Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | December 30, 2008

Bubbly Cocktails

I’m going to do something I rarely do and post recipes that I didn’t make up for cocktails I don’t have pictures of. I apologize in advance for the lack of creativity, but hopefully you’ll forgive me, dear reader, as the goal is to give you some tasty recipes for champagne cocktails to make on New Year’s Eve.

Napoleon

1/2 oz cognac
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
sugar cube soaked with Angostura bitters
Top with Champagne

Put a few dashes of Angostura bitters onto a sugar cube and place it at the bottom of a champagne glass. Shake the first two ingredients with ice and strain into a champagne glass. Top with champagne.

I first had this at Corridor 44 in Denver. Unfortunately that’s the only place that I’ve seen this cocktail described by this name. I ordered one for a friend recently at The Gibson and had the bar stumped as to what it was, most likely because it’s not a widely known recipe. This is a very different drink from the Napoleon Cocktail in the Savoy cocktail book, but it is quite similar to the Olympia Gold Cup — the only difference is the lack of bitters, sugar, and garnish. With all that said, I’m a fan of this particular drink. It gives a nice kick to a traditional Champagne Cocktail, and is a great set of flavors.

Elderfashion Royale

1 oz gin
1/2 oz St. Germain Elderflower
dash orange bitters
Top with Champagne

Shake the first three ingredients with ice and strain into a champagne glass. Top with champagne, garnish with a grapefruit twist.

This is the one drink on this list I haven’t actually tried, but a friend reports from a recent party he threw that it’s a great drink and was a big hit. Looking at the ingredients, it sounds pretty perfect to me.

Boothby Manhattan

2 oz rye
1 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
Champagne float

Stir well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass, add Maraschino cherry, float one ounce of Champagne on top.

This isn’t a champagne cocktail in the traditional sense, as it’s merely a Manhattan with a bit of champagne added. But I’d be remiss to write a post on champagne cocktails and not include the Boothby. It’s one of my favorite drinks…and it’s the sort of thing that makes people who don’t think they like Manhattans learn to absolutely love them. Plus it’s a great way to keep the whiskey crowd and the champagne crowd happy at the same time.

Hopefully everyone has a happy, safe, fun New Years Eve — maybe even while enjoying some of these drinks.

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