about $3 bottles then you are not talking about Champagne.

                      1. re: pickypicky

                        This sounds wonderful but I think a little too complicated for a larger party. Can most of it be made in advance and then just top up with champagne.

                        And, BTW, I'm not using the expensive stuff!! But I do think that I should use something decent, like a prosecco or cava.

                        1. re: sarah galvin

                          Sarah, if you mean the "me and Mrs. Jones" cocktail-- yes, you can prepare in advance. A pitcher of the Chambord and lime juice (increased per proportions), the champagne opened, and a pitcher of the vermouth, bitters, and cherry juice. practice pouring into a glass to see the right amount for each. Then it's just three pours. there's just something about cocktails that elevates an event. I have friends who won't drink champagne no matter how fine it is, but they won't turn down any cocktail, if it's free. (And you might want to experiment on a few pre-drinks. Always fun)

                          1. re: pickypicky

                            I agree - 'there is something about a cocktail that elevates an event'. I have already had a bottle of sparkling vino sampling recipe - I guess another bottle wouldn't be that bad! Cherry juice? I have never had that.