Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | August 5, 2011

Champagne for your real friends…

Originally posted at

A Champagne Cocktail for National Champagne Day

I don’t know who decides these things, but August 4th is National Champagne Day. Champagne is one of the most overlooked cocktail ingredients in modern American drinking. While it has a deserving place as a beverage to be drank while celebrating World Series wins, promotions and engagements, it’s also good to drink at any and all other times! Cocktails like the Mimosa (orange juice and Champagne) or the Bellini (peach puree & Champagne’s Italian cousin, Prosecco) are great for brunch year-round.

f you really want to step up your Champagne cocktail game, though, I suggest trying one of these classic cocktails featuring Champagne.

Created by author and famed drinker Ernest Hemingway and named after his famous book about bullfighting in Spain, Death in the Afternoon is a Champagne cocktail with absinthe.

Death in the Afternoon

1 oz absinthe or substitute (eg Pernod)

Pour absinthe into a Champagne flute. Top with chilled Champagne. In the words of Hemingway, “Drink three to five of these slowly”

A World War I era cocktail that’s said to have been created by British soldiers who combined their gin ration with Champagne while serving in France, the French 75 is named after France’s 75mm howitzer artillery gun used during the Great War. As a rule, cocktails named after artillery are worth drinking.

French 75

1 oz gin
1 oz simple syrup
0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
3 oz Champagne

Combine gin, syrup and lemon juice in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Champagne glass. Top with Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.

“Cocktail” Bill Boothby was one of America’s most famous bartenders at the turn of the 20th century. Originally from San Francisco, but working at top bars around the country, Boothby created a variation on the Manhattan which elevates the drink to magnificent heights.

The Boothby Manhattan

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

Stir rye, vermouth and bitters in a mixing glass filled with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, add Maraschino cherry, and float one ounce of Champagne on top.


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