Hooray for the Everyday: The Champagne Cocktail Is for Any Occasion

by Steve Schul and Paul Zablocki

Nothing says "Cocktail Party" quite like a Champagne Cocktail. The sound of the bubbles rippling to the top of the glass, breaking the surface in gentle, aromatic huffs entices you instantly. Draw it to your lips and you can smell the slightly sweet brandy mingle with the spicy redolence of the Angostura bitters. Take one sip and let the giddiness ensue.

The Champagne Cocktail seems to have first appeared in print in Robert Tomes's 1855 chronicle of the Panama Railroad, and he describes it as 'the most delicious thing in the world." After he carefully watches his friend craft this seemingly magical elixir, the two immediately take sips, and our illustrious author remarks how "the Champagne cock-tail... went whirring, roaring, foaming, and flowing down mine and the friendly concocter's thirsty throats." Already we understand the power of this fizzy delight when in the company of another. It begs to be shared. Just hand one to your guests as they walk through the door and watch their reactions. You will have created an instant frisson of celebration as you welcome these eager, thirsty souls into your home.

The beauty of the Champagne Cocktail not only lies in its simplicity, it pairs will with so much party food. Oysters and clams on the half shell, spiced nuts, canapes, and mini quiches come to mind instantly. But don't stop there; next time you whip up an hors d'oeuvre, make sure you have some bubbly handy and pour yourself a Champagne Cocktail. How do they taste together? We hope the answer is "Perfect."

Remember, champagne doesn't have to be just for a party. A hard day at work is reason enough to pop the cork and start pouring. You deserve it.

Champagne Cocktail
(adapted by Cocktail Buzz)

  • 1 oz. brandy (we like Asbach) or cognac (Hennessy will do you fine)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 3-4 oz. champagne
  • sugar cube

Drop a sugar cube in a champagne flute and douse with bitters. Add chilled champagne. Float brandy on top by inverting a spoon over the flute and gently pouring the brandy onto the back of the spoon so that it cascades into the flute.

Visit Steve and Paul at CocktailBuzz.com for more cocktail and food pairing ideas.

photo © Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz