Champagne Cocktail

Updated: 21 Sep 2012 | By:

Classic Cocktail 12

In the recent months, there have been many celebrations in Malaysia – Hari Raya, Merdeka and Malaysia Day. So why not have a glass of the most iconic celebratory beverage, the bubbly à la “cocktail style”!

Champagne Cocktail has been around for about 150 years, with the proof in the 1862 How to Mix Drinks book by Jerry Thomas, validating Champagne Cocktail as one of the classics. Let’s recap on the definition of a cocktail: spirits OR wine, sweetened with sugar, diluted with water if necessary and spiced with a few dashes of bitters. In Champagne Cocktail, there’s the wine (champagne), sugar cube and Angostura bitters, but dilution is not required.

Let’s look at how to make this cocktail and what should you be looking for when making it. It is a simple cocktail really and since it is a built drink, you don’t need any fancy equipment but a pretty champagne flute and put in all the ingredients. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Only thing is you may not achieve the balance required without the correct sequence and type of bubbly.

Follow these steps to a great Champagne Cocktail: first, get a plate with a paper napkin and place 1 sugar cube on the napkin. Then, pour 3 or 4 dashes of Angostura bitters on the sugar cube or until you feel that the sugar cube has been totally saturated with the bitters. Next, drop the cube into the champagne flute and top with champagne. Alas, always make sure that the champagne is chilled at around 5 to 6°C. No ice should be used and no garnish is required. (Back in the day, sugar cubes were not available, so 1 teaspoon of sugar was used in the same fashion)

With this cocktail, it can only be called Champagne Cocktail when the wine from the region of Champagne in France is used as any sparkling wine or bubbly produced outside of the region will no longer be called “champagne”. Above all, use champagne which is labelled with the term “brut” (meaning “dry or not sweet”) as this is the most favourable style to achieve the balance in this cocktail.