HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
Jun 18, 2012 08:54 PM

Your favorite champagne cocktails?

I have an open bottle of inexpensive cava (M. Chevallier Brut Cava from TJ's) that I don't want to go to waste. I tried one recipe from the St Germain website (St Germain, lemon juice and champagne) but I think I prefer St G with gin.
So, what are your favorite champagne cocktails?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Top fave would be a French 75. I also like a classic Champagne cocktail which I'm going to try with Elixir Vegetal next go. I also like it with a bit of a favorite liqueur, like Cointreau or Chambord.

    I had a lovely one with apricot as the main flavor at Pegu Club several years ago, but have never had success finding the recipe (no surprise as I don't even remember the name of the drink).

    1. Combine both ideas with the "French 77" -- a version with St Germain. I prefer French 75's with cognac.

      www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

      5 Replies
      1. re: EvergreenDan

        That's actually what we made from the St G website, they just call it a St-Honoré 75. Some recipes for the 77 suggest 1 part lemon to 2 parts St Germain, though, which I think would help- the St Honore recipe called for 1:4 and the lemon was mostly covered up.

        1. re: EvergreenDan

          I didn't know there were versions of the French 75. IWhere does the cognac come in - in place of the gin? In addition to the gin?

          1. re: tokyopix

            In place of the gin. Some recipes specify one or the other and others say it can be either. I believe the general consensus is that gin was the original spirit. Check out this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/500194

            Just had a French 75 made with Spanish brandy since my cognac isn't handy, and it was much, much nicer than the gin one. I used 1 oz brandy, 1/2 oz lemon, a tsp of sugar (shaken with ice) and maybe three to four ounces of champagne. It was less light, but much more interesting and better overall flavor. Interesting that most recipes specify gin because like EvergreenDan I much preferred the brandy variation.

            1. re: tinnywatty

              That sounds good, I'll give it a go! Which Spanish brandy did you use?

        2. The Colonel’s Big Opu at Trader Vic's

          I dont know the recipe - perhaps someone else does, but it is gin champagne and something else with crushed ice

          6 Replies
          1. re: Dapuma

            I found this (sort of vague) recipe- does that sound about right?
            1 pt London dry gin
            1 pt Cointreau
            ½ pt Freshly squeezed lime juice
            1 ds orange bitters
            Top up with brut champagne

            1. re: Dapuma

              What's everyone's take on champagne drinks over ice? I've been horrified a few times at being served a French 75 over ice and just stopped trying to order them when out. I was told by a great bar tender in London that drinks containing champagne should never be served over ice, but this was before the craft cocktail movement began.

              1. re: tokyopix

                One online source said that champagne served over ice can become too cold, which will suppress the aromas and flavors. I wouldn't think it would look as pretty- the ice would get in the way of the bubble trails.

                1. re: tinnywatty

                  I hadn't thought about it not looking as pretty, but that's a good point. I think of it as watering down the champagne (like soda gets all icky and watery with ice melt) and that seems so yuck to me. I understand that liquor benefits from ice melt in a cocktail, but it just doesn't seem right with champagne.

                  1. re: tokyopix

                    I actually like ice melt in soda since sodas tend to be too sweet and syrupy for me, but I definitely agree regarding champagne and ice, unless perhaps it's a potentially spirits-heavy cocktail like the Big Opu recipe I posted upthread. Even in those cases, I think I'd prefer the non-sparkling ingredients stirred or shaken with ice then strained and topped with champagne, rather than the whole drink being served on ice.

                    Champagne tends to be just over 10% abv, right? So ice melt would be totally unnecessary and would water it down, compared to a cocktail made up mostly of ~40% abv spirits with some juices (so maybe around 30% abv altogether). It's not like wine is ever served over ice- it's too low in alcohol to stand up to the ice melt. Although people do sometimes drink vermouth and other aromatized wines on the rocks, and I think those are usually less than 20% abv- maybe they have stronger flavors than wine and champagne that can stand up to the dilution.

                    1. re: tinnywatty

                      Exactly, I think of it like wine on the rocks. Though I think I heard that sometimes in France they drink rose with ice. But never champagne! Ice also dilutes the fizz (just like soda, which I like sweet and fizzy!) which is a shame and isn't a pleasant taste/sensation.